Tracking is a type of evaluation, which is performed while a project is being implemented, with the goal of improving the project creation and functioning while in action. An example is given in the World Bank Technical Paper, Monitoring and Evaluating Urban Development Programs, A Handbook for Program Managers and Researchers by Michael Bamberger, where there is a description of a monitoring study that was able to define that the amount of credit in a micro credit scheme for artisans in Brazil was too little. The potential beneficiaries were not taking part because of the inadequacy of the loan size for their needs. This information was then applied to make some significant changes in the project.
Evaluation studies the results of a project (changes in income, benefits distribution, housing quality, etc.) with the aim of informing the building of future projects. In an example from Monitoring and Evaluating Urban Development Programs, A Handbook for Program Managers and Researchers there is a description of a cooperative program evaluation in El Salvador that defined that the cooperatives improved the lives of several families involved but did not influence on overall employment.
Evaluation studies can get access to the extent to which the project produced, the intended impacts and the distribution of the benefits between various groups, as well as that can give an evaluation on the cost-effectiveness of the project in comparison with other options.
Tracking and evaluation don’t have to be expensive or complicated, as well as they don’t require specialists or difficult calculations. The difficulty and scope of the studies can be adapted to fit the needs of the program. The job of the project manager in this process is to indicate those areas that are in need of tracking or evaluation. If this is done by researchers, the studies may be too academic and not as useful to project management.
Building of evaluation and tracking systems can be an effective way to the following:
Tracking is a type of evaluation, which is performed while a project is being implemented, with the goal of improving the project creation and functioning while in action.