Monitoring and Evaluation of Business
is the systematic collection and analysis of information as a project
aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a project or
organization. It is based on targets set and activities planned during the
planning phases of work. It helps to keep the work on track, and can let
management know when things are going wrong.
monitoring and evaluation have in common is that they are geared towards
learning from what you are doing and how you are doing it, by focusing on:
tells you that the input into the work is appropriate in terms of the output.
This could be input in terms of money, time, staff, equipment and so on. When
you run a project and are concerned about its reliability or about going to
scale, then it is very important to get the efficiency element right.
is a measure of the extent to which a development programmes or project
achieves the specific objectives it set.
monitoring and evaluation?
organizations, “monitoring and evaluation” is something that that is seen as a
donor requirement rather than a management Tool. Donors are certainly entitled
to know whether their money is being properly spent, and whether it is being
well spent. But the primary (most important) use of monitoring and evaluation
should be for the organization or project itself to see how it is doing against
objectives, whether it is having an impact, whether it is working efficiently,
and to learn how to do it better. Monitoring and evaluation are both tools
which help a project or organisation know when plans are not working, and when
circumstances have changed.
and evaluation can:
1. Help you
identify problems and their causes;
possible solutions to problems;
questions about assumptions and strategy;
4. Push you
to reflect on where you are going and how you are getting there;
you with information and insight;
you to act on the information and insight;
the likelihood that you will make a positive development difference.
indicators (See Glossary of Terms) of efficiency, effectiveness and impact;
up systems to collect information relating to these indicators;
and recording the information;
5. Using the
information to inform day-to-day management.
is an internal function in any project or organisation.
at what the project or organisation intended to achieve – what difference did
it want to make? What impact did it want to make?
its progress towards what it wanted to achieve, its impact targets.
Looking at the strategy of the project or
organisation. Did it have a strategy? Was it effective in following its
strategy? Did the strategy work? If not, why not?
at how it worked. Was there an efficient use of resources? What were the
opportunity costs (see Glossary of Terms) of the way it chose to work? How
sustainable is the way in which the project or organisation works? What are the
implications for the various stakeholders in the way the organisation works. In
an evaluation, we look at efficiency, effectiveness and impact.
many different ways of doing an evaluation. Some of the more common terms you
may have come across are:
Self-evaluation: This involves an organisation or
project holding up a mirror to itself and
assessing how it is doing, as a way of learning and improving practice. It
takes a very self-reflective and honest organisation to do this effectively,
but it can be an important learning experience.
Participatory evaluation: This is a
form of internal evaluation. The intention is to involve as many people with a direct stake in the work as possible. This may
mean project staff and beneficiaries working together on the evaluation. If an
outsider is called in, it is to act as a facilitator of the process, not an
Rapid Participatory Appraisal: Originally
used in rural areas, the same methodology can, in fact, be applied in most communities. This is a qualitative (see Glossary
of Terms) way of doing evaluations. It is semi-structured and carried out by an
interdisciplinary team over a short time. It is used as a starting point for
understanding a local situation and is a quick, cheap, useful way to gather
information. It involves the use of secondary (see Glossary of Terms) data
review, direct observation, semi-structured interviews, key informants, group
interviews, games, diagrams, maps and calendars. In an evaluation context, it
allows one to get valuable input from those who are supposed to be benefiting
from the development work. It is flexible and interactive.
External evaluation: This is
an evaluation done by a carefully chosen outsider or outsider team.
Interactive evaluation: This
involves a very active interaction between an outside evaluator or evaluation team and the
organisation or project being evaluated. Sometimes an insider may be included
in the evaluation team.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Internal And
Advantages of Internal Evaluations:
evaluators are very familiar with the work, the organisational culture and the
aims and objectives.
people are more willing to speak to insiders than to outsiders.
internal evaluation is very clearly a management tool, a way of
self-correcting, and much less threatening than an external evaluation. This
may make it easier for those involved to
findings and criticisms.
internal evaluation will cost less than an external evaluation.
evaluation team may have a vested interest in reaching positive conclusions
about the work or organisation. For this reason, other stakeholders, such as
donors, may prefer an
may not be specifically skilled or trained in evaluation.
will take up a considerable amount of organisational time – while it may cost
less than an external evaluation, the opportunity costs may be high.
Advantages of External Evaluation
External evaluation (done by
a team or person with no vested interest in the project)
evaluation is likely to be more objective as the evaluators will have some
distance from the work.
evaluators should have a range of evaluation skills and experience. Sometimes
people are more willing to speak to outsiders than to insiders.
outside evaluator gives greater credibility to findings, particularly positive
from outside the organization or project may not understand the culture or even
what the work is trying to achieve.
directly involved may feel threatened by outsiders and be less likely to talk
openly and cooperate in the process.
evaluation can be very costly.
external evaluator may misunderstand what you want from the evaluation and not
give you what you need.
Selecting an External Evaluator or Evaluation Team
to look for in an external evaluator or evaluation team:
understanding of development issues.
understanding of organisational issues.
in evaluating development projects, programmes or organisations.
(4) A good
track record with previous clients.
commitment to quality.
commitment to deadlines.
honesty and fairness.
(9) Logic and
the ability to operate systematically.
Ability to communicate verbally and in writing.
A style and approach that fits with your
Values that are compatible with those of the
Reasonable rates (fees), measured against the going
Different Approaches to Evaluation
Major purpose Typical focus questions Likely methodology
Assessing achievement of goals and objectives.
goals achieved? Efficiently? Were they the right goals?
baseline (see Glossary of Terms) and progress data (see Glossary of Terms);
finding ways to measure indicators.
Providing information. Is the project effective? Should it continue? How might
it be modified?
range of options related to the project context, inputs, process, and product. Establishing
some kind of decision-making consensus.
Assessing the full range of project effects, intended and unintended. What are
all the outcomes? What value do they have?
determination of needs and standards to judge project worth. Qualitative and
quantitative techniques to uncover any possible results.
judgement Use of expertise. How does an outside professional rate this project?
Critical review based on experience, informal surveying, and subjective
is that the best evaluators use a combination of all these approaches, and that
an organisation can ask for a particular emphasis but should not exclude
findings that make use of a different approach.