Monitoring is a process of continuous assessment. It involves collecting data on the current situation (baseline) and on changes that are brought about through activities, projects and policies, or caused by socioeconomic and natural trends and events. Evaluation uses indicators to reflect on such measurable change, compare it to goals and targets, and use the information to learn from experience, adjust implementation, and better plan for the future.
Within the context of water security, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is meant to support and improve the definition, selection, design, implementation of water actions by:
The overall goal of M&E is to improve decision-making and performance over time to achieve better results. It also empowers and builds the capacity of all actors through transparency and accountability. For this reason, it may be resisted by partisans of the status-quo such as low performing water agencies and entrenched interests.