Monitoring refers to a process of systematic gathering, analysing, collating and documenting of data during the running of a project. It is an important aspect of a responsible, results-based project management cycle.

Presentation of a project management cycle including planning phase, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Project cycle best practice example from the SDC guidelines on results-based management © SDC

Monitoring is crucial for continued learning and decision-making regarding the management and adjustment of ongoing programmes and investment in new projects and initiatives.

Throughout the implementation of projects, programmes and strategies, the SDC collects data on individually defined indicators at regular intervals to check whether it is achieving its objectives. This information provides a sound basis for determining whether mid-term adjustments are needed. The indicators then evolve and adapt to reflect a particular focus or project requirement.

Good monitoring should flag up activities that are not on track to meet their objectives. Factors that could potentially lead to the failure of a project are thus identified at an early stage, allowing adjustments to be made to the project concerned and to future projects.