It is an approach that involves periodic assessment of the success and performance of programmed activities and projects. Although the two terms are closely linked and referred to as M&E, they entail two different activities. Monitoring involves tracking the progress of a project to see its performance in relation to its longer-term results and the impact desired. It is done within the organization or through a third-party contract, during the Project Implementation phase. Evaluation
on the other hand requires an external evaluator to look at whether the allocated resources were used effectively to achieve the desired results. It is done during the Project Implementation and Closure phase, and actually
determines the need for other projects to be considered in the future to achieve the desired results. The projects to be assessed are usually those set up by governments and organizations. These organizations include international organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
To start with, Monitoring & Evaluation assists NGOs in assessing their overall performance. With donors and taxpayers often directing significant amounts of funds to help vulnerable populations or solve some of the most pressing problems in the world, understanding how that money is being used, the results of those programmes, and their impacts on stakeholders is very important. Monitoring & Evaluation effectively achieves this by ensuring:
Through analysis, tracking, and reporting on relevant data and information throughout a project’s life cycle, greater transparency and accountability are achieved. Monitoring & Evaluation also provides stakeholders, community members, and donors with key evidence for all decisions and actions throughout the project.
Improved Performance of Projects
A well-planned M&E
promotes a better understanding of the population or target audience’s needs. By assessing previous projects through the use of M&E, the performance of future projects is greatly enhanced.
Effective Allocation of Resources
Since all project operations are interwoven around project budgets, resource allocation is also dependent on the same. What dictates the choice of resources, the number of employees and the duration and magnitude of interventions is the funds available. Monitoring & Evaluation helps in effectively allocating those resources.
Learning and Data-Driven Decision Making
M&E data provides quantifiable results to help the involved parties learn from the successes and challenges of a project and be more adaptive. This is made possible through the results derived from the monitoring and evaluation processes which are key in providing useful insights.
Systematic Management of Organizations
Monitoring & Evaluation
also functions as a performance management tool. It helps organizations to gather, disseminate, and utilize data and information to improve their internal operations, hence adding value to their organizations. With a well-planned M&E, NGOs can achieve all the above and hence be in a position to assess their overall performance and improve future projects through learning from the achievements and failures of previous ones. To get better acquainted with Monitoring & Evaluation and how to use it effectively, kindly enroll with us for an intensive online course in MEAL