Both monitoring and evaluation are management tools. In the case of monitoring, information for tracking progress according to previously agreed on plans and schedules is routinely gathered. Discrepancies between actual and planned implementation are identified and corrective actions taken. When findings are used to monitor the development results (effects, impacts) it is sometimes referred to as ongoing evaluation.
Evaluation is more episodic than monitoring. It is facilitated by monitoring but utilizes additional sources of information. Many such sources are identified during project reviews when there is a need to understand why inputs did not lead to planned outputs. Evaluation focuses on specific questions related to effectiveness and impact in order to influence future programmes or services. Impact assessment is often difficult because causality is difficult to determine, in addition to being costly and time-consuming. However, managers need to know the effects of project activities on the intended beneficiaries during implementation. Community monitoring programmes can record impacts locally and use results to modify project activities. Impacts may be assessed informally, through conversations with beneficiaries, women's groups, village elders. This allows managers to adjust strategies, if necessary, during implementation, rather than continue less than effective activities.
We aim to connect evaluation with strategy and process improvement - implementing lessons from evaluation in practice and helping to apply them. We use a wide range of quantitative and qualitative evaluation tools, some of which we have developed. Our policy is to form partnerships with consultants or development organisations in the countries where we work, and build evaluation capacity development into our activities
Evaluation & Monitoring Studies
in Monitoring & Evaluation