Monitoring and Evaluation
At IPE, we believe that monitoring is the essential but missing strand of most development projects today. Although most projects are well conceived, well designed and even well rolled out, their success is often not at the levels envisaged. This is due to the absence of a regular monitoring system. Similarly evaluation of a programme at proper interval gives an idea about how far the objectives set under the programme has been achieved and/or are likely to be achieved.
IPE’s Monitoring and Evaluation Practice helps to keep projects on track, draw lessons from implementation and feed into future programme design. For a list of our projects in this practice area, please click here.
At IPE we believe that Monitoring and evaluation forms part of the Performance Management Framework and encompasses setting performance indicators, measuring them over time, evaluating them periodically and finally making course corrections as needed (see below):
This is integrated with the Results Chain Model where we are able to ascertain the role of various inputs into the outputs, outcomes and finally impacts
The key to our success in M&E lies in deep sector and programme understanding, knowledge and experience of setting up successful monitoring systems and a keen eye to identify lessons and areas of improvements. We have developed several monitoring tools and helped in identifying the bottlenecks in current implementation and framed feasible course correction recommendations for the future. Some of the areas where we have worked are:
Benefit monitoring and evaluation
Under this, we have developed a baseline of benefits and services being provided to population groups and put in place a monitoring system for measuring progress against these indicators over time. This would finally culminate into an evaluation study to assess the improvements over baseline and document lessons for feeding into future programme design.
This is a specialized review in which a project that is midway towards completion is reviewed to assess the likelihood of it achieving the intended outcomes and suggestions for mid-course correction. We believe that such studies need to develop an appreciation of the changing context, political and ground realities and technological feasibility. Our recommendations hence are pragmatic, proactive and designed to be productive.
Impact Assessment Studies
These are the End of Project Reviews where the focus is on identifying the impact that the project has made on the people / area which it served. The challenge in many of these (intangible) capacity building and sector projects is the question of attribution. For this, we follow the Plausible Association based Ripple Model (refer box alongside) to assess the impact of the interventions.
We have successfully carried out several impact assessment of projects including the Andhra Pradesh Urban Services for the Poor (APUSP), Kolkata Environmental Improvement Project (KEIP), Strengthening Rural Decentralisation Programme in West Bengal and several other similar programmes.
We believe that our experience of designing and implementing projects gives us the added insights to impact assessment studies and helps partner agencies ensure that future efforts are properly channelized.
We have also carried out Annual Reviews of projects as well as special reviews in almost all the sectors of our experience. In particular, our work for Public Expenditure Tracking Study (PETS) for drugs, mid-day meal and other public benefit schemes have been well appreciated by all concerned. They provide conclusive insights into systemic weaknesses that are hampering the proper delivery of services and makes practical recommendations for their remedy.
Management Information Systems
We have also extended our forte from project evaluations to helping departments and governments improve their own monitoring systems. This is especially so in the health, nutrition and urban sectors. We have helped the government identify indicators, develop data collection mechanisms and set up an executive management reporting system for Health and Urban MIS in several states.
Innovative ways of monitoring
At IPE, one of our principles is innovation and in line with this, we have developed a unique model of monitoring which is useful for the government departments as an executive oversight of performance. The District Dashboard Monitoring for health performance in West Bengal is a trendsetter in its own right making data come alive through a colour coded representation and being used to track district and block performance and identify areas of improvement (refer box alongside
The Dashboard monitoring tool has been appreciated in all forums at state and national level and is being considered for replication in other states / departments.
Monitoring & Evaluation Framework
We set up monitoring and evaluation frameworks for projects and programmes building in the five principles laid down by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD i.e.:
RELEVANCE – The extent to which a development intervention conforms to the needs and priorities of the beneficiaries, and the policies of the recipient organisation.
EFFECTIVENESS – A measure of the extent to which a development intervention has achieved its objectives, taking their relative importance into account.
EFFICIENCY – Comparing the outputs against the inputs illustrating the relation between means and ends.
IMPACT - The totality of the effects of a development intervention, positive and negative, intended and unintended.
SUSTAINABILITY – The extent to which the positive effects of the intervention continue after the external assistance has come to an end.
In addition, we identify these principles at the various levels of operations viz.:
- POLICY level i.e. the extent to which changes in policy align to these principles
- PRACTICE level i.e. the adoption of practices in the organization, leading to a sustainable change in environment
- PROGRAMME Level i.e. the changes which have occurred due to the programme; and
- IMPACT Level i.e. how these principles would fit into the overall ‘impact’ of the intervention.
User Satisfaction Surveys
Apart from the supplier side monitoring, we believe that beneficiary perception is an equally important to assess the complete performance of the scheme / plan. Hence, we help by conducting sample surveys, studies and perception mapping of beneficiaries to complement and provide insights into the programme / department’s functioning.