Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved the Learning Outcomes by answering these questions.
Which of the following statements are false? In each case explain why it is incorrect.
- Collecting data is an important part of monitoring.
- Monitoring is an activity that should be done occasionally during a project’s lifetime.
- Monitoring will help you decide if any corrective action is needed.
- Evaluation can answer questions about project process, outcomes and impacts.
- Evaluation should always be left to the end of a project so that final outcomes are known.
2 is false. Monitoring should be a continuous process, not just an occasional one.
5 is false. Evaluation could, and probably should, be done at the end of a project but it also important to evaluate at other times.
Give three reasons for incorporating plans for M&E during the early stages of a project’s development.
Three possible reasons for incorporating plans for M&E during the early stages of a project’s development are:
- so that progress can be checked at key stages of the project to ensure that plans are being followed, budgets spent appropriately and targets on track to be met
- so that the impacts of the project can be assessed to find out if the project has been effective and provided value for money
- to identify any problems or failures and learn from them so that the next project does not make the same mistakes.
You may have thought of other reasons.
Explain why an indicator based on quantitative data will be more useful than an indicator based on qualitative data. Use examples of indicators in your answer and describe how you might measure them.
For an indicator to be a useful tool for assessing a situation, it has to be something that can be seen, counted or measured. It also should be precisely defined. Quantitative data is factual information based on measurement so that would meet the requirements for an indicator. For example, the number of people using a latrine could be counted by observation on a small scale or, on a larger scale, could be measured by asking people about their habits using a questionnaire or in interviews. For the survey method, it would be important to specify exactly what type of latrine was being used.
Qualitative data would be much harder to use as an indicator because it is not so easy to measure. For example, you could gather qualitative data about the reasons why people did or did not use the latrine. This could be useful information but would not be a helpful indicator because it would not produce simple numerical answers.