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Key elements of programme monitoring

Read on to learn about the importance and steps involved in regular monitoring of programme interventions.

Regular monitoring of programme interventions is always important in order to:

  • Know whether the intervention achieves the intended outputs and outcomes for boys and girls
  • Identify unintended consequences of the interventions regarding children
  • Collect feedback on the methods of delivery of the interventions
  • Verify the intervention is reaching the group of children initially targeted or if certain groups are under- or over-represented.

Data disaggregation

All data collected during the monitoring phase should be disaggregated by sex and by age.

You can use the following age and sex groups as well as children with impairment disaggregation groups:

  • Girls 0-5
  • Boys 0-5
  • Girls 6-11
  • Boys 6-11
  • Girls 12-17
  • Boys 12-17
  • Women (above 18)
  • Men (above 18)
  • Seeing impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Walking impairment
  • Fine motor impairment
  • Communication impairment
  • Learning impairment
  • Playing controlling behaviour impairment

You can use the Washington Group questions on child functioning to assess children’s impairment.

Programme monitoring

Regular monitoring of activities is necessary to ensure the quality of activities. Monitoring can be conducted by your MEAL team (Monitoring, Evaluation Accountability and Learning), supervisors or programme staff. Effective program monitoring, while managed by the MEAL focal point, requires involvement of all your staff involved in the implementation. Your programme activities should be monitored regularly to provide feedback to the implementers and encourage them to make improvements to the project delivery if necessary.

Here are examples of activities that you can monitor:

  • Youth life skills sessions through observations of the sessions and feedback provided to the facilitators by their supervisors.
  • Support to small business start-ups through regular visits to children to monitor how they are managing their income-generating activity and how they are keeping financial records.
  • Registration of children in school through monitoring of school attendance sheet and grades, discussion with the teacher and the school principal to check social integration of children.
  • Case management through regular visits to their family or in their alternative care arrangements.

Regular monitoring is particularly important for CAAFAG and for a long period of time (at least one year), to encourage them throughout the reintegration process, which is often hampered by stigma and rejection from family and community. This approach will also mitigate the risks of re-recruitment.

You should measure the indicators throughout the implementation of the project, instead of just at the end of the project, in order to course correct programme implementation to reach the objectives and outcomes of your project. You would want to measure indicators at specific points such as baseline, mid-term if the project is long enough, and end-line. You would monitor activities over time to make sure they are on track and to ensure there are no unintended negative consequences.

Consider accessibility and inclusion when monitoring programmes such such as:

  • Capture inclusion concerns in your baseline
  • Consider screening children with impairments using the Washington Group set of questions.
  • Use inclusive indicators
  • Ensure and monitor accessibility for people with impairments, people from minority groups, girls, children who may be working, etc including when designing a child-friendly feedback mechanism.

You can also see pages 132-133 of the guidelines for more information.

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Programme Design for Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups (CAAFAG)

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