Monitoring begins as part of the planning stage. One way to ensure that it is effective is to involve the people you are working with and who will benefit from the project. They can help you monitor the progress, based on the indicators that you have identified together with the target groups. This is called PARTICIPATORY MONITORING. Just as in Participatory Rural Appraisal, people who cannot read or write can nevertheless count and tally, so they can monitor and keep records.
The definition of monitoring:
To monitor means constantly to check how things are going, comparing actual progress to what was planned.
Different reasons for monitoring:
For Besipae, for each project, we have to work out the minimum amount of recording that will give the information to meet our needs; then, how to collect it; and finally, how we will use the information collected. Monitoring is one of the most important management tools. Because of its importance, it may rightly take up to 5% of the budget.
Evaluation, like monitoring, looks at whether objectives have been achieved. But it tries to stand back and look at the longer-term objectives – Is BESIPA’E on the right road?
Three criteria used in Evaluation:
Relevance: This is perhaps the most important. Question whether the objectives of the project really matched the problems and needs – whether the 'why' of the project was a good one. It is easy to start activities that do not help the problem.
Cost-effectiveness: Effectiveness asks whether the project has been successful in achieving its objectives, and adding the word ”cost” asks whether it has done so for a reasonable amount of money, time and effort.
Sustainability: Are there lasting benefits after the intervention (such as increased self-sufficiency)? Sustainability looks at what happens after the project comes to an end and whether the beneficiaries go on receiving benefits for an extended period of time after the assistance has been withdrawn.