Saturday, June 22, 2013

Webased Monitoring and Evaluation, Taking M&E to the Next Level

Considering the Webased Monitoring and Evaluation

As an organization trying to make Monitoring and Evaluation actually work effectively in your implementing organizations, you have to agree that the use of  computer technology can make your work relatively easier. Developmental organizations are working tirelessly to make the data collection process all the more better and effective. In the world today however, as organizations work through their different implementing partners there will always be challenges of Monitoring and Evaluation capacity within organizations and even resources. Many are using Webased Monitoring and Evaluation Systems to actually monitor the various activities that implementing partners are achieving which they can consequently pass on to stakeholders at the higher level who actually want to see results. Results everyone is key, results is what will keep your programmes or projects running and also provide an answer to all those tax papers money who demand answers. Are you ready??? Lets just understand the Monitoring and Evaluation System in detail.....Webased that is.

Webased Monitoring and Evaluation System, the answer you were looking for

As a programme or project coordinator you will always get questions about how many people are benefiting from your support to what exactly is the change you are bringing. Webased Monitoring and Evaluation system through experience are internet based system that allows for data collection, analysis and reporting of results. If your programme works through implementing partners of which you provide support to, then the implementing partner feeds data into the system through the internet. However, if your organizations is directly implementing a programme or project by itself then your various staff in areas of your operation feeds the data into the system. The Monitoring and Evaluation System has a lot of advantages because the whole idea is for information of the programme or project to be uploaded through the internet which consequently becomes viewable to all users who have the authorized access to the internet and programmes databases. What exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of a webased Monitoring and Evaluation System.

1)Improved access from all over the world; As long as you have authorized access to the internet you wont have any problem gaining access to the programmes database and analyzing the results for your programme. Imagine how easy it would be to report your Monitoring and Evaluation findings to an audience who watch in awe as you log into your websystem and answer every question they ask...Anywhere in the world.

2)Ease of sharing information; Gone are the days when you had to send huge chunks of email databases to your stakeholders. With the webased Monitoring and Evaluation System, all you have to do is provide log in details to the person you would like to have access to anywhere from the world. It doesn't get any better than that.

3)Improved safety and storage; The safety of information is one of the key things why you can consider having a webased Monitoring and Evaluation System. Protect your information folks!

4)Improved Harmonization;  Usually the implementing partner has their own set of indicators in their various projects or programmes. It is always an added advantage if the partners indicators is tailored easily to your system, that way information collection and reporting becomes a whole lot easier.

5)Reduced work load; The work load can be reduced of having to physically collect data from the implementing partner organization which in most cases can be quit challenging and expensive especially if your programme has a long list of indicators that your programme is trying to measure. It also goes the same with direct implementation.

Indicators in the Monitoring and Evaluation System

1)Outputs, Outcomes and Impacts; Webased Monitoring and Evaluation systems are a good way to collect the results you want. But you must realize that outputs are usually the concern of the implementing partners while Outcomes and Impacts are usually the concern of the donors. Regardless of that however, you must ask yourself what really do you want to measure from this system? Who really will benefit more from it, you or the implementing partner (that's if you are working through partners)? Lets look at two scenarios of careful consideration;

a) Implementation through partner organization; If you are implementing through partners you will realize that entering the information into the internet by your partners may be met with some challenges. Some partners may find it a challenge to update the system on time and as often as you want it to be so. This could be because of a variety of things but the point is, they must actually realize for themselves why the information is important and relevant to the programme. A combination of both outcome and output data could prove relevant in the system.

b) Direct implementation; Implementing a programme directly could be met with some challenges but mainly to do with the capacity to collect that information and upload it. It is highly important to have the right people on the ground who can collect the information as often and concise as possible. Since its a programme or project being implemented diectly there is no doubt that the incentive to collect it is really something straightforward.

2)Size of Indicators;  The number of indicators is another factor to consider when designing the Monitoring and Evaluation System. To many indicators isn't healthy and it will always hold a strain on the whole programme. Try to select the Monitoring and Evaluation Indicators that are very relevant to the programmes objectives and that can really make the Webased system sustainable. You wouldn't want to start something that you can't finish.


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