Monitoring & Evaluation: Continuous Improvement

What is Monitoring Evaluation: Continuous Improvement and how does it improve performance? 

This article covers Monitoring Evaluation: Continuous Improvement.  Monitoring & Evaluation is a process of organisational improvement.  A programme has to be effectively researched, planned, resources allocated and allow for continuous development.   Moreover, a major function of Monitoring & Evaluation is that it has a future orientation and sets goals for improving management outputs.  Prior to implementing, stakeholders should go through an induction process. 

Equally important, there are various Monitoring & Evaluation tools that guide standard operating procedures.  Generally, log frames are used to summarise goals, outcomes, outputs and activities, which are measured against clear verifiable indicators. 

The purpose of Monitoring & Evaluation is to determine the efficiency of programmes, making comparisons against achievements and providing information to modify services to increase effectiveness. In addition, Monitoring & Evaluation is about improving programme performance by assessing employee efficiency and setting clearly defined goals.

It is important to note that a Monitoring and Evaluation plan clearly highlights implementation, improvement, and assign responsibilities to team members. In particular, evaluating against a plan calls for the identification of specific indicators.  Very often performance indicators follow the SMART criteria proposed by Doran 1981 that focus setting indicators.  Smart stands for:

  • S- Specific,
  • M- Measurable,
  • A-  Attainable,
  • R- Relevant,
  • T- Timely.

Continuous Improvement

The programme processes must be continually examined to eliminate problems or risks.  During the Monitoring and Evaluation implementation phase, specific problems can be identified and the team can participate in remedying challenges. 

First and foremost, programmes must involve all stakeholders’ active and positive involvement.  Accordingly, this will allow for sustainable change within an inclusive, multi-cultural environment.   Hence, team members help evaluate the measurable outcomes and become part of the solution.  Through continuous analysis of the programme, the team can create an action plan to devise solutions.

Thre is no doubt that continuous improvement should from part of the Monitoring and Evaluation plan.  The Monitoring and Evaluation tools are invaluable in correcting problems, hence contributing to improved processes.

Monitoring Evaluation: Continuous Improvement – Challenges

  • Defining indicators can be complicated.  When considering monitoring and evaluation for a programme, indicators should be clearly and thoroughly defined.
  • Goals, outcomes, outputs and activities must be measured to contribute to a results-based management solution.
  • Your organisation must be clear about what success looks like.  Generally, this can be simplified by using the monitoring and evaluation tools.
  • It is often challenging to interpret data which may not be available in-house.

Benefits of Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as a management tool provide evidence-based, measurable outcomes.
  • M&E address the accountability and responsibility of team members.  It tells how the project worked, resources spent and whether a programme should continue.
  • It also addresses lessons learnt and how to improve. 

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