Monitoring is the process of routinely gathering information and using the information to make decisions and take action. Evaluation involves a systematic, objective analysis of the programme, in terms of its effectiveness and efficiency, and its impact in relation to its objectives. Monitoring and evaluation is often regarded as an optional ‘add on’ and/or a burdensome procedure that has to be undertaken, primarily to satisfy donors.
According to The International Platform on Sport & Development136, monitoring and evaluation is important because:
- It allows practitioners to learn from each other’s experiences, building on expertise and knowledge.
- It often generates (written) reports that contribute to transparency and accountability, and allows for lessons to be shared more easily.
- It reveals mistakes and offers paths for learning and improvements.
- It provides a basis for questioning and testing assumptions.
- It provides a way to assess the crucial link between implementers, beneficiaries on-the-ground and decision makers.
- It provides a more robust basis for raising funds and influencing policy.
- Unlike evaluation, which tends to occur at the end of the process, monitoring is an on-going process. In addition, its focus is more concrete and practical.
Key aims of monitoring:
- To ensure that the sport programme runs smoothly
- To identify any constraints or problems experienced by the participants and/or facilitators during the programme (for example, poor attendance, unequal participation of discussions in the sessions, etc.)
- To be able to make changes or adaptations as required (examples of changes might be the timing of the sessions, the language used, the style of facilitation and so on)
- To enable the local leadership and local partners to follow the process, thereby promoting and reinforcing local ownership of the sport programme.
Baseline data collection is costly and time consuming.
Needs to be built into the project timeline and the budget.
Be selective about which data is collected and try not to over-monitor.
Participants may not reply honestly to questionnaires. What can be done about this?
Use methods which allow adolescent girls to reply anonymously.
Always ‘triangulate’ information from various sources to see if information given is consistent.
Evaluation findings can be contradictory and/or difficult to interpret.
|When this occurs, critically analyse the methods used for each and/or undertake more in-depth research using, for example, a few in-depth participant case studies.
Difficult to access data from government institutions in order to track trends in SRHR.
Develop partnerships with these structures.
Provide staff training, awareness raising and develop support and understanding of sport programme’s work.