17 Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring is the systematic and continued compilation, analysis and documentation of the necessary data and information to manage the project on short, medium and long term. Monitoring aims at improving the efficiency and efficacy of a project or organisation. The objectives and activities defined during the project design stage serve as the foundation for the monitoring process. Systematic monitoring facilitates the overview over the various activities, allows to isolate difficulties and mistakes, and to introduce corrective measures where and when necessary.
A pre-condition for the monitoring of activities and objectives is the definition of realistic and measurable indicators during the project design stage, which will help manage the project development. Indicators are measurable and concrete tasks that help measure achievement of objectives and the progress; the tasks are sources to check the project objectives. Indicators can be quantitative (e.g. number of workshops held) or qualitative (e.g. expanding the participants' knowledge of the human rights). To achieve the main objective of the project, the indicators should be chosen according to the key activities and the specific needs of the beneficiaries.
For the assessment of the indicators, all the relevant data and information needs to be gathered and analysed and compared with the project progress; the project is then either approved or changed introduced.
Information and data can be collected using following methods:
- Observation of participants
- Closing discussion
Read the following example of how the information gathered was treated to measure the chosen indicators:
|Indicator||Actual situation||Any derivations?||Possible reason(s) for derivation||Lessons learned and recommendations|
|At least 80% of the participants are female.||40% of the those who signed up are female.||Far fewer participants signed up than expected (only half).||1 The project is not designed specifically for girls.
2. Cultural reasons Girls have to help at home and are not allowed to participate.
|1 Systematic application of Gender mainstreaming during the project planning stage and its development.
2. Contact the families directly.
Evaluation is the assessment of the results achieved and the effect of a project or activity. The objectives and activities defined during the project design stage in the project document serve as the foundation. The evaluation assesses how the objectives set were achieved and what the outcome is. It is therefore possible to find out if the right thing was done. The evaluation can compare the resources used with the resources planned (time, money, people, material). Intermediate evaluations (every six or twelve months) are indicated with a project running over several years to optimised the implementation, introduce new/different measures, etc. A final evaluation helps evaluate the complete project and facilitates the decision of how and if the project should be continued in an improved form.
An evaluation answers several evaluation questions that should be defined already during the project design stage (this will also help monitoring). Here some examples:
- Reaching objectives / effect: Which objectives were met, which not? Why not (internal and external factors)? What improvements were achieved for the local youth, what use and affect were reached? How many youth were reached)
- Needs: Did the project meet the needs of the beneficiary youth? How were they found?
- Participation: How were the youth involved in the project cycle?
- Equal opportunities: How were equal opportunities reached?
- Lessons learned: What are the greatest failures / achievements?
- Methodology: Did the chosen methodology prove itself? Which methodology might be more efficient?
- Sustainability: How will the project continue; is it locally rooted? Does the local partner organisation have ownership?
An evaluation can be conducted in several ways, depending on the objectives and resources:
- Self evaluation: An internal evaluation by the organisation and those involved in the project.
- External Evaluation: View from outside that is conducted by a carefully selected external team.
- Interactive evaluation: Interaction between an external assessor (team) and the organisation or the project that is to be assessed, e.g. by including a project worker in the evaluation team.
DEZA, evaluation in general:
SWFIT Zurich, Evalguide:
PDF version [Download]