RUNNING HEAD: INTERNATIONAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT: PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Monitoring and evaluation at times fails to facilitate appropriate decision making
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Monitoring and evaluation at times fails to facilitate appropriate decision making
Developmental practices include monitoring and evaluation processes. The international development process includes managerial procedures, such as evaluation and monitoring. Sometimes monitoring and evaluation fail to facilitate proper decision making because of weak data basis in evaluation, no time to time monitoring and factors like public and politics. Tools and approaches of planning, monitoring and evaluation are used by development practitioners daily to meet needs and gain knowledge. Monitoring helps in efficiency and effective outcomes and unassisted evaluations and approaches are not effective for the organisations (Kuhun and Stahl, 2003). When not assisted properly monitoring and evaluations will be non-reliable. A proper organisational monitoring has to be determined and defined to conclude authentic and reliable evaluation reports when required. Improper ways will be considered as failed monitoring and evaluations and bad decisions will be made because of evaluation and monitoring.
For the assessment of merit and quality in an organisation, monitoring and evaluation are two elements, both monitoring and evaluation can assess the performance and impact in an organisation. Evaluations help in reshaping of policies, strategies and objectives in a project. Projects and program activities do not necessarily assure and focuses on the evaluation; they are not given proper attention. Organisations conduct yearly based evaluation for some projects and programmes at the end of projects it becomes difficult to get an evaluation done, and it also does not help the programmes. There are tools used for international development practices such as Results-based management. This strategy is about focusing on decision making and outcomes of a strategy in management. RBM affects individuals who are in developmental practices. An effective RBM has to be two-sided, sometimes when a partner is asked for an annual assessment, the second partner calls it ‘our' rather than using ‘the plan'. There has to be a second partner for an effective RBM. Another challenge is that evaluations cannot be maintained consistently. The number of evaluations is increasing, but their quality and use cannot be identified.
It is not necessary that all of the evaluations are of use or can be used. According to a review by the World Bank policy report on evaluations showed that 31 per cent of reports were never downloaded and studied (Doemeland and Trevino, 2014). The data was not utilized by the public and organisations.
There is a specific context in which evaluation occurs, and it is sometimes influenced by forces like politic, history, social and economic. Evaluation is deeply connected with the processes of accountability. Accountability culture exists in the public sector institutions, policies and programs (Chouinard, 2013). Accountability is the process of checking on the on-going processes and systems.
With the passage of time importance of monitoring and evaluation systems has increased, but there are no as such systems to evaluate and monitor. In management systems and organisational performances, monitoring and evaluation play an important role in the development and goal achievement. Evaluation and monitoring are those tools which ensure international development effectiveness (López and Hicks, 2015). International development can be referred to as all of the socio-economic programs running in developing countries which are being funded by agencies or by international non-governmental organisations (Bamberger, 2000).
For developmental projects, various analysis pathways are developed, and one of the analysis is Participatory Impact Pathways Analysis. This has been developed for planning, monitoring and evaluation and this analysis allows others to define project-related theories and approaches (Cullen, and Coryn, 2011). Stakeholders are given workshops so that they would be able to open up to learn about organisational evaluations and monitoring. These workshops are to raise various hypothesis on outcomes and activities. Participatory Evaluation is an emerging term which means the approaches in evaluation which involves the participation of staff and the participant on decision making and planning. It is also considered as the working of two professionally connected members.
There are multiple forms of evaluation and some of them are i.e., Democratic evaluation, developmental evaluation, empowerment evaluation, responsive evaluation, and utilization-focused evaluation. Democratic evaluation is linked with the citizens that they have the right to know to make evaluation more useful and productive. In developmental evaluation, the elevator becomes a team member for designing, whose role is to help in monitoring the procedures and outcomes in an environment where constant feedback is given, and change occurs. Empowerment evaluation is the one which helps stakeholders to becomes empowered by evaluation and self-reflection. Responsive evaluation is the one in which programs are improved by making elevators and stakeholders work together. The last one utilization-focused evaluation which solely believes in merit and considers merit-based evaluations like the ones which are reliable and can be useful (Cullen, and Coryn, 2011).
Monitoring is a process related to planning. Monitoring and evaluation system mostly fails in decision making, whether it is for organisations or the employees. In every organisation for quality work and positive results, a proper feedback matter. Feedback is the process in which gives a reaction to any performance of a task done by a person. Feedback can be considered as the collection of views about the quality and quantity of work. In the development sector, feedback is systems have emerged. Perceptions and interests of people are taken into consideration. Nowadays, it is considered as a revolutionary step. Feedback systems have helped to generate new quantitative data with the help of taking processes o participation. Social accountability is linked to governance or good governance. World banks have introduced tools for feedback like citizen cards and scorecards. Quantitative summaries are generated which are used as tools for accountability to deliver services to citizens. When you supply material goods in the markets, then customers become the main roles in defining your quality and your work. Customers need to be satisfied with the quality services and good quality products. CITATION Placeholder1 \t \l 1033 (Barnett, et al., 2010).
Donor agencies donate and assist the organisation in terms of finance. With the time passage pressures from these agencies has increased because of their demand for accountability and value of money with the help of evaluation. Such demands in capacity development in the development organisations have increased evaluation capacity. Making changes and improvements in the evaluation capacitates are difficult to be presented especially organisations in the developing countries. They lack resources, money and capacity more importantly time. Studies related to the evaluation are mostly assisted (financially) by the donor and other agencies. International development is challenged by the varying organisational structures and policies which results in the evaluation. Monitoring and evaluation highlights the change and its direction.
Participation of stakeholders and evaluators in achieving organisational targets is important. Stakeholders have to make proper strategies and their mission to achieve certain targets. Non-governmental organisations and EU, both have some commonalities like objectives of finance and ideology matches the resources being provided by the donor agencies. Problem is that both lack the implementation of proper monitoring and evaluation policies. There is no proper planning of activity implementation to achieve the objectives (Ketola, 2016). Evaluation capacity building needs to be implemented and introduced in a way that it will be effective for organisations and stakeholders. Organisations fail to answer the reasons vulnerability of the institutions and organisations. For such organisations, it is important to introduce ECD to be efficient. ECD requires commitments which are long-term and agrees to focus on pieces of training and workshops for capacity building of the staff on an individual basis.
In last decades practices if an evaluation has changed in development because of scientific and bureaucratic evaluation procedures. Many of evaluations and monitoring process and procedure are affected by pressures from political and public sectors (Shah, 2014). Evaluation and implementation are not always an easier task when it comes to implementing in organisations. The factors which hinder implementation are poor time management, cultural barriers, conservativism, resources limitations and power-sharing issues and rigidity towards new idea sharing and decision making. Decision making is the identification and selection of that solution which is suitable for the problem, and it demands a reliable solution. Decision making in an organisation depends upon the decision-makers, and those are in power. Organisational decision making depends on the past experiences, which can be influential on future decision makings.
Monitoring and evaluation are two on-going processes which with time to time collects the data on particular factors and indicators which provides the required interventions and indications to stakeholders and management. These can help in the progress and objective achievement of organisations (Otieno, 2000). Weaker monitoring systems cannot be evaluated very easily. We lack a piece of reliable and clear project information which would aid future work, but because initial baseline data is not reliable, and it is weaker (Riddell 2014).
Evaluations and monitoring sometimes do not entertain good decision making. They fail to facilitate in a way that there is are proper planning and management efforts so that there will be proper decision making. Where is there is no proper decision-making organisations fail to achieve their goals and objectives? Evaluation and monitoring procedures are influenced by donor agencies, public and political factors. Sometimes data is not valid, which can be monitored in a way that a proper decision would be made to proceed. Elevators need to investigate and conduct properly or not influence diction making. For a strong and firmed decision-making organisation have to follow the theory of change. Theory of change will help in the identification of potentials in evaluation to avoid changes in decisions again and again. Validity in baseline has to be assured otherwise, changes in decisions would leave an impact on the strategies and planning of organisations. Program theory can be helpful in the provision of decision making about the aspect of program performances and in what ways measurements and evaluations have to be done. This can be done by monitoring and in0-depth evaluations to answer questions for cause and effect by assisting improvements in programs and accountability assistance.
Pre-program monitoring of conditions like social and economic has to be identified to adjust before making any change in decisions. A problem has to be identified so that the measurement of the problem can be measured. Defined strategies and planning’s in organisations results if efficiency and better outcomes. Measurement in a sense, whether that particular problem has been tackled or it is increasing no matter how much strategies you are applying. The decision about interventions has to be decided for improvements and proper monitoring and evaluation. Overall program theory in monitoring and evaluation should be developed in organisations and international development to minimize inconsistent and continuous changes in decisions. Carrying out a correct monitoring and evaluation would ensure and will give a successful result for all projects.
The planning process has to be reviewed periodically and thoroughly according to market dynamics and market demands. Development actors and donor agents have to decide defined roles and responsibilities, and there should be a clear owner from the very beginning of programs. Changes in roles and responsibilities would impact the monitoring and evaluation procedures, and this is directly going to affect the decisions. When targets being expected are not achieved, then it means that there need changes in strategic planning to achieve targets and overcome the challenges. A strategy map development is necessary for the facilitation of monitoring and evaluation processes.
Accountability can influence and impact the decisions because data is not carried in scientific ways, and evaluations are not conducted properly to compile a report and finalize an answer. Political and socio-economic factors impact monitoring and evaluation by limiting the resources, money and time. Chances of finalizing a proper data for the projects and programs get decreased. Donor agencies and partners or stakeholders can overcome these by not restricting evaluators and monitoring team; rather they should be provided with proper and full support so that the procedures could be carried out. Communication gap will result in bad decision making, it is important to work on communication gaps in monitoring and evaluations for effective decision making. Every project requires unique and suitable mechanism, and an efficient planning will lead in positive outcomes and efficiency in decision making.
Bamberger, M. (2000). The evaluation of international development programs: A view from the front. American Journal of Evaluation, 21(1), 95–102.
Chouinard, J.A., 2013. The case for participatory evaluation in an era of accountability. American Journal of Evaluation, 34(2), pp.237-253.
Cullen, A. and Coryn, C.L., 2011. Forms and functions of participatory evaluation in international development: A review of the empirical and theoretical literature. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 7(16), pp.32-47.
Doemeland, D. and Trevino, J., 2014. Policy Research Working Paper 6851. Policy.
Guerra-López, I. and Hicks, K., 2015. The participatory design of a performance-oriented monitoring and evaluation system in an international development environment. Evaluation and program planning, 48, pp.21-30.
Jacobs, A., Barnett, C. and Ponsford, R., 2010. Three approaches to monitoring: Feedback systems, participatory monitoring and evaluation and logical frameworks. IDS Bulletin, 41(6), pp.36-44
Ketola, M., 2016. Understanding NGO strategies to engage with donor-funded development projects: Reconciling and differentiating objectives. The European Journal of Development Research, 28(3), pp.479-494.
Kuhn, M.R. and Stahl, S.A., 2003. Fluency: A review of developmental and remedial practices. Journal of educational psychology, 95(1), p.3.
Otieno, F.A.O., 2000, November. The roles of monitoring and evaluation in projects. In 2nd International Conference on Construction in Developing Countries: Challenges facing the construction industry in developing countries (pp. 15-17).
Riddell, R.C., 2014. Does foreign aid really work? An updated assessment. An Updated Assessment (March 1, 2014). Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper, (33).
Shah, R., 2014. Assessing the ‘true impact’of development assistance in the G aza S trip and T okelau:‘M ost S ignificant C hange’as an evaluation technique. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 55(3), pp.262-276.
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