Monitoring Framework

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Framework for Monitoring

The essence of any good monitoring systems is the speed of communication of dependable information in key result areas, the competence of the monitor to interpret the signals and the ability to initiate prompt intervention in a constructive manner. Broadly speaking, monitoring should cover the following areas:

  • Physical progress of implementation of projects which would involve such items as civil construction, erection of equipment, timely commissioning and cost schedules.
  • The quantitative and qualitative progress of implementation of programmes where physical targets are set
  • Production, productivity and profitability performance for established public sector units in the core sector, for which key indicators specific to the units may be identified.
  • Selective monitoring of the maintenance of capital assets which have been created to ensure that expenditure earmarked for the purpose is in fact being utilized for the purpose.
  • Monitoring of plan expenditure to ensure that sectoral outlays are not disturbed.

Problem Areas in Monitoring

The main problems to be tackled in respect of the monitoring systems at State and District level relate to:

  • Inordinate delay in obtaining information
  • Frequent changes in the data
  • Lack of reliability of information, particularly in the absence of adequate inspection and spot checks
  • Inadequate design and maintenance of basic records
  • Lack of standardisation and normalisation
  • of ability in anticipating future problems to enable prompt corrective action
  • Lack of action-orientation and inadequate use of reported material, leading to inaction

Monitoring Functions

Monitoring is a means towards an end, the basic purpose being the identification of areas for taking corrective action to ensure successful implementation in accordance with prescribed targets. The starting point for monitoring is the disaggregation of targets by:

  • Geographical areas: district/block and
  • Time periods: monthly/annually
  • Function/Programme/scheme

The disaggregation has to be done by the executing agencies themselves after taking into consideration the availability of resources, manpower and other necessary inputs. The monitoring function will invove:

- Watching actual progress/performance, comparing it with disaggregated targets and identifying shortfalls and problem areas.
- Raising distress signals and informing the decision makers.
- Providing analysis of the problem areas, diagnosing the same and suggesting alternative course of action.
- Providing feed-back of the decisions taken to the implementing levels.
- Developing and maintaining data banks.
- Reporting to other levels and external agencies as and when required.
                                                                                                     
Areas of Monitoring

Basically, any system of monitoring would need to cover the following areas:

- Financial: allocation and expenditure.
- Physical: achievement of target, output, coverage, etc.
- Time taken for completion of various activities including administrative activities and sanctions.
- Benefits.

Levels of Monitoring

The levels of monitoring will be linked with the decision making level which will be:

- Basic unit: Taluka/Block/District.
- State Government: Concerned Technical/Secretariat Departments
- Central Government: Concerned Ministries/Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation as nodal Ministry Systems Aspects

This would cover:
- Streamlining and maintaining basic records at the field level.
- Standardisation and manualisation.
- Simplification.
- Physical verification.
- Prompt flow of action from and to internal and external agencies.
- Prompt furnishing of required information to each level.
- Determination of periodicity of reporting depending on scheme.
- Use of techniques such as PERT/CPM for intensive project monitoring.
- Two way flow of information horizontally and vertically.
- Frequent use of charts, cartography and control rooms.
- Field visits by monitoring staff.
- Review meetings for swift decision making.