Monitoring and evaluation of performance

Performance is an important concept in RBM. It means the progress towards the different results. This means that monitoring isn’t restricted to verifying whether the activities take place according to planning. The plan may have to be modified, but the most important thing is to know whether the results are or will be achieved (in time). The idea behind tracking the performance through monitoring and evaluation, is to better manage the outputs and effects that are the real development results.

Compared to other approaches, RBM puts the emphasis on the effects or intermediate results (purpose of the project), instead of on the immediate results or outputs (or even activities).

However when you develop your monitoring system, in the RBM approach it is important to work on a participatory basis. In order to avoid that you develop a system that is too complex and cumbersome, you need to make sure that the monitoring system:

  • Does not weigh too heavily on the available resources
  • Does not take too much time and effort (or else people will skip monitoring and reporting altogether)
  • Involves as many people as possible, not only the beneficiaries but also other stakeholders to get an external view and verify (triangulate) information
  • Doesn’t use too many indicators and different sources of information (or sources that are very complex to gather). Also remember that basic statistics that are readily available in developed countries are often not available (or outdated, or unreliable) in developing countries.

The information from the monitoring system should allow you to act: to modify your planning, your activities, the distribution of resources, etc. to changes in the context and to make sure that the results will be achieved.

Similarly, the evaluation of the project’s effects should be done based on participation of the stakeholders. Any evaluator (of the organisation or external) should consult the stakeholders, including the (intended) beneficiaries of the project.

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