Although there is a tendency in civil society organisations to see an evaluation as something that happens when a donor insists on it, in fact, monitoring and evaluation are invaluable internal management tools. If you don’t assess how well you are doing against targets and indicators, you may go on using resources to no useful end, without changing the situation you have identified as a problem at all. Monitoring and evaluation enable you to make that assessment.
This toolkit will be useful when:
- You are setting up systems for data collection during the planning phases of a project or organisation;
- You want to analyse data collected through the monitoring process;
- You are concerned about how efficiently and how effectively you are working;
- You reach a stage in your project, or in the life of your organisation, when you think it would be useful to evaluate what impact the work is having;
- Donors ask for an external evaluation of your organisation and or work.
What’s in the tool
This toolkit deals with the “nuts and bolts” (the basics) of setting up and using a monitoring and evaluation system for a project or an organisation. It clarifies what monitoring and evaluation are, how you plan to do them, how you design a system that helps you monitor and an evaluation process that brings it all together usefully. It looks at how you collect the information you need and then how you save yourself from drowning in data by analysing the information in a relatively straightforward way. Finally it raises, and attempts to address, some of the issues to do with taking action on the basis of what you have learned.