Monitoring and Evaluation

Reliable, comprehensive, and timely surveillance and reporting of health determinants, health status trends, health service performance, and health resources is crucial to ensuring that the goals of health programs and services are being accomplished and that the quality of health care is being continually improved. Information on program processes and outcomes must be generated, analyzed, synthesized, managed, and disseminated effectively.

Within the development community a strong and growing emphasis on producing quantifiable results has increased attention to, and interest in, monitoring and evaluation (M&E). There is much discussion about results-based planning, results frameworks, and results teams. But people are also frequently confused about what to monitor, what to evaluate, and how best to carry out both tasks.

There is a tendency to forget the importance of good, solid monitoring, which is essential for providing managers the information they need to take action and produce results. In the rush to evaluate, some organizations downplay monitoring in favor of evaluation, in order to show results. Monitoring is an often-underused management practice that can get lost between the evaluators and the planners.

In your role as a manager, you and your team need the information gained from both monitoring and evaluation to manage activities and produce results. You are likely to use your M&E skills to measure health inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes.

(Taken from LeMay, N. 2010. Leading and managing: Critical competencies for health systems strengthening. In Health systems in action: An ehandbook for leaders and managers. Cambridge: Management Sciences for Health)

Click on the links below to browse:

M&E Guidance

M&E Tools