Appendix 113Appendix 213INTRODUCTIONIntroduction to monitoring systems and development indicatorsFeatures of a good monitoring systemA monitoring system entails a systematic gathering of information regarding programs’ features, activities, and outputs in order to make decisions about the program, enhance program efficiency, and inform decisions concerning future planning. Some of the characteristics of a successful monitoring system include: Accurate: A good motoring system must be accurate, which implies that it has low margins of errors in the evaluation. Neutral: It is also neutral, as it provides an impartial description of performance.
Comparable: Good monitoring systems are comparable, as they maintain consistency with time in order to enable comparisons. Clear: An effective monitoring system must be easy to comprehend. Timely: Successful monitoring systems should be timely, which implies that they should be conducted on plan that suits management activities (Rempel, Andison, & Hannon, 2004). Figure 1: Features of good management systemFeature Description Accurate Low error margins in measurement Neutral Balanced performance account Comparable Consistency; hence facilitating comparisonsClear Easy to comprehend Timely Done on a plan appropriate for management tasksFeatures contributing to effective indicatorsIndicators are universal, natural, and part of people’s lives.
They emerge from values, and they develop values. Additionally, the indicators chosen entail a vital determinant of the system’s behaviour. One of ways of testing whether management activities have satisfied management objectives is monitoring of indicators (Hales, 2009). Indicators entail measurements that represent specific concerns or issues. They are measurable parts of a particular system, and symbolise specific characteristics a, attribute, or property of a given system, such as, wastage, profits, or energy consumption. Some of the elements of a good indicator include measurable trends, application of best available information; presentation in an explicit and comprehensible format; and leads to an in-depth discovery of critical matters.
To be successful, an indicator should be quantifiable within a realistic time, relevant to the matter at hand, informative, cost-efficient, and understandable (TIPS, 2004). In addition, Hales (2009) asserts that a good indicator must be unambiguous and direct measure of growth. Furthermore, a good indicator may be followed, is available regularly, inexpensive to track, merely indicates, directional, context specific (Hales, 2009). They are highly indispensable of successful monitoring and evaluation system.
They may give important information on achievement, performance, and accountability. Nonetheless, indicators are just a single part of a complete M& E system. They entail a single way of gathering and analysing information, and it is critical that they are employed when and where they give meaningful insight and information. They are important in the standardization of measures, which enable comparisons over distinct geographical locations, over time, and across projects or programs. They are also different from raw data, because they can compare spatially and temporally, and can aggregate information for higher-degree understanding and use (Hales, 2009).
Imperatively, performance indicators should be founded on the exclusive goals of independent projects. However, Rempel, Andison, and Hannon (2004) say that performance indicators ought to be founded on an underlying rational framework, which connects project goals and project constituents, and their respective activities, inputs, and outputs at distinct execution stages. Successful development of indicators involve certain guidelines, which include, setting of suitable objectives, definition of success indicators, identification of main activity clusters or project constituents, definition of vital assumptions on which the project or program is founded, identification of ways of verifying project achievements, and definition of resources necessary for execution.
Performance indicators are categorized into input indicators, result indicators, output indicators, risk indicators, efficacy indicators, relevance indicators, effectiveness indicators, efficiency indicators, and outcome and impact indicators (Duxbury & Gillette,