You will prepare and submit a term paper on Importance of Monitoring and Evaluation in Complex Projects. Your paper should be a minimum of 1750 words in length. As bared by Bako (n.d.), evaluation and evaluators are still seen as elements of managerial work that inflame one’s nerves rather than challenge one for change. Managers are often confronted with questions and challenges both from inside and outside the organization about projects. Questions asked to include proper use of resources, results in line with efforts, services meeting beneficiaries’ expectations or not, and proper spending of money. To answer these questions, evaluations are undertaken by organizations but relevant information must be gathered systematically first, which is the process of monitoring. Large-scale infrastructure projects would, even more, need monitoring and evaluation efforts. Examples of complex projects involve the development of power plants, telecommunications systems, water treatment facilities, ports, urban transportation systems, and tollways. Most of these are owned by private sector developers or are partnerships with public sector institutions. They are typically capital intensive, involving tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars of investment (CRGP, n.d.). Complex projects, according to Coffman (n.d.), composed of a subset of projects large enough financially to pose a significant risk to the organization if they are not conceived of and executed well. There is the multiplicity of the parties involved in the planning, financing, and execution of the projects. There is also at times complexity in the multiple nationalities of the parties(CRGP, n.d.). According to the World Bank, a separate administrative unit for monitoring is expedient where project objectives are complex, or with projects with multiple components. (WB 1989). The purpose is to serve the information needs of the implementing agency and so accordingly such unit should be integrated into the management structure (Ibid.). Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems should be of quality. At the outset, projects are required to design and implement plans for M&E as far as the Global Environment Facility (GEF, 2004) Council is concerned. To them, an issue with complex projects is their over-ambitious objectives in relation to available resources and the periods for implementation. Another is the unrealistic assumptions about either project problems or solutions (Ibid.). Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) Monitoring is mainly an internal process carried out by those implementing the project. Preferably, monitoring should involve all stakeholders as the results need to be shared with them and fed back into implementation (www.bond.org, n.d.). Monitoring is the continuous assessment of project implementation with the main objective of providing continuous feedback (WB 1989). On the other hand, evaluation is the periodic assessment of the relevance, performance, efficiency, and impact of the project, both expected and unexpected, in relation to stated objectives. It is intended to identify project design problems and is essentially an internal activity undertaken for project management. (Ibid). An evaluation is an assessment of an ongoing or completed project rendered as objective as possible. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfillment of objectives, development, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability. Information in an evaluation should be credible and useful to enable learning from the lessons incorporated for the decision-making .of both recipients and donors to (Bako, n.d.).
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