What Is Results Oriented Monitoring (ROM) ?
What is ROM?
Results-Oriented-Monitoring (ROM) is an independent review of EU funded external interventions. It provides a brief snapshot on the implementation of an intervention at a given moment. It serves not only as a support tool for project management by informing stakeholders about the performance of a specific intervention, but also contributes lessons learnt for futher programming, design and implementation of interventions.
ROM reviews are conducted through on site assessments of interventions in all EU partner countries. A consistent, highly structured methodology ensures the quality and the comparability of the collected data. Interventions are scored against OECD evaluation criteria (relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability) substantiated by concise explanatory texts. ROM provides an overview of the performance of the EU development aid portfolio.
For further information on the purpose and the process of ROM, please consult the Results Oriented Monitoring Handbook.
A list of projects subject to ROM is available in the group library for 2010 and 2011. These ROM workbooks collect information on all ROM missions which were conductued during a specifc year, containing information on, amongst others, the project/decision title, the name of the partner, the period of monitoring, as well as the grades given to the projects.
After the initial conception in 2000 for the ALA / MEDA /ACP and Balkan regions and subsequent testing, the ROM System was launched in January 2002. Since the introduction of ROM in the TACIS and PHARE programmes (which had previously worked with an activity based monitoring system), completed by end of 2003, the ROM system has been applied to all regions of the EC’s external assistance.
While the initial ROM design was applied only to on-going projects, the development of a ROM methodology for closed projects (so called Ex-post ROM) was initiated in 2005. This methodology can provide essential information on real impact and sustainability of operations and can contribute to the elaboration of best practices to feed into the design of new projects.
Since 2007, a ROM system for SPSPs has been tested, in order to systematically record progress in the contribution of an SPSP to a sector programme whilst fulfilling the principles of the Paris Declaration to ensure ownership and to reduce the transaction costs for PGs.
Since 2008, a new methodology for regional programmes has made it possible to capture the specific regional dimension of these programmes.
ROM is undergoing continuous methodological improvements to streamline the ROM process and to make ROM products more useful. For instance, the latest version of the so called Background Conclusion Sheets (see below) includes separate parts on cross-cutting issues under a mainstreaming perspective as well as on horizontal issues such as TA/TC or EU visibility.
Actors in ROM
Elements of the ROM “toolbox”
In order to provide uniform standards of ROM and guarantee coherent methodologies, a set of templates have been developed which guide the ROM expert in the preparation of the mission and during the elaboration of the ROM observations and recommendations. In addition, the templates have standardised the EU follow-up on the ROM products. Most of these documents are now available in the CRIS database.
Project Synopsis: The PS provides a concise overview of the information available before the ROM mission, i.e. project background, logic of intervention and administrative data. It is used as a project reference sheet during and after the ROM mission.
Background Conclusion Sheet: The BCS is the key methodological instrument for ROM providing the methodological structure for ROM to ensure objectivity, consistency and comprehensiveness. It serves as a supporting document for drafting the MR. It automatically calculates the Monitoring Report grading using the sub criteria for each category of conclusions of the MR. As a document uploaded in the CRIS database it can provide more detailed information to ROM Users in addition to the ROM Report. BCS templates are available in the group library in english, french and spanish.
Monitoring Report: The MR is the main document to present findings of the ROM mission. It includes general and financial information on the project, grades for 5 ROM criteria (obtained via the BCS) and a summary of conclusions.
Monitoring notes (MN): The MN, a short substitute for a full MR, are produced only in the exceptional case that an on-site ROM visit is not possible because of security hazards, natural disaster etc.
Response sheet: The RS is drafted by the TM in HQ or EUDs in response to the MR and BCS. It includes the TM’s assessment of the quality of the MR, eventual plans to implement MR recommendations and feedback from other stakeholders.