6. Monitoring and evaluation in the management of agricultural research.
ISNAR Working Paper No. 14; Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research (ISNAR), The Hague, Netherlands, 1988, 29 pp.
This paper introduces the general topic of monitoring and evaluation, including a brief definition of terms, and the functional roles of different types of evaluation in research systems.
It provides the framework for the development of a series of materials on the comprehensive topic of monitoring and evaluation.
Research managers have become increasingly aware of the importance of installing M/E procedures into their organizations, but the successfulness of these efforts has been mixed.
Monitoring and evaluation are not new concepts. Yet research institutes have had little success in integrating effective M/E into their organizations.
Many different terms are used in the literature to describe the methods and techniques used in program evaluation. The central features of all these approaches are that they are analyses of program processes, not just program content. They have implications for improving efficiency and effectiveness. They include quantitative and qualitative techniques.
Most research programs in developing countries are responsive to larger development objectives. A comprehensive program evaluation should include, therefore, representatives from development and extension organizations, and a mechanism for bringing user feedback into the process. Program evaluations may also include representatives from planning and finance ministries, depending on the size and importance of the program.
The best key indicators of project performance are objective, quantifiable, and unambiguous. They can be verified if necessary. A good monitoring system is not more time consuming than the benefits justify, collects no superfluous data, is timely in data analysis, interpretation, and feedback, and is useful to researchers.
This paper does not attempt to cover the monitoring and evaluation procedures associated with personnel appraisal and financial and administrative management. These topics are considered in other ISNAR papers on human resource management and in general management literature.
This paper underlines the importance of integrating monitoring and evaluation into routine management practices, so that they are viewed by both those conducting evaluations and those being evaluated as tools for improving research.
In addition to the main text there is an annex which more thoroughly discusses the evaluation of ongoing research, largely through annual reviews and comprehensive program reviews.
The annex has tried to illustrate the importance of integrating monitoring and evaluation activities into day-to-day management practices in national research organizations. It concentrated on the internal monitoring and evaluation which should take place for ongoing research, and focuses primarily on the necessary reporting requirements of the researchers themselves.
The ISNAR working papers series is a flexible instrument for sharing analysis and information about relevant organization and management problems of the agricultural research systems in developing countries.
1045 92 - 2/129
Farming systems research and development
Review, Africa, agricultural development, institutions, colonial period, post independence period, national agricultural research, sustainability, ISNAR
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