Monitoring and evaluation is an integral part of the planning process so that timely evaluation results can be made available to decision-makers and ensure that the donors can demonstrate accountability to their stakeholders.
Evaluation results are useful for making adjustments in the ongoing program, or for purposes of designing a new program cycle.
Careful planning of evaluations and periodic updating of evaluation plans also facilitates their management and contributes to the quality of evaluation results.
When you do your planning process, you will set indicators. These indicators provide the framework for your monitoring and evaluation system.
In planning evaluation and monitoring activities, we should look at;
- What do we want to know? This question refers to the main objectives of the evaluation and the question it should address.
- Why is the program (project/organization) being evaluated?
- How will be the data for evaluation collected? This refers to the data sources and methods to be used.
- Who will undertake the evaluation task? What expertise is required?
- When will the evaluation be undertaken? This refers to the timing of each evaluation so that their results in each case or combination can be used to make important program-related decisions.
- What is the budgetary provision to implement the evaluation plan?
A logical framework of analysis is a very useful approach in the planning of the monitoring and evaluation processes, which lend itself well in the process.
The following flowchart displays such a framework incorporating all the levels of monitoring and evaluation process.