This chapter is a practical guide that you, the manager of a health program or of health services, can use to understand and organize essential practices that will improve the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of health services. It explains the role and function of an effective health information system (HIS). It describes monitoring and evaluation as key program management functions, explains the difference between the two, and offers considerations for making each function more useful to you for learning and action. It also shows how good leadership and management practices are relevant to M&E.
You can use the information in this chapter to:
- Enhance the effectiveness of an HIS
- Use routine monitoring to improve the performance of organizational activities
- Produce actionable data for making informed decisions
- Avoid common M&E pitfalls
- Design an evaluation
- Use frameworks to develop a logical plan for program activities
- Prepare an M&E plan
The chapter concludes with a story that emphasizes the human element in M&E. It describes the benefits of using less-than-perfect data from an HIS to demonstrate its utility and instill confidence in the system. It also offers several proven practices in M&E that are relevant to your work as a health manager.
This publication is Chapter 9 of Health Systems in Action: An eHandbook for Leaders and Managers.