This series of 18 articles describes processes for ensuring that relevant research is identified, appraised and used to inform decisions about health policies and programs. The tools were written for people responsible for health policy decision-making (e.g., health system managers and policy-makers) and for those who support them.

CHSRF worked in partnership with the SUPPORT Project to bring you the French version of this series. SUPPORT is an international collaboration network that provides training and support to encourage researchers and policy-makers in collaborative policy-relevant research.

A book version of SUPPORT Tools for evidence-informed health Policymaking (STP) is also available.

Support Tools

Planning monitoring and evaluation of policies

by Atle Fretheim, Andrew D Oxman, John N Lavis, Simon Lewin | Dec 16, 2009

Full text | PDF


The term monitoring is commonly used to describe the process of systematically collecting data to inform policymakers, managers and other stakeholders whether a new policy or programme is being implemented in accordance with their expectations. Indicators are used for monitoring purposes to judge, for example, if objectives are being achieved, or if allocated funds are being spent appropriately. Sometimes the term evaluation is used interchangeably with the term monitoring, but the former usually suggests a stronger focus on the achievement of results. When the term impact evaluation is used, this usually implies that there is a specific attempt to try to determine whether the observed changes in outcomes can be attributed to a particular policy or programme.

In this article, we suggest four questions that can be used to guide the monitoring and evaluation of policy or programme options. These are:

  1. Is monitoring necessary?
  2. What should be measured?
  3. Should an impact evaluation be conducted?
  4. How should the impact evaluation be done?