In order to maximise your chances of success, a funding application will need to show that you know how you will be managing the monitoring and evaluation of the project. Most funders regard this as a vital aspect. Also the process of having to write about this will help you think through how the project will work in practice. This recipe shows you how to describe with credibility how you would carry out monitoring and evaluation.
Serves –any organisation that plans to tender or seek grant aid, including NGOs, voluntary and community organisations.
Preparation – up to 2 days depending on the complexity of the application.
Cooking time – 1-6 months waiting for a decision.
- outcomes (prepared earlier)
- objectives (prepared earlier)
- impact (prepared earlier)
- surveys and questionnaires
- group meetings
- records and notes
- evaluation methodology
- First, gather the ingredients you will need to monitor your project. Start with the project outcomes, objectives and the impact.
- Next, describe how you will measure progress in achieving the objectives. To do this, the project staff will need to break down the objectives into output indicators. These are statements that demonstrate project work and progress, for example, for a drop in advice service one output indicator might be “number and profile of users” and for training courses, it might be “level of satisfaction with courses”. For large grant applications you may need to state the output indicators you will use, for smaller applications it will usually be enough to briefly describe this process for monitoring.
- Then, you also should describe how you will measure progress in achieving your project outcomes. In a similar way as for objectives, the project staff will need to break down the outcomes into outcome indicators. These are statements that demonstrate changes which take place as a result of the project activity, and show progress toward meeting outcomes. For example, for a youth employability skills programme an outcome indicator might be “% of young people showing increased self-confidence” or “% taking up voluntary work”. Again, for large grant applications you may need to state which indicators you will use, for smaller applications it will usually be enough to briefly describe this process for monitoring.
- Next, work out how the monitoring information is going to be collected. You may want to use some or all of the following: surveys and questionnaires; observation; interviews; group meetings; records and notes. You should briefly explain briefly your rationale for choosing particular methods, this will depend on the size of the project and its complexity, and what is required by the funder.
- Then state say how you would interpret the monitoring data that is collected in order to judge the value of the project – that is how you would go about evaluation. To do this, choose an evaluation methodology. This could be a self-evaluation (using the organisation’s own expertise) or an external evaluation (using outside professionals); choice would depend the size, nature and complexity of the project. The costs of an external evaluator would need to be included in the projects budget. An evaluation may be formative (when a project is piloted or early on in the project’s development) or summative (to measure the final achievement of a project’s outcomes and impact.