Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation overview.
The Management Committee is responsible for monitoring all areas of the organisation's activity, and for evaluating it to determine the impact, quality and effectiveness of its work.
In particular, the Management Committee will want to determine if the organisation is:
- achieving its aims and objectives;
- showing progress towards its mission/purpose;
- meeting the needs of its beneficiaries;
- able to demonstrate the impact it is having;
- using its resources efficiently and to the greatest effect;
- complying with the law; and
- working within its policy framework.
Building in monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring mostly involves keeping track of what is going on. By undertaking this regularly, the Management Committee have the opportunity to adjust the project to ensure that the above concerns are addressed. This is usually carried out through consideration of regular operational and financial reports on the organisation's activities. For purposes of accountability, the Management Committee should ensure that this reporting is regular and that discussions on these are properly minuted.
Organisations evaluate in order to:
- encourage ongoing improvement;
- provide evidence of the impact of their activities; and
- provide an informed basis for decision making and planning.
Evaluation and review should be an ongoing process of learning, continual improvement and development. The key to evaluating is knowing what you are measuring. A Management Committee cannot monitor and evaluate the organisation and its activities effectively without clear advance planning of what they want to do and to achieve. Effective strategic and operational planning, incorporating clear measurable objectives, is therefore an important element of accountable management. If your organisation is a charity, you will also need to demonstrate the public benefit of your work and effective monitoring and evaluation systems are necessary to do this.
For advice and training on monitoring and evaluation visit Community Evaluation Northern Ireland at www.ceni.org
Click on the link for details of CENI's publication, 'Prove and Improve: a self-evalutation resource for voluntary and community organisations' (available to download as pdf).
More information on measuring impact is available from Inspiring Impact NI website which has links to a range of tools to assist organisations to measure impact.
For more details on monitoring progress click here.