Project evaluation plays a major role in the implementation of crime projects which involves evaluation of the work done, evaluation of the controls already put in place to prevent crime, technical analysis evaluation, assessing budgets that have been prepared for crime related activities among other important factors.
According to the United Nations Centre for human settlement monitoring is defined as the analysis of information which is generated in the urbanization and resettlement programs, duly registered, classified, organized, listed and even interplated. Shrivastava notes that monitoring is carried out throughout the different project phases present. This means that monitoring is a continuous process which is carried out to assess the performance of the project that is being done.
The world health organization also explains the continuous process of monitoring projects that are carried out during the implementation of programs in order to assess the progress of the project in achieving the defined objectives, it also assists in the identification of problems and to indicate actions that need to modify and improve the program. Monitoring is also carried out to accompany the implementation of actions and their effects. The author further explains that monitoring also detects the main tendencies of crime, identifies possible problems and opportunities and indirectly assesses the performance of the organizational units.
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Role of monitoring and evaluation of projects in crime prevention
Monitoring and evaluation is carried out with the aim of making improvements on projects related to the crime that are being carried out. This is because it helps in the identifications of problems and issues that affect the implementation process hence they can be sorted out within a given period. Evaluation is done to find out if the project that had been put in place was successful or not. According to Fisher and Lab, it is also necessary to carry out monitoring and evaluation of crime related projects because it provides feedback on their progress. The feedback that is provided can either be negative or positive. Individuals should, therefore, be ready to handle the results of the process and identify strategies that seek to make necessary improvements on the project.
Monitoring and evaluation processes also help in problem identification within the crime project and ensure that the community members are safe. Wang argues that monitoring and evaluation helps to identify problems that are likely to take place which can affect the progress of the projects. This is because most projects are prone to problems which are associated with challenges faced and issues that affect the implementation of the process. The process also helps in monitor project accessibility. Gorgens and Kusek point out that, monitoring assists in finding out if the project that was put in place is accessible or not. This helps individual to know if the project is likely to succeed or not. Adjustments are made according to the monitoring results which assist in the progress of the project.
Monitoring crime projects is also crucial because it helps to determine if the project is efficient or not. Projects, which are inefficient, should be discontinued to avoid wastage of resources which could have been committed elsewhere. Evaluation of the extent to which the objectives of the project were achieved should also be done. Every project starts with the setting of goals and objectives that are expected to be achieved. It is essential to evaluate if the project objectives were achieved which assists individuals to know if their mission was accomplished or not.
Monitoring and evaluation is also important because it provides guidelines that are important when planning for future projects. IIED, notes that the step by step process helps individuals to know or rather identify steps that they should follow and the ones that they should avoid to make the project successful. By doing this, future projects are likely to perform better and be successful because individuals already have the expectations in mind.
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Monitoring of evaluation is significant because it helps in the management of ongoing processes thereby contributing to necessary management decisions. This provides transparency and accountability in the way crime investigations are carried out which creates standards which are used to compare different forms of crimes.
Levels of evaluation
There are different levels of evaluation. Phillips, Pulliam and Wurtz, notes that the concept of the different levels of evaluation is instructive and helpful in understanding the measurement of the process and evaluation. The first level is referred to as the project level. This is where projects are put in place to prevent crimes, for example, increasing lighting can be used to reduce crimes such as theft of vehicles and attacking people. The other level of evaluation is the program level. This level involves establishing programs or projects that have a common theme for example burglary. The last level is the strategy level. This level involves coming up with different strategies that seek to achieve the objectives that have been put in place. An example of activities that take place in this level is equipping various departments that take part in criminal investigations; which helps to improve their performance.
Types of Project Indicators
Project indicators are used to provide evidence about certain conditions which have been achieved or not. Decision makers use indicators to assess the progress of projects towards the achievement of goals, objectives or the expected outcome. There are different types of indicators that can be used in crime prevention which are; input, process, output and outcome indicators. Rossi notes that input indicators are used when making financial budgets, which are very influential in project planning. This is because they provide information on the financial resources that are required to implement the projects that prevent crime. Process indicators are used to measure the quality of the services provided during the process of preventing crime. Khoezen and International Water Management Institute notes that process indicators assist managers to monitor the quality of operations that are carried out hence managers should use them to identify areas that they should improve on in crime prevention.
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Output indicators are used by the local governments to structure the flow of resources to where they are required. They are also used to measure the efficiency of crime prevention activities carried out. Outcome-based indicators are divided into two. Neuhoff notes that intermediate indicators are used to measure the services that are provided which contribute to an overarching final outcome; while the final outcome indicators are the ultimate consequences and achievements of the organizations.
Key issues and problems that affect the monitoring and evaluation in crime prevention
The United Nations explains that crime prevention comprises of measures and strategies that seek are aimed at reducing the risk of crimes occurring, prevention of potential harmful effects on individuals and society which include fear of crime by intervening to influence their multiple causes. One of the key issues and problems that affect the monitoring and evaluation in crime prevention is lack of adequate resources. Crime investigations require a lot of resources to make the process successful. However, inadequate resources are a key issue that is faced as people try to implement the investigation process. Governments should, therefore, allocate adequate resources in terms of finances, qualified personnel and equipments that are required to implement the process.
The other problem that affects monitoring and evaluation is the lack of adequate capacity in terms of skills that are required to manage the implementation process. It is vital to note that matters related to crime monitoring and evaluation requires people who have been trained and understand the process involved. According to the United Nations, monitoring and evaluation is based on the experience of the experts on the ground. The author further explains that this helps the external assessors in making clarifications on the terms of reference of the mission and preparing the materials that are required to carry out the activities. Lack of skills means that, people carry out evaluation and monitoring in their own way which affects the success of the process which affects crime prevention and the well being of the community. It is, therefore, important to train people regularly which enable them to understand different situations and how they are supposed to respond to them.
Difficulties of changing the behavior of individuals are also a key issue that affects the evaluation and monitoring of crime prevention (Mukhergee, P.54). This is because some people do not change their behavior no matter what is done. This is evident where individuals get involved in multiple crimes and do not change or give up no matter how hard the punishment is. This affects the monitoring process in that; it derails the individuals who are involved hence they process is likely to affect the results that are presented.
In conclusion, monitoring and evaluation helps to provide information on the outputs, inputs and project outcomes hence it is focused on the internal functioning of the fund it is, therefore, necessary for governments to allocated adequate funds to projects that seek to prevent crime and ensure that community members are safe. Personnel involved in criminal investigations, security and defense, should also be trained regularly for them to acquire skills that will enable them to perform their duties well.