Monitoring Approaches in FATA:In recent era, many donors are focusing FATA foreducation, economis growth, social cohesion, health related activiites. On onehand donors are interested in investing in development activities but on theother hand they want the implanting partners to have rigorous m & emechanism. Donors make accountable the implanting partners for intervention and concerned about value for money.
Remotemonitoring appreaoches normally reffered to the situation whereproject/programme team is unable to validate/verify the acitivites due toaccess issues or security concern. In most of the cases, while working in theareas like FATA, which is implemented in volatile and remote context, manyorganizations routinely continue to struggle with measuring results. There arevarious problems faced by the M&E team to capture monitoring results in theremote areas and sometimes they are unable to access the project interventionsareas.
Following are some of the approaches that M&Ecan use in order to carry out remote monitoring of the project:· Third Party Monitoring:TPM is particularly prevalent in fragile andconflict affected areas like FATA) – places that are considered ‘no go’ areasfor many organisations. Organizations who receive funding from donors arerequired to use the Logical Framework or result based framework, as an approachof monitoring and evaluation of their projects, but the M&E team often hasthe difficulty of measuring results and generating evidences to identify whattypes of interventions work and what doesn’t work, while working in the remoteareas like FATA. These challenges highlight the need of good approaches andregular monitoring and evaluation. The involvement of third party monitoring(It can be a local NGOs or any other organization/institute), becomes necessaryto show the impact of the project. It may be more effective for a donor tocomplete a particular monitoring assignment because it can assess the trueimpact of a project, and provide community information on what has been done,what is being spent and what impact it can have.Having a third party, is a way to guarantee anunbiased or much less biased review of a project or programme.
It can assessthe true impact of a project, while not over-claiming what’s happening andprovide public information on what’s being done, what’s being spent and whatimpact it’s having.While monitoring and evaluating activitiesshould deploy a cost effective and efficient approach using multiple layers ofM, the multiple layer M includes internal M team, third partyindependent monitoring of activities and community monitoring of the projectactivities. Thus, the real time monitoring of all the activities is ensured toobtain timely data for using it for analysis and informed decision making. · Reviewing of Implementing Partners (IPs) dataThis can be another approach that can be used in both situations whenorganization has limited resurces for dedicated M activites or either forremote monitoring situation due to security concerns.
Proper desk reviewapproaches is used and major chunk of secondary data provided by the local implentiingpartners can be varerified against the agreed deliverables. Team in countryoffice can easily identify the gaps and share the feedback with the implantingpartners. IPs normally provide all the means of verification and these MOVsthen cross checked with the targets. Different types of analysis can be doneand trends can be shared with the donors.
· Photo MonitoringIt is another very good and valid approach to verify activities. It canbe easily done by local partners and they can provide the photo evidence ofeach activity. · Occasional spot checksIf possible and security situation allows then occasional spot check ofthe field can be conducted.
This will validate and verify the activities. Spotchecks of IP offices can also be a tool to get the feedback about the progressand issues they are facing. This will help the organization to make coursecorrection and lesson learnt document can be used.
Remote monitoring can also be referred whenproject team has to monitor activities in far flung areas. In that case, thenin order to carry out the monitoring activities, the following approaches canbe used;1. Planning a Field Visit:FATA has been sensitive in terms of securitysituation. The M team should plan their visit keeping in view thesecurity requirements. Some of the culturally appropriate approaches can beused in order to avoid the risk. Following are some of the points that shouldbe considered;ü TheM team should leave early in the morning for the monitoring visit if itis a one day visit.
ü Theteam should be aware of the cultural norms and local language of the area thatthey want to visit.ü TheM officer should wear a proper dress in order to mix up with the localcontext as it is always suggested to keep a low profile.ü Thevisit depends on the kind of monitoring as well, if it is data collection, postor pre distribution data collection, it should be planned accordingly.2.
Use of Camera:The M team should usecameras for continues monitoring of an activity location in FATA. Thephotographs should come up with the start and end of an activity.3. Use of Audio Recorders:Audio recorders can be used forinterviews, meetings and workshops which are planned to be conducted indifferent locations. By using an audio recorder, one can easily transcribe theinterviews and take notes of the meeting and workshop while developing a reportor a story of the beneficiary.
4. Use of GPS Trackers:While going to the remote areasof FATA, it is always good to use the GPS trackers in order to track the fieldstaff working in a particular area. This approach can minimize the risk whileworking in a tough security environment.
5. Use of Finger Prints Reader:In order to identify theparticipants, the finger prints readers should be used. Mostly, in the remoteareas, people use their finger prints.
6. Use of Smart Phones:It is always good to keep a lowprofile, but sometimes the M team needs a smart phone for integratedmonitoring to capture the results. Smart Phones can be used as an approach tosuch kind of monitoring.
They can be kept in a safe place and used when needed.