Why evaluations fail: The importance of good monitoring (DCED, 2014)

Adam Kessler and Jim Tanburn, August 2014, Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED). 9 pages. Available as pdf.

Introduction:  A development programme without a strong internal monitoring system often cannot be effectively evaluated. The DCED Standard for Results Measurement is a widely-used monitoring framework, and this document discusses how it relates to external evaluations. Why should evaluators be interested in monitoring systems? How can the DCED Standard support evaluations, and vice versa? Who is responsible for what, and what are the expectations of each? This document expands previous work by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

This document is relevant for evaluators, those commissioning evaluations, and practitioners in  programmes using the DCED Standard and undergoing an evaluation. It provides a basis for dialogue with the evaluation community; the aims of that dialogue are to identify sources of evaluation expertise
available to support programmes using the DCED Standard, and to promote the Standard to programmes needing to improve their monitoring system. We would welcome further discussions on the topic, and invite you to contact us at Results@Enterprise-Development.org with any questions or comments.

1 Introduction
2 Why should evaluators be interested in monitoring?
2.1 Good monitoring is essential for effective management
2.2 Good monitoring is essential for effective evaluation
2.3 Some evaluation methodologies incorporate monitoring
3 What is the DCED Standard for Results Measurement?
4 How does the DCED Standard support evaluation?
4.1 The DCED Standard promotes clear theories of change
4.2 The DCED Standard provides additional data to test the theory of change
5 How do evaluations supplement the DCED Standard?
5.1 Evaluations are independent
5.2 Evaluations have more expertise and larger budgets
5.3 Evaluations can examine broader effects
5.4 Evaluations and the DCED Standard are for different audiences
6 Division of responsibilities between evaluator and programme team
7 Key References and further reading

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