Program Vs Project: What is the difference? A program is a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing projects individually. A Project is a temporary undertaking to create a unique product or service.
Defining a Project….. What is the concern? It is what leads us to believe that ‘something needs to be done’ What is the task? We need to have clarity as to the boundaries of what will be done in terms of time, money and people.
What is the purpose of the project? The benefit of addressing the concern Who is the end user? This identifies who will make use of the project outcomes.
What will be the end result? This is the ‘when’ and the ‘what’; the tangible things that the successful project will deliver. We need to specify the end result and judge whether it’s congruent with the concern, task and purpose.
What are the success criteria? These are the things which are measurable and enable us to demonstrate that the project has achieved its intended outcomes and been conducted within the resources intended. The quality/quantity of the outputs and to whether we kept to time and budget, and to the outcomes achieved and the longer-term impact
TESTING the Concern, Task and Purpose Is the TASK capable of delivering the PURPOSE? If the PURPOSE is achieved will it solve (or largely solve) the CONCERN? If NO to either question then logically (in terms of the project’s own internal validity) the project will FAIL !
Defining M & E ARE WE DOING THE THINGS RIGHT? (MONITORING) ARE WE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS? (EVALUATION)
THREE SIMPLE QUESTIONS to ask BEFORE you start to plan a monitoring or evaluation activity… WHO: are we doing this for? (Funders, Managers, beneficiaries and other key stakeholders? WHAT: is going to be monitored or evaluated? HOW: is the monitoring and evaluation activity to be done?
Three Universal Evaluation Questions Are we doing what we said we would do? [ Internal validity] Are we making any difference? [ Impact Assessment] Are these the right things to do? [Strategic relevance and learning]
“In the end, the measure of our success will not be predicated on the number of evaluations done, or stored within a database, or even solely upon the quality of the findings. We’ll be successful if and when the evaluation work of USAID contributes to greater development effectiveness” -USAID Administrator, Rajiv Shah