Project appraisal refers to the structured process of assessing the viability of a project or proposal. This process involves calculating whether the project is feasible or not. Thus project appraisal helps to measure how beneficial the project in question will be to the company or society. For this reason, project appraisal is a tool companies, organisations or governments use in making judgment on many project options at their hands. Organisations or companies use decision technique or economic appraisal techniques in determining viability of projects in order to make choice of a suitable option.
In addition, companies use the process of project appraisal to review projects they have completed; they do this to know project’s impact on the company as well as the society in contact with the project. The companies will thus know worth investing on the project as they compare gains (revenue) versus resources invested. Project appraisal thus involves initial assessment, defining the problem and long-list, consulting and short-list, developing options, comparing and selecting project.
Project monitoring, on the other hand is the regular systematic collection of information on the project; information which in turn is analysed and used as a follow up of the progress of the project implementation against the pre-set targets and goals.
Monitoring process is carried throughout the project’s life cycles with the aims of clarifying and translates project objectives as indicators of the actual performance from the field against the expected performance. In this process, feedback got from the actual field performance is reported and decision is taken and if need be a corrective intervention is made. Also, the feedback as a result of decision made is reported in this process. Monitoring also verifies the outcome or results from the action and a follow-up is made
Hence, monitoring can be described as a process that gives information about the project at a given time in relation to set targets and actual outcomes while putting into perspective efficiency and use of resources.
From the above definitions, these differences are evident:
i. Project appraisal starts at the initial phase and at the closure of the project whereas project monitoring comes in the later phases once the execution has started.
ii. Project appraisal aims to determine viability of the projects for making decision on options whereas project monitoring is aimed at collection information to compare performance against the pre-set targets.
iii. Reports from project appraisal can lead to adoption of a project or its rejection whereas report from project monitoring lead to prescription of actions to be taken or just monitoring and leaving the activities to run as it is at the time of monitoring.