|© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-1106/Shehzad Noorani|
|A girl writes on the blackboard inside a mosque that serves as an informal community-based school to which UNICEF provides teacher training, textbooks and other supplies (Afghanistan)|
It is critical to systematically assess the contribution of engaging with religious communities to achieve desired results. ‘Planning, monitoring and evaluation’ refers to the continuum of actions undertaken to develop an evidence base for measuring the quality, success and challenges of programmes. Effective planning, monitoring and evaluation systems improve accountability (to communities, governments, civil society), learning (within and outside the implementing partners) and the performance of interventions. Data are collected and analysed at every step to determine how a programme should be implemented (its design), how to measure progress according to the plan (monitoring) and determine whether objectives have been achieved (evaluation). These data include any qualitative or quantitative information that is objectively collected.
What is most important for effective planning, monitoring and evaluation is to ensure the process is realistic and achievable with the necessary financial, time and human resources available and that there is genuine participation of all partners and key stakeholders, especially children.
What follows is a simplified break down of the planning, monitoring and evaluation process. The focus is on partnering with religious communities, but the process also applies to working with other stakeholders. Click here for a sample logial framework (logframe) on partnering with religious leaders to address corporal punishment. A logframe is a management technique used to develop the overall design of a development project, improve monitoring and strengthen evaluation by clearly outlining the essential elements of the project throughout its cycle.
Unlike many child rights organizations, religious communities – particularly local ones – may not have technical experience of this way of working and will need support and capacity building to be able to engage in planning, monitoring and evaluation processes as an engaged and contributing partner.