Monitoring is the routine tracking of the key programme results (usually inputs, outputs or outcomes) through recordkeeping, regular reporting, observation and surveys. Monitoring data can include baseline data for a new intervention or trend data for an ongoing intervention. Monitoring is often is used to measure things such as:
Monitoring information is absolutely crucial to understanding what is happening at all levels during an intervention, from both inside and outside a project. Good monitoring data will provide programme managers with information that correlate programme activities with changes in behavioural determinants with changes in actual behavior. Monitoring also involves giving feedback about the progress of the project to the donors, partners and beneficiaries of the project.
Evaluation is the periodic assessment of the change in a broad statistic that can be attributed to the programme. For example, during evaluation, programme personnel will look at how the behavioural change they created (e.g. increased condom use) is affecting a health indicator, such as the number of disability adjusted life years averted or a reduction in a prevalence rate. Using appropriate research design, sample sizes and statistical analysis help T-MARC understand how its activities affect the bigger picture.
Research is the process of collecting and analyzing information to help inform a programme. At T-MARC, research happens at every step of the process, from planning to implementation, including monitoring and evaluation.
Research helps fill in the gaps of knowledge for a particular programme. For example, if there is a lack of information about who provides advice on family planning products to the target population of an oral contraceptive brand, then research can be conducted to try to answer this question.
In short, research is the fundamental tool that guides T-MARC through its decision making, thereby ensuring that its actions are based on evidence, not conjecture.
Finally, T-MARC’s methods and sources of research information include, among other things:
These sources help T-MARC Tanzania in delivering programme results to donors and partners.
FoQuS: Framework for Qualitative Research in Social Marketing (FoQus) is PSI's qualitative study method. This method provides in-depth information about target audiences and product/service providers in order to improve programme design.
TRaC: Tracking Results Continuously (TRaC) is PSI’s population-based survey method that usually incorporates multiple rounds of data. TRaC studies measure levels of behaviour, trends and determinants of behaviours to improve social marketing interventions.
MAP: Measuring Access and Performance (MAP) is PSI’s tool for assessing how well products and services are reaching target populations. MAP studies are designed to measure the coverage, quality, equity of access and penetration of products and services.