While evaluation analysis will largely be conducted after the program has been implemented, key indicators of program performance should be systematically documented during implementation. This is a key purpose of monitoring, which:
- Improves effective program management by providing regular feedback about the program's performance;
- Allows data necessary to evaluate your program's outcome(s) and/or impact to be gathered.
Monitoring your program allows you to:
- Track progress towards objectives, including reaching your target population and adhering to your program timeline;
- Identify and respond to unforeseen obstacles or unintended outcomes;
- Assess program implementation and progress in order to make any necessary adjustments to improve effectiveness and program fidelity;
- Identify any potential changes in context or setting that may affect program participation or findings.
Much of program monitoring relies on process indicators (see the Resources Sidebar and the Types of Evaluation page for more information on process, outcome, and impact indicators).
Indicators for program monitoring include:
- Number of participants
- Participant characteristics (to ensure that you are reaching your Target audience)
- Program compliance and rates of attrition
- Materials used or distributed
- Reactions to content and delivery (from your target audience and program staff)
- Engagement by key stakeholders or media attention