To measure is to know
There are four key reasons why we monitor and evaluate district plans:
To monitor progress towards agreed objectives, we need to have clear indicators. These may need to be monthly, quarterly or annually depending on the purpose and level they are collected at.
It is essential that a monitoring and evaluation system is agreed and operational before implementation begins. By setting up a reliable management information system (MIS) at the beginning of the project we can establish baseline data and measure the impact of the plan’s
Great care should be taken that selected indicators are:
Monitoring indicators should focus on:
Monitoring will enable the management team to decide whether:
As we begin to plan, there will be a number of assumptions. Planning is a continuously evolving process: as implementation takes place, we learn more about the situation, gain a fuller insight and therefore through evaluating past practices we need to adjust and improve our strategies and targets.
For example, in any school vision health programme, the number of spectacles may initially be small. As uptake of refraction tests proceed, the number of spectacles needed increases and with it the cost of the intervention. This may require increasing the number of donors of
spectacles or by requesting parents to pay (nominal cost). Subsequent procedures in other schools will be better prepared to expect this resource needs to achieve the desired outcomes.
By carrying out regular monitoring we can reveal results which differ from the expected norm. This allows us to ask questions, work to improve procedures, and, ultimately, evaluate our plan’s original purpose.