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Monitoring in Public Health
Monitoring and EvaluationNotes for students

Types of Monitoring in Project Management in Public Health

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Monitoring is the systematic process of collecting, analyzing, and using the information to track a program’s progress toward its objectives and to guide management decisions. Monitoring is done to ensure that all the people who need to know about an intervention are properly informed, and so that decisions can be taken in a timely manner. There are many different types of monitoring, including financial monitoring, process monitoring and impact monitoring.

Why monitoring is important in Public Health

  • It provides the only consolidated( Strong) source of information showcasing project progress;
  • It allows actors to learn from each other’s experiences, building on expertise and knowledge;
  • It often generates (written) reports that contribute to transparency and accountability, and allows for lessons to be shared more easily;
  • It reveals mistakes and offers paths for learning and improvements;
  • It provides a basis for questioning and testing assumptions;
  • It provides a means for agencies seeking to learn from their experiences and to incorporate them into policy and practice;
  • It provides a way to assess the crucial link between implementers and beneficiaries on the ground and decision-makers;

Why Project Monitoring?

  • To assess the project results: To know how the objectives are being met and the desired changes are being met.
  • To improve process planning: It helps adapt to better contextual and risk factors that affect the research process, like social and power dynamics.
  • To promote learning: It will help you learn how various approaches to participation influence the outcomes.
  • To understand stakeholder’s perspectives: Through direct participation in the process of monitoring  learn about the people who are involved in the project. Understand their values and views, as well as design methods to resolve conflicting views and interests.

Types of Monitoring

  • Informal monitoring:  
    • This is done by personal contact, field visit, informal meeting, informal visits, telephone conversation and correspondences
  • Formal monitoring: 
    • The formal monitoring system is called project control. Formal monitoring needs the careful  and systematic planning

process monitoring:

  • Often referred to as ‘activity monitoring.’ Process monitoring is implemented during the initial stages of a project 
  • Routine data is collected and analyzed in order to establish whether the project tasks and activities are leading towards the intended project results
  • Measures the inputs, activities and outputs
  • Process monitoring answers the questions “what has been done so far, where, when and how has it been done?”

Compliance Monitoring

  • Just as the name suggests, the purpose of compliance monitoring is to ensure compliance with donor regulations, grant, contract requirements, local governmental regulations and laws, ethical standards, and most importantly compliance with the expected results of the project.
  • The need for compliance monitoring could arise at any stage of the project life cycle.

Context Monitoring

  • Context monitoring is often called ‘situation monitoring.’ 
  • It tracks the overall setting in which the project operates. 
  • Context monitoring helps us identify and measure risks, assumptions, or any unexpected situations that may arise within the institutional, political, financial, and policy context at any point during the project cycle.
  • These assumptions and risks are external factors and are not within the control of the project, however, context monitoring helps us identify these on time to influence the success or failure of a project.

Beneficiary Monitoring

  • This type of monitoring is sometimes referred to as ‘Beneficiary Contact Monitoring (BCM)’ and the need for this may arise at any stage of the project cycle
  • Its primary purpose is to track the overall perceptions of direct and indirect beneficiaries in relation to a project.
  • It includes beneficiary satisfaction or complaints with the project and its components, including their participation, treatment, access to resources, whether these are equitable, and their overall experience of change.
  • Beneficiary monitoring also tracks stakeholder complaints and feedback mechanism.

Financial monitoring:

  • The main purpose of financial monitoring is to measure financial efficiency within a project.
  • It tracks the real expenditure involved in a project in comparison to the allocated budget and helps the project team to form strategies to maximize outputs with minimal inputs.
  • This is often conducted in combination with ‘process’ and ‘compliance’ monitoring and is crucial for accountability and reporting purposes.

Organizational Monitoring

  • As the name suggests, organizational monitoring tracks institutional development, communication, collaboration, sustainability, and capacity building within an organization and with its partners and stakeholders in relation to project implementation.

Results Monitoring

  • This is where monitoring Interlinks with evaluation.
  • It gathers data to demonstrate a project’s overall effects and impacts on the target population.
  • It helps the project team to determine if the project is on the right track towards its intended results and whether there may be any unintended impacts.

What can be learned about specific interventions from monitoring?

  • Are the proposed activities being carried out in the manner outlined? Why/ why not?
  • What services are provided, to whom, when, how often, for how long, in what context?
  • Are services accessible? Is the quality adequate?  Is the target population being reached?
  • Have there been any unforeseen consequences as a result of the activities?
  • Are activities leading to expected results?

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