Monitoring & Evaluation “If you can't prove it then it didn’t happen!”

As you can see how you collect and manage data can be extremely important.

Most funders require you to track (monitor) how you have used funding and assess (evaluate) the impact of this against the promises made within your initial funding application. Being able to prove that you can use funding well is also important to building a strong track record and securing other funds in the future.

Often funders will also require that the final evaluation of the impact of an investment is done by an external specialist as this helps eliminate any potential bias in the findings. Even where this isn't a contractual requirement if resources allow it’s often a good idea.

There are three key areas monitoring and evaluation should consider:

If you can't effectively evaluate if your activity is helping you reach your goals and if what you are doing on a day-to-day basis is effective, it can be extremely hard to identify what is working and what isn't and take the right management decisions.

Data comes in many forms and it's important to identify the type of data you want and how this is to be collected and analysed before you take action as it's often impossible to do this afterwards.

Qualitative i.e. information that cannot be counted, measured or easily expressed using numbers. This often takes the form of images, interviews or case studies.

Quantitative i.e. statistics, counts or numbers where each data set has a unique numerical value. These Collecting, storing and making sense of this information can be a huge challenge and all too often organisations press on with delivering services and making a difference without adequate planning for how this will be achieved. Unfortunately, this can lead to problems such as

  • Ineffective or ill-informed operational decision-making
  • Ineffective use of resources
  • Mission drift
  • The absence of vital evidence of your impact for use in future funding bids,
  • The inability to give data to funders, commissioners and partners which you are legally contracted to provide.

At Heaward Solutions, we have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to help you navigate this challenging area. We can:

  • Help you plan how to monitor and evaluate your organisation's work or a specific project
  • Undertake independent external evaluations of your work at key stages of a project

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