Core Concepts - Aims of Monitoring and Evaluation
The common purpose of monitoring and evaluating electoral assistance projects is to track progress and analyse results. The two processes themselves are distinct. Monitoring is ongoing, and should be as participatory and continuous as possible. Evaluation is a time-bound activity.
Data and lessons learned from both monitoring and evaluation should be generated during and after the completion of every electoral project, and shared widely within and outside of UNDP. They can be used to correct problems, refine design and development processes, and form the basis of future assistance (see: The Longer Term Impact of UNDP Electoral Assistance: Lessons Learned).
Some of the challenges that may be encountered in monitoring and evaluation—and anticipated in advance—include recording, storing, and analysing large amounts of information, and keeping information flowing from one level to another among staff engaged in managing different interventions. Another challenge involves the lack of indicators for electoral processes.
For electoral assistance, UNDP monitoring and evaluation processes need to complement those of the EMB, rather than providing an opportunity for the EMB to avoid having to go through a process of self-analysis.
The scope of monitoring and evaluation should be defined in the programme document, with associated budgets, staffing and mechanisms for execution. The Prince2 project management methodology adopted by UNDP has a specific learning phase called “Closing a project” to document lessons learned. In the ATLAS system, it is possible to upload any relevant monitoring and evaluation documentation; the project management module should contain detailed monitoring data entered throughout the implementation of the project.