The monitoring of programs is a form of evaluation that is performed during program implementation, with the aim of improving the project design and functioning while it is taking place. Bamberger (1986) defines program monitoring as “an internal project activity designed to provide constant feedback on the progress of a project, the problems it is facing, and the efficiency with which it is being implemented.” Program monitoring can include an ongoing review of program activities to determine whether they are developing according to plan or whether any adjustments may be needed so that the intended goals are achieved.
Electronic Program Monitoring Systems
In order to capture and store information related to the monitoring of programs, comprehensive data management systems are recommended. Some of these systems store both paper and electronic artifacts locally within program offices. Other systems are completely electronic and are cloud-based which allow users to access important program information from a variety of locations. Regardless of the method of capture and storage, comprehensive data systems can be an effective way to manage program monitoring information.
The Project Portfolio
The Project Portfolio is an online monitoring system that can provide critical information to program stakeholders. The Project Portfolio:
- Provides current feedback on the degree to which programs are achieving their goals
- Identifies potential program issues and guide possible solutions
- Shares program information with key program stakeholders
- Monitors the efficiency with which the different components of the project are being implemented and suggest improvements
- Incorporates the views of stakeholders
Bamberger, M. (1986). The role of community participation in development planning and project management. EDI Seminar Policy No. 13. Washington, DC: The World Bank.