More efficient and accessible monitoring and evaluation plans using a visual approach
Monitoring and evaluation plans have traditionally been long text-based documents which take time to draft; a long time to read; and are not particularly accessible for those trying to overview them. Once a plan has been accepted, the planning document is often assigned to a back drawer and new evaluation implementation documentation is developed. There are typically many different files used for implementation: Word files detailing implementation; Powerpoint files for presentations; Visio files for a logic model etc. Most of these different files - which create work keeping them up-to-date and aligned - can be eliminated by the use of a single DoView file. The same DoView file is used for all evaluation planning, implementation, presentations on the evaluation, knowledge management and results reporting. A DoView Visual Monitoring and Evaluation Plan can be developed in about half the time it takes to wordsmith a traditional text-based monitoring and evaluation plan.
The DoView Visual Evaluation Planning
Draw an Outcomes DoView
An Outcomes DoView is a visual model of all of the high-level outcomes being sought and the lower-level steps needed to active them. More on drawing an Outcomes DoView.
Put evaluation questions next to the boxes they are focused on
This process helps you identify evaluation questions and make sure that you do not have duplicate questions which are simply worded in different ways. Non-visualized evaluation question lists are much harder to check for duplicate questions (e.g. Did the program work? Was the program effective? Did the program achieve its objectives? - are all similar questions which all should be visually located at the same place within the DoView). If you are developing a monitoring and evaluation plan rather than just an evaluation plan, include indicators also.
Identify which are IMPACT evaluation questions
It's important to assess which questions are impact evaluation questions and which are lower-level implementation evaluation questions. Impact evaluation questions are ones which make a claim about the intervention causing an impact on higher-level outcomes (a causal claim).
Work up evaluation projects which will answer the evaluation questions
Evaluation questions are answered within evaluation projects. An evaluation project (e.g. a set of key informant interviews or a participant survey) can answer one or more evaluation questions. The evaluation project pages within the DoView Visual Evaluation Plan are used to detail the evaluation projects (e.g. method to be used, timing, cost, who involved etc.).
Report evaluation results directly back onto the Outcomes DoView
Evaluation results can be reportedback directly onto the Outcomes DoView.
Below is an embedded simple DoView Visual Evaluation Plan. Install a DoView trial and download the DoView file that created this model (click on Download the DoView file of this model at bottom) to play around with it.
Resources: Videos and guidance on building a simple DoView visual evaluation plan using the IPDET international development evaluation format (can be adapted to your own approach). More. Description of the comprehensive Health Information for All 2015 DoView Visual Evaluation Plan. More. Description of how you can use an Outcomes DoView to plan a questionnaire, survey or feedback sheet. More.
Anyone can use the above material, with acknowledgment, in their own for-profit or not-for-profit consulting work if they, or their clients, are using DoView Software. Anyone can use it to teach anyone else how to use DoView software. If you want to use it for other purposes please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.