(2004; 98 pages)
Monitoring assesses whether your intervention is going according to plan. It helps you to identify difficulties, and adjust your plans. You may run into unexpected problems. For example, in the planning of a training programme for drug sellers in Uganda, one district medical officer refused to give permission for the training, because in his view drug sellers were breaking the law by selling antibiotics over the counter.
When making a plan to monitor your health education effort you need to decide:
• what you want to monitor, considering that it should be an ongoing programme activity and so not take up too much staff time
• how you will monitor.
A monitoring plan can include:
• checking for timeliness of the activities: are there delays in implementing workplans? and if so why?
• reviewing costs in relation to the initial budget - do activities cost more than planned? How can budget deficits be resolved?
• supervising personnel - are staff carrying out their assigned duties?
• assessing cooperation of others: are district health teams involved? Are NGOs collaborating? Have relevant authorities given permission for the intervention?
Depending on the stage of the intervention, specific monitoring questions can be formulated. For example:
• has rapid appraisal been done to analyse the problem further? Have all the methods which were planned been used? Has a report of the appraisal been written and has a workshop been held to define possible solutions?
• have appropriate messages and intervention methods been selected? Has the target audience been involved in defining the messages? Have the messages been checked for medical accuracy?
• have the intervention methods been pre-tested? Have the results of the pre-test been documented?
• have the interventions been implemented according to plan?
Methods can include:
• record keeping, and regular reviews of records by a task manager
• making reports on important events, such as training workshops and seminars
• field or supervisory visits
• regular meetings with people responsible for the implementation, to review progress.
Good monitoring will ensure that you have good data for your evaluation.