What are, in general, the objectives of monitoring and evaluation?

Important objectives of reflexive monitoring are to learn from practical experience and to apply the findings in a project or programme for system innovation. But there are also other objectives of monitoring and evaluation that you may have to meet. The following list presents the different objectives and their consequences for the use of the method and the target groups.

Objective: learning

To meet this objective you collect information about the progress of your project or programme, about the intended or unintended effects, about developments in the environment and about obstacles that you encounter. You use this information to reflect on your points of departure and your assumptions about the problem or about the possible solutions or the knowledge needed to find solutions. This might lead to the conclusion that you have to revise your automatic assumptions.

Target group: In terms of learning, an important target group are those who are directly involved in carrying out the project or programme. Other important target groups are people engaged in related experiments, managers and financiers. Policymakers should be involved in the process, particularly when reflecting on institutional barriers.

Objective: accountability

The question of accountability mainly concerns whether you have achieved the goals that have been set and have made effective use of the resources provided.

Target group: In this case, the target group is usually the client or financier of a project or programme. In the case of national, government-financed programmes it is the government and parliament.

Objective: intervention or adaptation

Here the objective of the monitoring and evaluation is to decide whether the transition project or programme needs to be modified, for example in terms of the activities or target groups. This step is an integral part of reflexive monitoring.

Target group: Where adaptation is concerned, the most important target groups in reflexive monitoring are stakeholders and the programme management. But interventions or adaptations can also arise from the conclusions reached by clients/financiers as to whether the money has been properly spent, in which case the client and the programme management are the most important target groups.

Objective: generating enthusiasm and transferring knowledge

Creating enthusiasm and transferring knowledge can contribute to the legitimacy of system innovations and help increase support for anchoring them in an organisation.

Target group: The target group consists of the client/financiers and potential or existing fellow innovators, possible future financiers and insurers, regulators or a wider public.