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UNDP Planning Monitoring and Evaluating for Results

UNDP Planning Monitoring and Evaluating for Results

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UNDP document on M&E
UNDP document on M&E

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Published by: Thangaperumal Ponpandian on Apr 17, 2012
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CHAPTER 2

11 UNDP, ‘Programme and Operations Policies and Procedures’, 2008. Available at: http://content.
undp.org/go/userguide.

HANDBOOK ON PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATING FOR DEVELOPMENT RESULTS

19

Development organizations often use a variety of tools throughout the planning cycle.
Similarly, different organizations may require stakeholders to produce different sets of
‘deliverables’ as they go through the planning process. This Handbook will draw on
some of the most commonly used tools. It will also walk the user through preparing
eight deliverables that are normally used to develop and finalize programme and
project results frameworks. Where relevant, the Handbook will show the relationship
of the tools and deliverables mentioned with either United Nations Development
Group (UNDG) or UNDP tools and deliverables. However, the Handbook is not
intended to elaborate on UNDG and UNDP instruments. Instead, it is intended to be
a how-to guide for doing planning, monitoring and evaluation based on good practices.

The eight main deliverables that will be covered are shown in Box 4.

HANDBOOK ON PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATING FOR DEVELOPMENT RESULTS

20

Initiating
the planning
process

Stakeholder
analysis

Orientation
and training

Problem analysis

Creating the
draft results
map

Finalizing the
results table

Communicating
and reinforcing
the plan

Preparing to
operationalize

Stakeholder
engagement

Finalizing
the results
framework

Getting
started

The planning
exercise

Figure 3. Organization of the chapter

1. The initialissues noteand draft work plan for the planning process (outline of activities
and schedule and cost)

2. Stakeholderinfluence and importance matrix

3. List of key problems identified

4. Prioritized list of problems

5. Cause-effect diagram or problem tree analysis for each prioritized problems

6. Vision statement for each prioritized problem

7. Results mapfor each prioritized problem

8. Results framework for the programme or project document

Box 4. Main deliverables to be produced in the planning for results process

Note: Deliverables 1 through 4 are normally part of the United Nations Country Team’s plan of engagement or work
plan (see http://www.undg.org/toolkit/toolkit.cfm?sub_section_id=301&topid2=on&topid=2 for additional infor-
mation). Similarly, the Common Country Assessment (CCA) done by UN organizations, would normally include
deliverables 3, 4 and 5. Guidance on the CCA preparation can be found at: http://www.undg.org/toolkit/toolkit.cfm?
sub_section_id=267&topid2=on&topid=2. At the project level, deliverables 1 to 6 can used in the ‘justifying a project
phase’ of the UNDP project development cycle. All the deliverables would be used for the ‘defining a
programme’ and ‘defining a project’ steps as these require results, roles, accountabilities and risks to be defined.

THE BENEFITS OF PLANNING

There are four main benefits that make planning worthwhile:

Planning enables us to know what should be done when—Without proper
planning, projects or programmes may be implemented at the wrong time or in
the wrong manner and result in poor outcomes. A classic example is that of a
development agency that offered to help improve the conditions of rural roads.
The planning process was controlled by the agency with little consultation. Road
repair began during the rainy season and much of the material used for construction
was unsuitable for the region. The project suffered lengthy delays and cost
overruns. One community member commented during the evaluation that the
community wanted the project, but if there had been proper planning and consul-
tation with them, the donors would have known the best time to start the project
and the type of material to use.

Planning helps mitigate and manage crises and ensure smoother implementation—

There will always be unexpected situations in programmes and projects. However,
a proper planning exercise helps reduce the likelihood of these and prepares the
team for dealing with them when they occur. The planning process should also
involve assessing risks and assumptions and thinking through possible unintended
consequences of the activities being planned. The results of these exercises can be
very helpful in anticipating and dealing with problems. (Some planning exercises
also include scenario planning that looks at ‘what ifs’ for different situations that
may arise.)

Planning improves focus on priorities and leads to more efficient use of time,

money and other resources—Having a clear plan or roadmap helps focus limited
resources on priority activities, that is, the ones most likely to bring about the
desired change.Without a plan, people often get distracted by many competing
demands. Similarly, projects and programmes will often go off track and become
ineffective and inefficient.

Planning helps determine what success will look like—A proper plan helps individ-
uals and units to know whether the results achieved are those that were intended
and to assess any discrepancies. Of course, this requires effective monitoring
and evaluation of what was planned. For this reason, good planning includes
a clear strategy for monitoring and evaluation and use of the information from
these processes.

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