The objective of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is to provide management with a tool to measure the effectiveness of an intervention and/or its sub-components, providing an early warning of limitations in a given action or policy and a basis for fine tuning future management decisions. Planned and focused monitoring can be an effective project management tool only if it is accompanied by focused and regular evaluation of the data collected. Thus it must be seen as an integrate component of the overall project management plan. Thus it is imperative that the number of initiatives monitored and the quantity of data collected does not overwhelm the capacity to continuously evaluate the data collected. Equally important is the current and on-going institutional capacity of the M&E office. It is recommended that an annual review of the M&E process be carried out. In the first three years, or until the process if operating effectively and efficiently, it is recommended that external advisors be invited to assist with the evaluation and planning process as part of the capacity building initiative. Suggested advisers will be specialists in IPM, Soil Conservation, Social Science, or any other specialization where expert knowledge will enhance M&E efficiency and effectiveness..
As shown in Figure 4, there are two aspects to the Project Management Cycle - the management cycle itself and the capacity building cycle within project/program management. For monitoring to be successful it is important to see this activity as a continuous cycle of input, review, and redesign procedure.
Table 20:Example Environmental Management Improvement Cycle
The level of monitoring should continue after sub-project completion to confirm sustainability of the processes, but with fewer observations. Perhaps crop husbandry and processing, Livelihood Impacts and innovations based on Capacity Building (e.g. farmers continuing to train other farmers
The key focal areas for monitoring during implementation will be of necessity larger than will be required later when the revitalization process has been completed. During project implementation monitoring in each of the target communities may need to be focused on all of the following:
Activities that lead to soil erosion and water run-off leading to downstream contamination of land and water (e.g. land clearing, replanting, road/bridge rehabilitation, irrigation dams)
Measuring compliance regarding noise, air and the quality of effluent discharge to water bodies in and around the factories and other processing plants
Measuring noise and water pollution as result of project activity
Implementation of the capacity building plans within the communities and the support institutions
Guidelines for Water Sampling Water samples should be taken in all streams and water bodies adjacent to, and leading away from the planned rehabilitation (e.g. land clearing is on current farms/plantations or new land development, road rehabilitation or any other activity which leaves the soil bare of vegetation for even a short period of time. Such samples should be taken immediately downstream of the site prior to commencement of activity to establish the baseline water quality, and then during and following completion of the rehabilitation activity. Simple sediment load analysis should be all that is necessary and this can be done in the field simply by filling ordinary water-bottles, leaving them to set undisturbed for 24 hours, then measuring and recording the depth of settled sediment in the bottle.