Why monitor and evaluate?
A successful project is more than just completing the milestones on time. If you have monitored and evaluated a range of success measures, then you will be able to articulate the difference that the project has made, both in the short and longer term. This is extremely useful to demonstrate the impact of your science to funders, stakeholders, the community and other researchers.
An evaluation is about making a judgement of worth or value based on explicit criteria.
Monitoring refers to the systematic collection of information for use in decision making and planning, and to describe what is happening.
A monitoring and evaluation programme provides:
When to monitor and evaluate?
An evaluation plan is an essential part of project planning. It is best built in from the start of a project and should be run and updated throughout the life of the project. Introducing a monitoring and evaluation plan part way through an existing programme will still add value. Some evaluations are undertaken after a programme is completed; however, these post project evaluations have less opportunity to add value to the project.
How to monitor and evaluate?
Monitoring and evaluation is a specialist skill. However, project managers should be able to design a simple programme logic and develop some indicators for monitoring and evaluating success. Our tools section provides examples and guidance on this.
AgResearch has specialist capability in monitoring and evaluation, and can assist in the following ways: