Monitoring and evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation allow to take preventive and corrective actions where needed, to learn from past experience and to ensure accountability towards stakeholders and the general public.
Monitoring and evaluation are vital elements of sound operational and financial management:
Monitoring provides information on progress against plans and highlights problems.
Evaluation produces evidence and helps to get a deeper understanding of the issues at hand as well as to identify opportunities for improvement.
We monitor the interventions we fund during their lifecycle.
The monitoring process implies that we regularly check how an intervention is being implemented in order to identify potential problems and take corrective action in due time. This entails the systematic and continual collection, analysis, and use of management information to support effective decision-making.
Monitoring takes place at different levels. It is necessary within each intervention, which must have monitoring arrangements in place allowing project managers to see where they stand with regards to the implementation.
Monitoring is an internal activity of implementing partners and EU delegations and can be supported by external experts providing recommendations and contributing to lessons learned
The EU has reinforced the role and practice of evaluation in its activities to improve the evidence base of its interventions and policies and encourage a learning culture. We have an evaluation policy called 'Evaluation Matters - The evaluation policy for EU development cooperation'.
Double purpose of evaluation
- Increased effectiveness of international cooperation for development. Learning from past successes and failures helps us to improve the way we design and implement aid strategies and projects.
- More transparency and accountability towards stakeholders and the general public. Our actions are under the scrutiny of the people affected by them. It is therefore essential to confront results to initial objectives, to better assess our interventions’ performance and the way we use resources.
Types of evaluation
Strategic evaluations. They analyse EU strategies from conception to implementation at several levels: country, region, sector, and financing instruments over a longer period. The general overview they provide and their related recommendations serve as basis for the drafting of new policy and programming documents.
A five-year rolling work programme defined by the European Commission establishes the list of countries, regions, instruments or sectors of cooperation that will be object of a strategic evaluation.
Strategic evaluations are the responsibility of the central unit for evaluations and results. Evaluation reports and their follow-up are published online.
Project and programme evaluations. Evaluations at intervention level are used to assess performance, provide explanatory factors, and gather lessons learned. These are the responsibility of EU delegations or the operational unit in charge of the project or programme evaluated. Project and programme evaluations are managed with an IT system "e-Evaluation Tool & Library" or EVAL Module. The EVAL module is an interactive platform accessible to all stakeholders involved in an evaluation, including contractors.
The EU has developed and formalised a methodology for evaluating its external assistance in which priority is given to results and impacts. This page presents the methodological guidelines designed to facilitate the move towards an evaluation practice focused on programmes and strategies in EC Development Cooperation.