Monitoring and evaluation: is this the perfect combination to meet the needs of decision-makers?
Dear EvalForward Members,
I was lucky enough to work at the Benin Evaluation Office from 2015 to 2021, and in the last few months I have been involved in monitoring government projects, programmes and reforms.
Based on my experience, although monitoring and evaluation are closely related, it seems that monitoring data supported by a good statistical system is better to meet the requirements of policymakers, first and foremost because it allows them to make decisions promptly and in real time. Evaluation is essential for learning from our performance and from our mistakes in managing public interventions. It is also useful for research and scientific progress because of the wealth of empirical knowledge emerging from evaluative studies. However, in short, monitoring is the most appropriate tool to help make quick evidence-informed decisions, especially in an emergency.
I have further reflected on these issues in the case of Benin in this blog.
What is your experience and opinion on this subject?
- Do decision-makers in your countries use monitoring and statistical data or do they rely on evaluation?
- What benefit do they – the decision-makers – really see in evaluation?
- How should evaluation evolve to be more responsive to the needs of decision-makers – for example, on reporting times?
Thank you in advance,
Head of Monitoring and Evaluation
Presidency of the Republic of Benin