With Keystone Accountability, we recently worked for a funder who was relatively new to monitoring / evaluation / learning. We created for them a ‘primer’ to introduce some of the key concepts a ‘primer’ to introduce some of the key concepts, and are publishing it because we feel, and hope, that the material is useful for a wider audience of funders and implementers.
It is designed to explain what monitoring is, and what evaluation is, and how they differ. We structured our thinking into a four-level framework. This simply splits out the various questions about monitoring and evaluation (note that, as the document explains, monitoring and evaluation are two completely different things, even though they are often conflated):
- Level 1: dimensions of the grant; inputs (such as grant size) and grantee activities
- Level 2: tracking changes around the grantee, e.g., increase in number of jobs, change in grantee partner revenue, number of workshops run
- Level 3: evaluating grantees: i.e., establishing what of those changes result from (i.e., are attributable to) the grantee partner
- Level 4: evaluating a funder: i.e., establishing what of those changes result from (i.e., are attributable) to the funder
We present these four levels as a ladder, because the issues at Level 1 are simpler than those at Level 2, and so on, both in terms of the types of data / analysis needed and the conceptual complexity.