3.3 Resources for monitoring and evaluation
Inadequate resources lead to poor quality monitoring and evaluation. To ensure effective and quality monitoring and evaluation, it is critical to set aside adequate financial and human resources at the planning stage. The required financial and human resources for monitoring and evaluation should be considered within the overall costs of delivering the agreed results and not as additional costs.
Financial resources for monitoring and evaluation should be estimated realistically at the time of planning for monitoring and evaluation. While it is critical to plan for monitoring and evaluation together, resources for each function should be separate. In practice, each project should have two separate budget lines for its monitoring and evaluation agreed in advance with partners. This will help UNDP and its partners be more realistic in budgeting. It will also reduce the risk of running out of resources for evaluation, which often takes place towards the end of implementation.
Monitoring and evaluation costs associated with projects can be identified relatively easily and be charged directly to the respective project budgets with prior agreement among partners through inclusion in the project budget or Annual Work Plan (AWP) signed by partners.
Sourcing and securing financial resources for monitoring and evaluation of outcomes or programmes can pose additional challenges, as there is not one project where these costs can be directly charged. The most commonly observed financing mechanism is to draw resources together from relevant projects. Some additional possibilities include:
It is important that partners consider the resources needed for monitoring and evaluation and agree on a practical arrangement to finance the associated activities. Such arrangements should be documented at the beginning of the programme to enable partners to transfer necessary funds in accordance with their procedures, which could take considerable time and effort.
Human resources are critical for effective monitoring and evaluation, even after securing adequate financial resources. For high-quality monitoring and evaluation, there should be:
Each monitoring and evaluation entity that functions at different levels, for example at the project, programme or outcome level, should have a clear ToR outlining its role and responsibilities. In general, these responsibilities should include:
Specific considerations for budgeting and financing for evaluation
Programme units should estimate and indicate financial requirements and financing means for each evaluation in the evaluation plan. When estimating the cost for an evaluation, the duration and scope of the evaluation should be considered. The duration of an evaluation will be determined by its purpose. An evaluation conducted early in implementation, which tends to focus on programme or project design issues, is apt to be less complex and entail a smaller scope, hence requiring less data than would a ‘heavier’ exercise conducted at the end of the project or the programming cycle. The greater the complexity and scope of an evaluation, the longer time and more detailed work will be needed by the evaluation team to collect required data. This may increase evaluators’ total fees. Programme units should be realistic in terms of the scope and complexity of the evaluation vis-à-vis available resources.
In addition, the availability and accessibility of primary and secondary data (monitoring, regular reporting and evaluation) and data collection methods influence the cost of the evaluation exercise. In the absence of reliable data, the evaluators need to spend more time and resources to locate or generate information. The appropriateness of allocated resources should be assessed together with the commissioned external evaluators based on the work programme submitted by them.
If an evaluation is carried out jointly with government or donors in the context of a larger outcome or government evaluation, the programme unit should agree on resourcing modalities with potential donors or government counterparts at the outset. Box 19 outlines the key items that are required for the evaluation. The programme unit responsible for the evaluation should ensure that every item is considered.
Box 19. Key issues to be considered in costing an evaluation
Evaluation consultants and expert advisory panel members (if any)