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Principles for Effective Monitoring and Evaluation of ICT4D Initiatives

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Monitoring
The ongoing process through which self-reflective individuals regularly check their progress against intended outcomes, so that they can improve the quality of their performance

  • Ensure that monitoring is involved at all stages of the design and implementation process
  • Involve all stakeholders in monitoring activities, and ensure that there are incentives in place for them to engage therein
  • Create an environment in which monitoring is seen as being beneficial both to individual performance and to organisational capacity
  • Use a diversity of methods, including both qualitative and quantitative indicators
  • Ensure that monitoring processes address the information, communication, technological and the development aspects of ICT4D
  • Provide opportunities for participants to be trained in effective monitoring techniques
  • Build in enough time within the programme for participants to engage in effective self-reflection
  • Ensure that good practices and lessons learnt are shared among all stakeholders
  • Involve stakeholders in ongoing revision of the programme in the light of insights gained from monitoring
  • Continue with monitoring, even when the going gets tough

Evaluation
The mid- or end-point assessment of a programme against its original objectives, normally involving external evaluators

 

  • Ensure that clear targets are identified at the start of any initiative and that delivery against these targets is used as the main framework for evaluation
  • Incorporate a clear framework (such as a Log Frame and Gantt Chart) in the design of the initiative so that this can provide the basis for subsequent evaluation
  • Make provision for costs of evaluation in original budget
  • Involve knowledgeable external evaluators, but ensure that they understand the local context of the programme being evaluated
  • Ensure that all stakeholders, and particularly the intended beneficiaries, are consulted in the evaluation, and that its results are used effectively to enhance the initiative
  • Ensure that the evaluation addresses the information, communication, technological and the development aspects of ICT4D
  • Pilot test the intended evaluation procedures, and revise them accordingly, ensuring that the evaluation process remains flexible and adaptable
  • Identify and report on important non-intended consequences
  • Use a diversity of methods, including both qualitative and quantitative indicators
  • Ensure that insights from the evaluation are disseminated externally so that others can learn from them
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'Monitoring' and 'evaluation' are closely inter-related, and ongoing monitoring processes should provide an integral part of any evaluation. There needs to be continual crossover, input and mutual enhancement between the two. Their separation into two distinct columns as above is intended to provide a checklist of the most important aspects that should be considered in developing effective monitoring and evaluation strategies.

 

Authors: Tim Unwin and David Hollow (2008)

 

Last updated 14th March 2008
 
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