Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is a process that helps improve performance and achieve results. Its goal is to improve current and future management of outputs, outcomes and impact. In order to understand Monitoring & Evaluation, it is important to differentiate between these terminologies.
- Inputs: Inputs are the resources which are used to undertake any project. Inputs include financial and human resources (volunteers & staff) as well as the machinery and equipment’s which will be used to deliver the intended results of the project.
- Activities: Activities are the actions which are designed to meet the goal of the project. For example, in Empowered Women International we deliver different training programs and workshops for our women clients to empower them. These trainings and workshops are called the Activities of the project.
- Output: Output is the first level of results of our activities. For example, the number of women trained, the number of workshop, organized and the number of women benefited from these workshops are the examples of the output of the project of EWI.
- Outcome: Outcome is the second level of result, associated with the project. It shows the increase in knowledge and skills of the targeted client as a result of the Activities. These are the short-term goals of the project. For example in case, of EWI, the outcome can be; percentage of trainees acquires improved financial management and literacy skills and percentage of women showing upward and increased economic mobility.
- Impact: Impact is the long-term goal of the project. It shows the changes occurred as a result of the project in long term. In some Projects, it can be difficult to exactly attribute the change to the specific project, as there can be other factors, which can lead to that change. The impact of EWI Program can be as; the women will be economically mobile, financially stable and socially engaged.
Different indicators are used based on the nature of the Program to measure outcome and impact of the program.