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close this bookNGO Guidelines for Good Policy and Practice (Commonwealth Foundation)
close this folderPart I: NGOs: what they are and what they do
close this folder6. The governance and operation of NGOs
View the document(introduction...)
View the document6.1 The accountability of NGOs
View the document6.2 Improving NGO governance and operations
View the document6.3 Management
View the document6.4 Human resource development (HRD) and training
View the document6.5 Reviewing, monitoring and evaluating
View the document6.6 Information
View the document6.7 Networking and alliance-building

6.5 Reviewing, monitoring and evaluating

Almost by definition, NGOs are organisations that are constantly changing and evolving. Thus monitoring and evaluation activities are of critical importance to them because they are the means by which change and evolutions can be guided, rather than be serendipitous or opportunistic. Monitoring and evaluation are also valuable ways of capturing accumulated experience and expertise that is all too easily lost when rapid changes occur either within organisations or in the environments in which they operate.

In addition, many NGOs recognise that carrying out their own evaluation and monitoring, as a matter of course, is preferable to having external evaluations, and all the disruption and uncertainty they can cause, imposed on them by others. NGOs are thus increasingly recognising the need to enhance their work by having their own procedures in place for constant monitoring and regular evaluation. More and more NGOs mount such exercises in respect of particular programmes and projects. Less common are wholesale reviews or evaluations of entire organisations, but these do occur. There is a growing body of literature and training related to monitoring and evaluation. A number of organisations have been established to assist NGOs with evaluation and/or with reviewing or generally reflecting upon their work, some national and some international in their scope. They include the Charities Evaluation Service in Britain, the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) in India and MWENGO in Zimbabwe.