Tuesday, June 25, 2013

10 terminologies in Monitoring and Evaluation you must always know

Monitoring and Evaluation terminologies, Always remember

Monitoring and Evaluation is viewed by some as a piece of cake. Some say you don't need any training to be a good Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, just take a text book, read and then you are done for the day. You see, because some people tend to water down the role and value that a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer could bring into the organization you find before long, that the answers they should have had ends up missing. Why do you think some organizations always complain that their reporting, Monitoring and Evaluation system isn't satisfactory? Well that isn't hard to answer because in most cases they just don't take Monitoring and Evaluation seriously and they tend to look at having a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer as a by the way thing. If you are one of those people, it is important to realize that Monitoring and Evaluation is a must have thing in every developmental organization, much more is having a Monitoring and Evaluation specialist. In case you are still thinking about it, here are ten Monitoring and Evaluation terminologies you should always memorize.....That's right you have to Memorize these terms with all your soul. Don't say you weren't warned....GOT IT!!!!

Ten Monitoring and Evaluation Terminologies, Piece of Cake???

1) Results; When stakeholders request that they would like to see the achievement of results what exactly are they saying? Well, they are simply saying that they want to see their programme or projects objectives being met. Now what does that exactly mean...You do the Math. But incase you need just a little bit of help results in most cases refers to the three highest levels in the log-frame hierarchy outputs, outcomes and impacts.That's as simple as it get.

2) Indicators; I bet you always have to run into this term sooner or later but the funny thing is, many people still don't really understand what an indicator is. Ofcourse they may define it well but when it comes to formulating indicators, they simply fail. In Monitoring and Evaluation, an indicator is simply the means to measure change.Indicators specifies exactly what is to be measured along a scale or dimension, but does not indicate the direction of change....GOT IT!! Indicators are either input indicators, output indicators, outcome indicators or impact indicators.

3) Targets; This simply specifies the exact value that the programme or project intends to achieve at the end of the implementation period for a given indicators. So in short, if your indicator is the % of women accessing rural finance then your target could be that 50% of all women in the target group should access finance by the end of the implementation period.

4) Outcomes; There are times when you are developing a log-frame and you are not quit sure what an outcome is. Now here's the news, you are not the only one out there. Lets go easy on this one folks, an outcome is simply the changes that occurs as a result of the outputs and to the extent they contribute towards the programme purpose and desired impact. Lets say your programme is building free homes for your target group what is the possible outcome for that?

Outcome: Improved shelter for the target group

5) Outputs; These are the specific products and services that is delivered in order to contribute to the development of outcomes. Lets go back to the outcome of improved shelter for the target group. Could you guess what the outputs are? see the outputs below;

Outputs: Houses built for the community
               Community members skilled at building houses

6) Activities and Inputs; Activities basically refer to the concrete interventions or tasks that project personnel undertake that transforms inputs into outputs. Inputs on the other hand are the financial, material and human resources that are used in conjunction with activities to produce project outputs. What could be the inputs and activities for the improved shelter example? Watch and learn,

Inputs; Funds to buy the building materials
             Staff time spent in training community members on how to build a house

Activities; Training of community members on building a house

Four terminologies you will know yourself

In the world of Monitoring and Evaluation, it is important to really understand these terminologies clearly as you engage in developmental work. This article wont define them for you but assuming you are a development worker, you will agree that simply ingnoring these terms in your volculbulary is suicide. Are you READY? here they are;

1) Monitoring and Evaluation
2) Monitoring and Evaluation System
3) Baseline
4) Programme and Project

You will be totally surprised at how many times programme or project coordinators simply fail to apply these terms in the real world. This is your home-work folks and probably in future, we will actually understand these terminologies in a real life example. Take Monitoring and Evaluation to a whole different level people. TA! TA!


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