Monthly Archives: May 2014

Overview of Posts on Project Monitoring

There are two basic forms of external accountability for a community development agency: stewardship accountability and results accountability.

  • The agency must be accountable for how it has allocated resources; auditing is the process that demonstrates the degree to which the agency has achieved stewardship accountability.
  • The agency must also be accountable for keeping its promises as represented in project goals and objectives; evaluation is usually thought to be the appropriate process for demonstrating results accountability. But I believe that trustworthy monitoring is the more appropriate process. Evaluation is better suited for learning about what works and does not work by evaluating theory of change undergirding development projects.

When a development agency has major constraints on resources for accountability I recommend that they invest them primarily in risk-based auditing and trustworthy monitoring, and secondarily in evaluation. Regarding evaluation I recommend that the agency partner with other agencies to pool resources so that experienced evaluators can do sound evaluations related to community development theory. Evaluations that merely document achievement of project goals and objectives are inferior to trustworthy monitoring. (To explore this proposition see Michael Scriven’s description of the goal-achievement model for evaluation, goal-based evaluation, and goal-free evaluation in Evaluation Thesaurus, fourth edition, Sage Publications, 1991.)

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Principles for reviewing a project monitoring system

This post is one of four primary posts that discuss program or project monitoring for community development projects. Links to the other three posts are given below. If you search “monitoring” on this site you will find a number of other posts on different aspects of monitoring. I welcome your comments that will help me understand this important topic at a deeper level.

 

This post continues the discussion of standards and indicators. My objective is to provide specific guidelines for avoiding confusion when using these critical concepts in planning and implementing effective monitoring activities. I recommend you read the post “Understanding work standards, project objectives, and results indicators” before you read this one. Clink LINK.

 

Click Principles for Monitoring to read the PDF document on principles.

The other two companion posts are:

Introduction to project monitoring. Clink LINK.

Creating a project monitoring system. Click LINK.

Understanding work standards, project objectives, and results indicators

This post is one of four primary posts that discuss program or project monitoring for community development projects. Links to the other three posts are given below. If you search “monitoring” on this site you will find a number of other posts on different aspects of monitoring. I welcome your comments that will help me understand this important topic at a deeper level.

 

This post is one of two posts in which I examine how the terms standards, objectives and indicators, when used simplistically, create confusion and misunderstanding among practitioners and lead to ineffective monitoring. The other post is “Principles for reviewing…”

 

In this post I suggest definitions for each of the key terms. I also make a case for including defined adjustment procedures in a monitoring system so that management can respond quickly to discrepancies in performance or conditions. Click Standards Objectives Indicators to read the PDF document.

 

The primary companion posts are:

Introduction to project monitoring. LINK

Creating a project monitoring system. LINK

Principles for reviewing a project monitoring system. LINK

Creating a project monitoring system

This post is one of four primary posts that discuss program or project monitoring for community development projects. Links to the other three posts are given below. If you search “monitoring” on this site you will find a number of other posts on different aspects of monitoring. I welcome your comments that will help me understand this important topic at a deeper level.

 

A description of my approach to project monitoring is given in the post, “Introduction to Project Monitoring.” Click LINK. You may want to read that post before this one. A summary of the key points in the “Introduction…” post is given in this post on creating a project monitoring system.

 

In this post I describe the features of a monitoring system, monitoring procedure and a monitoring plan. My objective is to provide a coherent view of the different aspects of monitoring. Click Creating Monitoring System to read the PDF document.

 

The other two companion posts are:

Understanding work standards, project objectives, and results indicators. LINK

Principles for reviewing a project monitoring system. LINK

Introduction to project monitoring

This post is one of four primary posts that discuss program or project monitoring for community development projects. Links to the other three posts are given below. If you search “monitoring” on this site you will find a number of other posts on different aspects of monitoring. I welcome your comments that will help me understand this important topic at a deeper level.

 

In this post I briefly describe features of community development that have influenced my thinking about monitoring. Then I describe four areas that I recommend for emphasis in transformative monitoring. Click Introduction Project Monitoring to read the PDF document.

 

The primary companion posts are:

Understanding work standards, project objectives, and results indicators. LINK

Creating a project monitoring system. LINK

Principles for reviewing a project monitoring system. LINK

Zacchaeus Indicators of Transformational Development (TD)

© World Vision International 2006, All Rights Reserved.  No part of this document or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied, modified or adapted, without the prior written consent of the author.

The heart of transformational development strategy is in the way development workers interact with community people.  Reflection on the story of Zacchaeus, Luke 19:1-10, suggests four indicators of transformational development.

Time spent looking for people in trees

One very important indicator of transformational development is the amount of time that facilitators spend looking for people in the trees that are watching them.  Such people want to be involved, but for some reason they think they are too small, or too big, or too shy, or too old, etc.  They look on from the sidelines.  In our frantic efforts to do impossible things with unrealistic deadlines, how much time do we spend looking for the people in the trees?

Number of people called by name

Another indicator is the number of people that a development worker knows by name, and has spent time in their home.  Not to convert them, but to invite them by name to engage developmentally in their community.

Amount of sharing with the poor

Another indicator is the amount of sharing with the poor that is taking place in the community.  Transformational development is all about deepening love for God and neighbor, which has an outcome of learning what the poor need and being instrumental in seeing that it is provided for them.

Visible repentance

Another is the type of repentance that is visible as people come to know that in their condition, whatever it is, they are loved by God.