Aggregated project results deliver programme results. If projects deliver no results, we will not be able to deliver Programme EAs. It is for this reason that the project implementation or execution stage is the most critical stage in the project management cycle, as it is during this stage that planned benefits/results are delivered. By monitoring projects, we want to maximise their impact. In monitoring, the quality of the process is as important as the results.
- Are the causal relationships still valid?
- Are assumptions still holding?
- Has the ecosystem changed in any way that was not foreseen?
- What is working and why?-What is not working and why not?
- Are the critical actors in the theory of change still active?
- Going forward, what do we need to change?
Project Monitoring became policy by the ED’s memo of November 2012 contained in the Project-Based Management Policy. The mandate for project monitoring was given to the Programme Division. Monitoring is through the PAAS. Outputs monitoring is carried out every three months. Progress towards EAs/outcomes is monitored every 6 months. Project monitoring and oversight/supervision is the work of the Project Managers.
RBM puts a lot of emphasis on participation, not just during project design (like Project cycle management (PCM), logical framework analysis (LFA), but also during the execution of the project (including monitoring).
Project team leaders have PAAS authority to enter data into the monitoring system. Monitoring includes identification, tracking and response to risks and other issues affecting project implementation and achievement of project objectives. This ensures effective and efficient delivery of outputs, and achievement of planned outcomes in all activities undertaken by staff.
For projects and programmes – The Logical Framework (logframe) provides the basis for monitoring results. With the additional identification of persons or groups responsible for collecting data, and the frequency of such data collection for indicators selected, the logframe guides staff and partners in collecting and analyzing data so that actual results can be compared with planned results.
Monitoring should include an analysis of progress towards achieving the programme’s outputs (“deliverables”), as well as its contribution towards achieving the purposes and goals. Information gathered through monitoring is discussed with stakeholders at various meetings, including the sub-programme, programme and mid-term reviews.
For data collection and analysis – A management information system that ensures timely access to up-to-date and accurate programme and financial data is essential. The PAAS integrates information on programmes and financial resources, and make this information accessible to all headquarters regional and country offices.
3.3.1 Using Performance Information
Performance monitoring and evaluation provide the information needed to enhance learning and make a number of important decisions:
(a) To determine if strategic trade-offs are required – are adjustments required to:
- the Reach or Target group of the programme – can you still involve the same number and type of stakeholders?
- the Resources available – are they sufficient and of the right type?
- the Results expected – are they still realistic within the timeframe and the resources available?
(b) To strengthen the cause-effect links between activities, outputs, EAs and goals—are the planned strategies still appropriate, or should adjustments be made to improve results? This iterative approach is called adaptive management—we continuously reflect on the 3 Rs and learn during implementation and adjust the project’s implementation accordingly.
(c) To strengthen the organization’s management capacity by learning from experience.
(d) To report on programme or organizational performance to stakeholders – ministries and local governments, co-operating groups, donors, etc.
Figure 34 below shows how expected results, resources and reach must be balanced. If you want to increase the reach of the programme using the same resources, then you may have to reduce your expectations for results.
Figure 34: Balancing reach, resources and results
Figure 35 below demonstrates that continuous performance monitoring enables stakeholders to make decisions about strategies and use of resources at key points in order to improve results.
Figure 35: Continuous performance monitoring and decision making
For example, if monitoring shows that the programme/process is not producing the expected outputs, then adjustments can be made to the types of activities, the resources or the strategies, to improve the likelihood of achieving expected results.
How does RBM apply to reporting?
Reporting using the RBM approach involves:
- Describing the progress towards expected results for a specific period;
- Identifying the actual result/changes achieved during the period;
- Analyzing and explaining the difference between what was expected and what was actually achieved; and
- Identifying any changes you plan to make in the next period in order to increase the likelihood that the expected results will be achieved.
Project managers should refer back to the project logframe indicators when monitoring and evaluating performance and preparing reports. UN-Habitat’s organizational performance reports will refer back to the strategic plan EAs and indicators when assessing the outputs achieved and the organization’s progress towards its goals (see Project Implementation Report (PIR) Template in annex 8).
Internal reporting and feedback strengthens the process of identifying lessons and incorporating them into future planning. External reporting improves accountability to stakeholders and communication with partners.
Figure 36 below shows how planning, monitoring, evaluation and feedback are integral parts of the process of managing for results.
Figure 36: A simple RBM Model
Figure 36: A simple RBM Model