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Levels of monitoring

Last edited: January 03, 2012

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Monitoring the campaign can happen at different levels: a) the activities implemented (“process”), b) the effectiveness of the activities (“performance”), c) outcomes, and d) impact.

Monitoring Level

Purpose/ key questions


Do activities occur with the planned frequency, with the planned intensity, with the appropriate timing, and as directed to reach the intended audience?


Focus on quality, quantity, and distribution of communication outputs: e.g., are the expected numbers of posters printed and distributed to appropriate locations? Do all members of the management and communication team carry out their functions as planned? Are the quality and volume of the outputs, whether posters, serial dramas, or community events, at the expected and desired levels? In what ways does the performance of the management team meet expectations and work plan requirements?


The focus is on outcomes the campaign activities contribute to. E.g., if the campaign goal is to heighten awareness amongst a specific group of teenagers about sexual abuse and prompt them to use support services, then monitor the evidence of change in those teenagers. What is the evidence that they are more aware? Did an increase in calls to a helpline occur? Did more students seek help from a school counselor? If so, then by whom, when, and from where? Unintended outcomes, different from those identified during campaign planning are important. Are there changes in the awareness of other social actors – parents, teachers, police, social workers, teenage boys? This may include negative outcomes, e.g. a decrease in calls to the hotline.


Was the campaign strategy useful in making progress towards the goal?  What difference did the campaign make to the problem it was trying to address? What are the lasting changes the campaign has contributed to?

Monitoring the use of resources: In addition to effectiveness (“are we doing the right thing?”), efficiency (“are we doing things right?”) needs to be monitored so as to ensure optimal use of campaign resources, including staff and volunteer time, and campaign infrastructure (management structures, communications tools etc). Some campaigns run into the problem of having effective goals and a strategy to meet them, but lack efficiency in terms of how they use their resources to actually implement their strategy. This can lead to poor outcomes, and the inability to ultimately achieve campaign goals. Accountability to campaign members and donors to the campaign also needs to be considered. Finances and Fundraising presents key issues related to budgeting and financial accountability.

Monitoring external factors: The term “external factors” refers to factors that are not directly part of the campaign – most commonly, activities by individuals, groups or organizations outside of the campaign that may have an impact on the campaign, or changes in the political, economic, social or technological context. Since the number of such factors is virtually unlimited, monitoring should focus only on those that are crucial for the success of the campaign, e.g. public opinion swings and media coverage of the campaign issue.