Monitoring Progress and Evaluating Results

Monitoring is simply the process of checking what has been done or spent in line with plans and budgets.

Organisations monitor their activities and income and expenditure to ensure that they are operating in line with their plans and to ensure they are delivering their organisational purposes.  

Definitions of Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring is the systematic collection of information for analysis.

“Monitoring is the routine collection and recording of information about a piece of work or an organisation, to keep track of day to day activities and operations.  It’s purpose is to provide regular feedback on how things are going and to help the organisation make decisions.”

The Evaluation Trust 2008

Evaluation is an assessment or judgement made by comparing what actually happened with what was intended.  Assessments of judgements made are based on the analysis of information.

“The assessing and judging of the value of a piece of work an organisation or a service.  It’s main purpose is to help an organisation reflect on what it is trying to achieve, assessing how far it is successful and identify required changes.”

The Evaluation Trust 2008

Benefits of evaluating your activities:

  • Identifies our priorities (may have different focus from e.g. funders).
  • Can assist progress towards the achievement of organisational goals.
  • To assess suitability and quality of methods and approaches used.
  • Identifies what work was actually done (outputs).
  • Can help highlight suitability/clarity of goals.
  • Can identify difficulties.
  • Leads to ways to improve and develop work.
  • Gives a voice to all stakeholders in our work.

The four step process of evaluation

STEP 1        Planning

  • decide what area(s)/activities to evaluate;
  • decide how to measure it - define successful outcomes;
  • plan what sort of information you need; 
  • decide on methods of collecting the information (where it is, when is it available, who can access it).

STEP 2        Monitoring

  • collecting and recording the information.

STEP 3        Evaluating

  • analysing data;
  •  interpreting results.

STEP 4       Making improvements

  • identifying and prioritising improvements;
  • planning and implementing action;
  • monitoring and evaluating work.


More on monitoring your strategic plan.

Prove and Improve: CENI Resource