|Nutrition Guidelines (MSF, 1995, 191 p.)|
|Part I: Nutrition Strategies in Emergency Situations|
The collection of information for monitoring and evaluation should be an integral part of all nutrition programmes. Evaluation is a learning process involving continuous collection of information to monitor the progress in achieving set goals and to suggest adaptations to the progamme, or closure with time.
Monitoring and evaluation will involve the planned and regular collection and analysis of:
· PROCESS INDICATORS to evaluate the progress in implementation and the trends in programme needs over time (i.e. attendance rates, coverage, recovery rates).
· IMPACT INDICATORS to evaluate the effect the programme is having/had on the population, and to summarize the total efficacy of the programme (malnutrition prevalence, mortality figures, numbers served).
Assessment of impact is extremely difficult as analysis of trends in health indicators does not prove that the programme has caused the change. However, a well collected data set can be used to argue for an association of the programme with the change in overall health status.
It makes little sense to only look at indicators of IMPACT for evaluating a nutritional programme. First it is necessary to know that the programme serves a useful purpose and is running well. PROCESS information will allow you to see how well the programme is functioning and adapt programme emphasis and design over time. PROCESS Indicators should be thoroughly analyzed and Interpreted (see Chapter 8, Part III).
The collection of information for evaluation needs to be planned during initial programme design. If information is not collected in a regular and systematic fashion, quality and relevance of the programme cannot be assessed while giving services.
It is the responsibility of coordinators and the team to implement the collection of process evaluation data systems and compile and analyze the data. Coordinators and their teams should be prepared to act to change programme design and management procedures based on feedback received through regular evaluation (see Chapter 8, Part III).
In camps, IMPACT indicators may be collected along with malnutrition prevalence rates, mortality rates, etc., and interpreted as a function of nutritional programme efficacy in conjunction with other relief activities.