Monitoring and Evaluation Quick Reference

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Monitoring and Evaluation
                             Quick Reference
     Extracts from the Programme Policy and Procedure Manual
                          Revised May 2005

CHAPTER 5. MONITORING AND EVALUATION.............................................................................................3
   SECTION 1. KEY CONCEPTUAL ISSUES ......................................................................................................................3
     Situating monitoring and evaluation as oversight mechanisms ...........................................................................3
     Evaluation criteria ...............................................................................................................................................5
     Purpose of monitoring and evaluation.................................................................................................................7
   SECTION 2. SITUATING EVALUATIVE ACTIVITIES IN THE PROGRAMME PROCESS .....................................................9
     Monitoring and Evaluation in Emergencies ........................................................................................................9
   SECTION 3. MONITORING AND EVALUATION RESPONSIBILITIES IN UNICEF..........................................................11
     Integrated Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Plan (IMEP) ........................................................................11
     Quality standards...............................................................................................................................................12
     Management of monitoring and evaluation resources.......................................................................................13
     Disclosure ..........................................................................................................................................................14
     Management of effective learning ......................................................................................................................14
   PQAA CHECKLIST  MONITORING AND EVALUATION ............................................................................................16
   REFERENCES AND RECOMMENDED READING  MONITORING AND EVALUATION ....................................................16
RELATED PPPM REFERENCES ..........................................................................................................................17
       Chapter 4, Section 1. Annual Programme Review .............................................................................................17
       Chapter 4, Section 1. Mid-Term Review (MTR) and Country Programme Evaluations (CPE).........................21
       Chapter 4, Section 1. Programme/project evaluations ......................................................................................25
       Chapter 4, Section 1. Thematic evaluations.......................................................................................................25
       Chapter 6, Section 6. Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Plan (IMEP) ......................................................27

       ADDITIONAL REFERENCES
       Report on the Evaluation Function in the Context of the Medium-Term Strategic Plan

       UNEG Norms for Evaluation in the UN System

       UNEG Standards for Evaluation in the UN System

       Programme Evaluation Standards

       UNICEF Evaluation Report Standards

       Children Participating in Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) -- Ethics and Your
       Responsibilities as Manager - Evaluation Technical Notes 1

       UNICEF Standards for preparing the Terms of Reference  Evaluation Technicate Notes 2

       Writing a Good Executive Summary  Evaluation Technical Notes 3


      Revised July 23, 2005
      Rema Venu, Evaluation Office, NYHQ                                            1
Chapter 5. MONITORING AND EVALUATION
1. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) are integral and individually distinct parts of programme
preparation and implementation. They are critical tools for forward-looking strategic positioning,
organisational learning and for sound management.

2. This chapter provides an overview of key concepts, and details the monitoring and evaluation
responsibilities of Country Offices, Regional Offices and others. While this and preceding
chapters focus on basic description of monitoring and evaluation activities that CO are expected
to undertake, more detailed explanation on practical aspects of managing monitoring and
evaluation activities can be found in the UNICEF Monitoring and Evaluation Training Resource
as well as in the series Evaluation Technical Notes.


                            Section 1. Key Conceptual Issues
3. As a basis for understanding monitoring and evaluation responsibilities in programming, this
section provides an overview of general concepts, clarifies definitions and explains UNICEF's
position on the current evolution of concepts, as necessary.

Situating monitoring and evaluation as oversight mechanisms

4. Both monitoring and evaluation are meant to influence decision-making, including decisions to
improve, reorient or discontinue the evaluated intervention or policy; decisions about wider
organisational strategies or management structures; and decisions by national and international
policy makers and funding agencies.

5. Inspection, audit, monitoring, evaluation and research functions are understood as different
oversight activities situated along a scale (see Figure 5.1). At one extreme, inspection can best
be understood as a control function. At the other extreme, research is meant to generate
knowledge. Country Programme performance monitoring and evaluation are situated in the
middle. While all activities represented in Diagram 5.1 are inter-related, it is also important to
see the distinctions.

Monitoring

6. There are two kinds of Monitoring:
    Situation monitoring measures change in a condition or a set of conditions or lack of
      change. Monitoring the situation of children and women is necessary when trying to draw
      conclusions about the impact of programmes or policies. It also includes monitoring of the
      wider context, such as early warning monitoring, or monitoring of socio-economic trends
      and the country's wider policy, economic or institutional context.
    Performance monitoring measures progress in achieving specific results in relation to an
      implementation plan, whether for programmes, strategies, or activities.




                                                 3
                                       Figure 5.1 Oversight activities




                                             Line Accountability


Evaluation

7. Evaluation is an exercise that attempts to determine as systematically and objectively as
possible the worth or significance of an intervention, strategy or policy. The appraisal of worth
or significance is guided by key criteria discussed below. Evaluation findings should be credible,
and be able to influence decision-making by programme partners on the basis of lessons learned.
For the evaluation process to be `objective', it needs to achieve a balanced analysis, recognise
bias and reconcile perspectives of different stakeholders (including primary stakeholders)
through the use of different sources and methods.

8. An evaluation report should include the following:
    Findings factual statements that include description and measurement;
    Conclusions  corresponding to the synthesis and analysis of findings;
    Recommendations what should be done, in the future and in a specific situation; and,
       where possible,
    Lessons learned  corresponding to conclusions that can be generalised beyond the
       specific case, including lessons that are of broad relevance within the country, regionally,
       or globally to UNICEF or the international community. Lessons can include generalised
       conclusions about causal relations (what happens) and generalised normative conclusions
       (how an intervention should be carried out). Lessons can also be generated through
       other, less formal evaluative activities.

9. It is important to note that many reviews are in effect evaluations, providing an assessment of
worth or significance, using evaluation criteria and yielding recommendations and lessons. An
example of this is the Mid-Term Review of the UNICEF-supported Country Programme.


                                                      4
Audits

10. Audits generally assess the soundness, adequacy and application of systems, procedures and
related internal controls. Audits encompass compliance of resource transactions, analysis of the
operational efficiency and economy with which resources are used and the analysis of the
management of programmes and programme activities. See CF/EXD/2005-004 for the Charter of
Authorities and Responsibilities of the Office of Internal Audit, and E/ICEF/2003/AB/L.11 on
Internal Audit activities)

11. At country level, Programme Audits may identify the major internal and external risks to the
achievement of the programme objectives, and weigh the effectiveness of the actions taken by
the UNICEF Representative and CMT to manage those risks and maximise programme
achievements. Thus they may overlap somewhat with evaluation. However they do not generally
examine the relevance or impact of a programme. A Programme Management Audit Self-
Assessment Tool is contained in Chapter 6.

Research and studies

12. There is no clear separating line between research, studies and evaluations. All must meet
quality standards. Choices of scope, model, methods, process and degree of precision must be
consistent with the questions that the evaluation, study or research is intending to answer.

13. In the simplest terms, an evaluation focuses on a particular intervention or set of
interventions, and culminates in an analysis and recommendations specific to the evaluated
intervention(s). Research and studies tend to address a broader range of questions  sometimes
dealing with conditions or causal factors outside of the programme  but should still serve as a
reference for programme design. A Situation Analysis or CCA thus fall within the broader
category of "research and study".

14. "Operational" or "action-oriented" research helps to provide background information, or to
test parts of the programme design. It often takes the form of intervention trials (e.g. Approaches
to Caring for Children Orphaned by AIDS and other Vulnerable Children  Comparing six
Models of Orphans Care, South Africa 2001). See also Chapter 6, Section 16 on Piloting. While
not a substitute for evaluation, such research can be useful for improving programme design and
implementing modalities.

Evaluation criteria

15. A set of widely shared evaluation criteria should guide the appraisal of any intervention or
policy (see Figure 5.2). These are standard OECD-DAC evaluation criteria and have been
adopted by UNICEF since 1990:
    Relevance  What is the value of the intervention in relation to other primary stakeholders'
       needs, national priorities, national and international partners' policies (including the
       Millennium Development Goals, National Development Plans, UNDAF, PRS and
       SWAps), and global references such as human rights, humanitarian law and humanitarian
       principles, the CRC and CEDAW? For UNICEF, what is the relevance in relation to the



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