Why does monitoring receive special attention?

Monitoring and evaluation of a transition project or programme is not business as usual. This is connected with the ambition of transitions and the special features of transitions, which not only raise questions about what you could or should monitor or evaluate but also affect the objective of the monitoring and evaluation.

The special features of transitions are:

  • They are uncertain processes: the effect of your project or programme on the system is uncertain because of dynamic processes at different levels of society (niche, regime, landscape). Its effect depends on other projects and programmes and is partly determined by changes in the regime and developments in the landscape
  • A system innovation only becomes manifest in the longer term. You will at best perceive early signals of a system innovation in your monitoring, but such early signals are often weak.

 Learning and adjusting

Because of the uncertain, complex and dynamic nature of transitions, it might be necessary to revise your point of departure and approach, or even your actual objective, during the project or programme. The monitoring and evaluation of a transition programme serves that goal. The normative choice then is to use monitoring and evaluation in order to keep the project or programme focused as closely as possible on the ambitions for the system innovation