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Monitoring and evaluation

Understanding what works
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Monitoring and evaluation is a vital way of measuring programmes’ impact. It helps demonstrate the difference projects have made. It also highlights what works well and what doesn’t work well. Understanding this is central to improving projects so we’re better able to help communities in need.

Throughout the Research section of our website you can read programme evaluations from our funding. We want to share our evaluation learning with you, to help you plan even more effective projects. We also want you to carry out your own monitoring and evaluation.

Self-evaluation

Sometimes project self-evaluation is a requirement of our funding; in other cases we allow up to 10% of grants to be used for monitoring and evaluation. Our research highlights why it is important and the challenges that projects can face. Watch the video below to hear some of projects talk about monitoring and evaluation in their own organisations.


Motivations

The motivations for using the 10% budget allocation for monitoring and evaluation can vary. They include:

  • evidencing outputs and outcomes
  • enabling progress monitoring against KPIs (key performance indicators) and milestones
  • funding requirements.

Challenges

Monitoring and evaluation is still not evident for all projects. Understanding the main barriers can help us to better support projects with their own evaluations. Some of the challenges highlighted by projects are:

  • time commitments – especially when time could otherwise be spent on programme delivery
  • different monitoring requirements between funders
  • fear of failure and possible funding repercussions if true results are not good enough.

Cost-benefit analysis

A cost-benefit analysis is one way to evaluate the extent to which a project benefits society. It involves placing a value on additional costs and benefits which have occured as a result of the project intervention. Our guide to cost-benefit analysis explores how it can be used for well-being projects. The learning can also be used more widely.

More about the research

We commissioned EdComs to carry out a study in 2013. We wanted to find out how groups use the 10 per cent of funding we allow for monitoring and evaluation.

Our Well-being evaluation has also explored in more detail a methodology for evaluating this area. You can find out more on our dedicated Evaluation Methodology page.

Publications

Monitoring and evaluation policy report

Well-being: Guide to cost-benefit analysis

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