Monitoring and evaluation - commonly known as ‘M&E’ – is a critical part of the program management and implementation cycle. It allows for adaptive management and improvement through the life of the program to support delivery of program goals and objectives. It also supports reporting and communication of the program outputs and outcomes.
M&E helps us to:
Monitoring is a process that tracks the implementation of activities. It checks that we are implementing activities according to our action plan.
Evaluation assesses the results of our project at one point in time (in short-scale projects, this would be on completion – but in longer-scale projects, it could be done periodically).
So, monitoring helps you to make sure that your activities are on track, whereas evaluation analyses project results (i.e. the successes or failures of our work). This helps you to make any necessary adjustments to your strategy and plans, and to assess the changes that you have achieved in pursuit of your objectives.