The (endangered) art of monitoring in development programmes

by Murray Boardman, Overseas Programme Manager, Save the Children New Zealand,
CID Talk: 20 June 2012Available as pdf (and being published as a full paper in the near future)

A summary of the presentation contents:
“Within development, monitoring and evaluation are as ubiquitous as salt and pepper.  Often development talks about monitoring and evaluation as a united term, rather than them being separate and unique processes along a quality framework continuum.  Due to various factors within development, there are some concerns that the evaluation frame is dominating, if not consuming, monitoring.
Given that monitoring is a fundamental component of development programming, any failure to adequately monitor projects will, inevitably, lead to increase costs and also reduces the effectiveness and quality of project outcomes.  Evidence of such occurrences is not isolated.
The attached presentation was given to a seminar for NGOs in New Zealand in June 2012.  It is largely based on a similar presentation given for a guest lecture at Massey University in October 2011.  It presents various observations – some of which are challenging – on the current dynamics between monitoring and evaluation and how evaluations are dominating the quality area of development.  The objective of this presentation is to not to demote or vilify evaluations, rather it is to promote and enhance monitoring as an essential skill set in order to ensure programme quality is continuously improved.

Rick Davies’ comment: A recommended read and a breath of fresh air. Are there are power differentials at work here, behind the problems that Murray identifies?. Who has more status and influence? Those who responsible for project monitoring or those responsible for evaluations?

See also: Daniel Ticehurst’s paper on monitoring: Who is listening to whom, and how well and with what effect?   Daniel Ticehurst, October 16th, 2012. 34 pages


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