Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

Baseline data

Baseline surveys have been conducted in hotspots and selected control areas to record baseline data against which project activities and impact will be assessed. The surveys were conducted during the first four months of the program. This was carried out prior to implementation of programme in order to collect data on the initial project situation without LCBCCAP.

Data collection

Data is regularly collected from hot-spots and control areas to:

  • characterize socio-economic and biophysical features
  • determine stakeholders and their functions
  • natural resource indicators outlined in the section above on ecosystem monitoring

To ensure, objectivity, the project solicits the participation of qualified independent experts who assists in the design and collection of these data sets.

Monitoring

Monitoring is an important management tool for LCBCCAP implementation process. Monitoring helps to establish changes and trends over time and assists in keeping track of progress of planned activities. In order to assess performance, planned targets are compared with expected outputs to determine whether planned activities are proceeding according to plan and by inference if these are contributing towards achieving the programme milestones which have to be met to unlock funds for the following Programme Cycle. Monitoring involves field observations, recording data (forms and files), analysis and reports and storage of data for each activity.


The LCBCCAP Monitoring focuses on the two lower levels of the logical framework i.e input and activities under each component and on outputs that are produced and are based on the work plans and budget. Developing an M&E system involved identification of the key inputs used by the project, key activities being implemented and outputs being produced. Thus, it entails designing essential monitoring schedule with forms, dates and responsibilities for collecting, recording and reporting information. An example of such forms which the LCBCCAP is using is the Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). The PIRS has been put into use immediately by all technical officers in capturing and reporting of data for the programme. This is a tool for monitoring which helps to capture data for the program on any field activity that has been undertaken by any officer. This works as a balance and check system where an alarm can be raised earlier enough before things go amiss on each and every programme indicator. In order to capture physical outputs, monitoring of financial progress is essential hence programme has put necessary measures to capture accurate monthly summary information of management on expenditure per component, category, disbursement/contribution by financier and status of accounts (balances) and review of use of project facilities, allowances and other services.

Development of Monitoring and Evaluation Database for the Programme

A fully functional web based Monitoring and Evaluation system has been developed by the programme. The database links process and output indicators and programme targets to activities by programme and location (village, hotspot) and programme activities to budgets and stakeholders displayed on a dashboard for easy access by programme partners. The website of the programme is : http://www.lakechilwaproject.mw.


The M&E system is used to track progress of project indicators. The partner organizations, government agencies, communities and field staff reports back information on key indicators to the project office to measure progress of project beneficiaries, to comply with periodic performance indicators and to track project achievements.

Monitoring Function

At the local level, there are various structures through which the project work. The District Assemblies, the District Executive Committee (DEC), the District Executive Sub-Committee on the Environment (DESC), the Traditional Authorities (TAs), together with the smaller Beach Village Committees (BVCs), the Village Natural Resource Management Committees (VNRMCs), and the Water User Committees all have their capacity improved and the programme has been collaborating well with these stakeholders to address the natural resources issues within their areas. Rather than building new local structures, the project has strengthened, motivated and encouraged greater cross-sectoral collaboration among these governance bodies and ensured that local residents have a greater part in decision-making and planning the use and conservation of their natural resources.


The LCBCCAP delegates as much of the screening and other decision-making processes to the communities, the Community Oversight Committees and the local authorities, and minimize the number of ex-ante control steps. Therefore the first task which the LCBCCAP M&E team took was to check and verify that the communities and local authorities are correctly executing their tasks. If the M&E section found serious problems, corrective measures were introduced by improving training, communication, or amending the Operational Manual, including adding verification steps to the existing ones. However, preference was given to improving training and communication, prior to adding verification steps (a last resort).


The M&E section continuously “audits” project activities. If audit finds that serious errors and problems are occurring, M&E ”pull the strings”. The “pulling of the string” is defined in the project as giving the M&E specialist the authority to call an urgent meeting of project management and relevant advisors. This meeting takes place within 5 working days to discuss the problem and define the way to resolve it.


The LCBCCAP M & E System monitor project processes at community, district, and national level using agreed indicators and applying the following methods:

  • Periodic field visits
  • Participatory community monitoring and accountability systems (Periodic Reports and meetings)
  • Project Tracking System (PTS) based on agreed indicators
  • Periodic/Specific studies such as beneficiary assessments
  • Commitment for maintenance and sustainability
  • Operation maintenance and sustainability Internal/external audits
  • Periodic evaluations which will include baseline studies, mid-term evaluations, ex-post evaluations and impact evaluations