Technology Evaluation
Technology Evaluation

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Technology Evaluation

3.3.1 Monitoring

In much of the literature on evaluation it is recognised that evaluation is closely linked to monitoring, with monitoring often forming part of an evaluation and producing data for it (Weiss, 1998; Robson, 2000). There are two key reasons why monitoring does not equate to evaluation, however. The most fundamental is that monitoring is concerned with collecting data and information on the operation and performance of a technology, system, project or programme ‘without questioning the logic or structure’ of its design (Robson, 2000, p. 5). In other words, monitoring is ‘an essentially value-free activity’ (ibid, p. 5). This discounts the fact that the indicators used in some forms of monitoring may not be value-free, of course. By contrast the purpose of evaluation is fundamentally about making judgements about the merit, worth or value of an entity or activity, be that a technology, system, project or programme. It is therefore not a value-free activity, however objective some evaluators may claim to be. The second area of distinction is that monitoring is generally an ongoing activity, whereas evaluation takes place at a certain point in time (Clarke, 1999).

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