What is Monitoring and Evaluation?
Monitoring is about systematically collecting information that will help you answer questions about your project. You can use this information to report on your project and to help you evaluate. Evaluation is about using monitoring and other information you collect to make judgements about your project. It is also about using the information to make changes and improvements. (Charities Evaluation Services)
These processes are distinct from regulation. They are the reporting mechanisms through which the voluntary and community sector (VCS) demonstrate the achievement of their aims whilst funders ensure that accountability, contract compliance and value for money are maintained. (KnowHow NonProfit)
Why is monitoring and evaluation important?
Organisations use monitoring and evaluation for two key purposes:
- To learn about their own activities and results, and to support internal planning and development
- To be accountable to their stakeholders.
Organisations need evidence of their efficiency and effectiveness for funders, commissioners and investors.(KnowHow NonProfit)
Monitoring and evaluation not only measure how well you are doing, but also help you to be more effective.(Charities Evaluation Service)
How do you monitor and evaluate?
Once you’ve decided which aspects of your work you want to track and evaluate, you need to consider how you will do these tasks.
Here are a number of tools to help you put together a simple, workable system:
Indicators: the signs that tell you whether your planned work and outcomes are actually happening.
Targets: a particular level of an output, outcome or satisfaction indicator that an organisation aims to achieve over a set period.
Data: both countable information (quantitative) and descriptive information (qualitative).
Monitoring: the systematic process of collecting and recording your indicator data.
Evaluation: the process of drawing together your data, analysing it and making judgments about progress against targets, either at the end of a project or at certain points along the way.
Planning is a key stage in the monitoring and evaluation cycle. Organisations should think about:
- Why do we want to do it and for whom?
- What will we monitor and evaluate?
- How will we do it?
- Who will do it and do we have the right skills?
- When will we do it?
- What resources will we need, including outside support?
- What will we do with the information we get?
CES is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Established in 1990 to strengthen the voluntary sector through offering free and below-cost support and services to charities and community organisations.
The focus of this website is on methods of monitoring and evaluating the progress and outcomes of development aid programs, big and small.
A professional membership organisation that exists to promote and improve the theory, practice, understanding and utilisation of evaluation and its contribution to public knowledge