Key Differences Between Monitoring and Evaluation
Definition of Monitoring
Monitoring is the systematic process of observing and recording on a regular basis, the activities carried out in a project, to ensure that the activities are in line with the objectives of the enterprise.
Monitoring takes into account optimum utilization of resources, to assist the managers in rational decision making. It keeps a track on the progress and checks the quality of the project or program against set criteria and checks adherence to established standards.
The information collected in monitoring process helps analyse each aspect of the project, to gauge the efficiency and adjust inputs wherever essential.
Definition of Evaluation
Evaluation is defined as an objective and rigorous analysis of a continuing or completed project, to determine its significance, effectiveness, impact and sustainability by comparing the result with the set of standards. It is the process of passing value judgement concerning the performance level or attainment of defined objectives.
In short, evaluation is a process that critically assesses, tests and measures the design, implementation and results of the project or program, in the light of objectives. It can be conducted both qualitatively and quantitatively, to determine the difference between actual and desired outcome.
|Basis for Comparison||Monitoring||Evaluation|
|Meaning||Monitoring refers to a routine process, that examines the activities and progress of the project and also identifies bottlenecks during the process.||Evaluation is a sporadic activity that is used to draw conclusion regarding the relevance and effectiveness of the project or program.|
|Occurs at||Operational level||Business level|
|Process||Short term||Long term|
|Focuses on||Improving efficiency||Improving effectiveness|
|Conducted by||Internal Party||Internal or External Party|
The difference between monitoring and evaluation can be drawn clearly on the following premises:
By monitoring is meant a routine process, that scrutinizes the activities and progress of the project and also finds out the deviations that occur while undertaking the project. As against, evaluation is a periodical activity that makes inferences about the relevance and effectiveness of the project or program.
While monitoring is observational in nature, evaluation is judgmental.
Monitoring is an operational level activity, performed by the supervisors. On the other hand, evaluation is a business level activity performed by the managers.
Monitoring is a short-term process, that is concerned with the collection of information regarding the success of the project. Conversely, evaluation is a long-term process, which not only records the information but also assesses the outcomes and impact of the project.
Monitoring focuses on improving the overall efficiency of the project, by removing bottlenecks, while the project is under process. Unlike, evaluation stresses on improving the effectiveness of the project, by making the comparison with the established standards.
Monitoring is usually carried out by the people who are directly involved in its implementation process. In contrast, evaluation can be conducted by internal staff of the organization, i.e. managers or it can also be carried out by independent external party, who can give their impartial views on the project or program.