Thursday, July 11, 2013

5 trying situations in the Monitoring and Evaluation field

Situations that can make Monitoring and Evaluation painfull

You know sometimes in the field of Monitoring and Evaluation, there are situations in developmental work which is such a pain!! you heard it, a big huge pain. Nothing is perfect in the developmental world but you have to admit that there are just some things that shouldn't ever be ignored. But what are basically some of the situations you may come across as you undertake Monitoring and Evaluation activities in whichever project or programmes you may come across. There are basically 5 situations that can cause a whole lot of pain as you undertake Monitoring and Evaluation activities.

5 painful experiences in Monitoring and Evaluation Work

1) Information Overload; There are developmental projects and programmes in the world that have a lot of developmental indicators present. They may obviously have a good reason for doing that but the point is, if you have over a 100 different indicators that arent so clear and that are really difficult to measure, that can cause a huge pain to Monitoring and Evaluation Staff. Why is it so painful anyway? Well collecting that information can be a pain, analyzing that information can be a pain and finally reporting that information can be a huge pain. It is always recommended to limit the number of indicators to just a few because that is more sustainable even to the Monitoring and Evaluation System.

2) Poor Communication; In the world of Monitoring and Evaluation information is key and every minute that passes by really matters. However, for Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinators sometimes it can be a huge pain if their juniors are not reporting information on time. Whats worse, if the information they really need is more to do with the project indicators. Sometimes Monitoring and Evaluation officers may also need information from the implementing partners or from field staff, when that information doesnt come in on time and they have a deadline to meet that can be really painful.

3) Baseline Crisis; Conducting a baseline survey is really fun a process for any Monitoring and Evaluation person but then you see, it can be really painful too. How so? You know sometimes Monitoring and Evaluation people are given a project or programme document which they didn't take part in developing and then suddenly they notice how extremely difficult it is to capture certain information due to poorly formulated indicators. But that isn't even the worst part, sometimes implementing organizations don't even prioritize conducting baseline surveys at all. That can be really painfull considering that an evaluation has to be conducted at some point.

4) Reporting Findings; You know Monitoring and Evaluation sometimes can be very painful especially when you have to report poor findings. Stakeholders usually expect alot from implementation of a programme or project especially if there is huge funds allocated to it. However, Monitoring and Evaluation Officers strive at all costs to report the truth whether good or bad. Its not really the reporting that's really difficult but its the reaction that some stakeholders have on the person who collected, analysed and reported the information. It can be really painful if after reporting poor results, people begin to actually think the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer made too many errors in his analysis when in actual fact he didn't. That can be really painful.

5) Capacity; Most implementing organizations dont have enough staff to really do a comprehensive Monitoring and Evaluation activity. It can be really painful for a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer who has to absorb so much work load because of limited staff around.

Monitoring and Evaluation Rocks but not when its painful. Whatever the case, there is still alot to look forward to. Take Monitoring and Evaluation to a whole different level folks!


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