It’s important to know whether our ideas are working, or if there are things we need to change. This is what monitoring is about – regularly gathering information to determine the impact our advocacy is having and to see if we need to do things differently.
Even with the best planning, things don’t always work out the way we expected.
Monitoring asks you to appraise both the outputs and outcomes as described above in the impact model, and can offer information on where a policy, programme or project is at any given time. In other words, it provides a ‘snapshot’ of the situation or programme status. Through monitoring, you can look at how you’re using your resources, the quality of your activities, and whether your activities are having an effect. It’s important to have an open mind with monitoring and be prepared to adjust your activities and address problems.
Here are some tips on how to monitor a project:
- After you engage with people, take a moment to reflect and think. How did they engage with you? What did you learn? What could you have done better?
- Reflect on how people are responding to your initiative. Are they understanding your message? Is there any way you could communicate more effectively?
- What feelings and emotions are arising from the work you do? Are you learning anything from the community that would change the activities you had initially planned?
Think about your own experience and consider what has changed for you. Have you learned anything that would change the activities you had initially planned?
Revisit the social and political contexts. What are some of the contextual factors that affect your initiative?
What are some enablers and barriers to your work’s progress?
Look at other advocacy activities. Are other community programmes or initiatives happening that may support or hamper your programme? Could they be influencing the changes you see in your community? Have you reached out to the programme leaders to discuss ways to collaborate?
Here are some more resources to help you along you advocacy journey: