3.2 Aspects of the response to consider

A common gap in monitoring and evaluation systems is that only output data is collected. For example, it is common to collect data regarding numbers of plastic sheets and other relief items distributed without understanding how the assistance provided is actually being used or whether significant gaps are remaining. For monitoring to be useful in addressing problems in real time, the monitoring systems need to take account of the factors in section 3.2.1.

  • Achievement: What has been achieved? How do we know that the project caused the results?
  • Assessing progress against standards: Are the objectives being met? Is the level of assistance per individual or per family meeting standards (e.g. Sphere) or are significant gaps remaining? Is the project doing what the plans said it would do or are there unintended impacts?
  • Monitoring of project management: Is the project well managed? What issues or bottlenecks should be addressed?
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses: Where does the project need improvement and how can it be done? Are the original objectives still appropriate?
  • Checking effectiveness: What difference is the project making? Can the impact be improved?
  • Identifying any unintended impacts: Are there any unintended issues or negative consequences arising as a result of the response? How should these be addressed?
  • Cost effectiveness: Are the costs reasonable?

Sharing learning: Can we help to prevent similar mistakes or to encourage positive approaches?