Monitoring is an on-going process of gathering information e.g. statistics and tracking inputs and outputs, enabling the evaluation of what is working, and providing a mechanism for accountability. Combined with research, it facilitates the planning of improved resource allocation and service delivery. Research and monitoring can also help raise awareness of the gravity of a situation, both nationally and internationally. It should help convince those who are putting time, energy and money into supporting programmes that their efforts are worthwhile and should be continued.
Results of monitoring and evaluation should be fed directly back into programmes to correct weaknesses and improve performance. The outcomes of research and monitoring should also help improve child care policies. Results can be used to inform future programme design, prompting a decision to replicate an effective intervention in other areas or to discontinue an intervention because it is expensive and not making any beneficial changes.
The literature in this section provides statistical data on vulnerable children from a wide range of sources, as well as guidance and examples of data collection, indicators, analysis, and research methods regarding issues relating to vulnerable children and child care information section).