Chapter 4. Monitoring for results

The previous chapter provided guidance on how to plan for monitoring and evaluation including developing an M&E framework and effectively addressing other planning needs, such as securing resources and capacities for implementing monitoring and evaluation activities. This chapter provides step-by-step guidance on how to implement planned monitoring activities. It also presents useful tools and tips for effective monitoring and use of monitoring evidence in decision-making.

The chapter follows the general steps of implementation of monitoring:

  1. Have a clear common understanding of the following:
    1. The monitoring policies applicable to the respective monitoring entity
    2. Relevant roles and responsibilities and how they are applied in monitoring for both outcomes and outputs, and management entities in projects and programmes
    3. Commonly used monitoring tools and approaches
  2. Reinforce and elaborate the initial monitoring framework (described in Chapter 3) with detailed information needed to implement monitoring actions. This includes finalizing reference points for periodic monitoring such as indicators, baselines, risks, and annual targets, and locking them in monitoring information systems.
  3. Implement monitoring actions: organize, plan and implement monitoring actions, using selected tools for collection and analysis of data and reporting.
  4. Use monitoring data objectively for management action and decision-making.

These steps are depicted in Figure 13.

There is no blueprint for monitoring that can be applied to all monitoring situations. The monitoring approach an organization uses in a given situation—for example, in a country, regional or global programme, or in a development project—depends on many factors. They include corporate accountability requirements (both organizational and developmental), and the complexity, scope and context of the results being pursued. The substance of monitoring and approaches used by organizations such as UNDP, its sub-units, programmes and projects depend to a great extent on corporate monitoring policies. This chapter presents these elements in the operational context of UNDP.

Tip: Monitoring is part of programme and project management not an addition to it. Monitoring should not be regarded as merely a management or reporting requirement. Rather, it should be regarded as an opportunity to:

  • Engage beneficiaries so that they feel ownership of results being achieved and are motivated to sustain them.
  • Demonstrate achievement of development results, how they benefit the intended people, and leverage support of the beneficiaries and other stakeholders to address any operational challenges faced.
Nurture an inclusive and purposeful monitoring culture to make implementation and management effective and interesting as well as to ease gathering of data and evidence objectively to back achievements and make decisions.