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Tools and Practical Steps for Remote Monitoring during COVID-19

Explore some key tools and suggestions for practical actions when introducing remote management and monitoring during COVID-19.
Remote Monitoring

Methods to collect monitoring data remotely include, but are not limited to:

  • Key informant interviews.
  • Individual interviews.
  • Surveys and polls.
  • Feedback and complaints mechanisms.
  • Remote observations (or sensing) using GPS data or photography.

Tools for Remote Monitoring

Technology can be used to collect monitoring information using some of the above methods. Technology can contribute to an increase in the quality of remote monitoring and management. Tools include, but are not limited to:

  • Cellular and smart phones.
  • Smart phone apps.
  • Cameras.
  • Internet conference technologies (such as Skype, GoToMeeting, Zoom, WebEx, etc.).
  • Survey tools (such as Survey Monkey, Google Forms, Typeform, etc.).

It is critical to work with local partners, staff or community focal points and to draw on local knowledge and relationships when planning for remote monitoring approaches during the COVID-19 pandemic. Where possible, co-design—with local, national or community partners—remote management approaches that draw on their knowledge and relationships and promote ownership.

Integrating Community-based Approaches in Remote Monitoring

Using existing community structures, such as community groups and committees, is an effective way to remotely monitor projects (where they do not include sensitive/high-risk case management or the collection of information directly from survivors).

  • Where available, local staff from the community can provide monitoring data and a link for establishing remote management protocols.
  • For project activities that are community-based and do not directly target individual children at risk, existing committees can help monitor the quality of implementation and project progress when staff are unable to visit sites.
  • Involving women, girls, men and boys in the M&E of projects is not only good practice but leads to a more effective humanitarian response. It can help ensure that humanitarian organizations take account of, give account to, and are held to account by communities.

For additional resources on working with communities during COVID-19, please refer to Working with Communities to Keep Children Safe: Annex to the Technical Note on the Protection of Children during the Coronavirus Pandemic, Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, 2020.

The infographic below details a series of considerations and practical steps for remote monitoring. To explore these further, click through to the guidance documents developed by the Humanitarian Advisory Group in partnership with GLOW.

Summary of key actions; build on what you have, working with partners, remote monitoring, collaborate with others, maximize inclusion, safety and well-being.

Remote Management and Monitoring

Good Practices When Working with Communities on Remote Management and Monitoring

  • Groups and individuals are often already collaborating with organizations. It is best to map out existing structures and leverage those rather than creating parallel systems in a community.
  • Develop Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) and job or task descriptions for the role of community focal points, including clear boundaries of their roles if they participate in providing direct services.
  • Have multiple contacts per location to ensure you can triangulate information easily.
  • Depending on the role and responsibilities envisioned for community focal points, provide training in protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), ethical approaches, concepts of M&E, and other topics relevant to the child protection programming to create awareness of their roles and responsibilities and to strengthen their ability to respond to protection concerns. This can be done by remote methods where needed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Ensure that the community focal points’ MOUs, training and collaboration with staff includes confidentiality and safeguarding standards and processes.

The infographic below detail a series of considerations and practical steps for remote monitoring. To explore these further, click through to the guidance documents developed by the Humanitarian Advisory Group in partnership with CARE.

Summary of practical actions; working with partners, context specific capacities, safety and wellbeing, flexible and adaptable approaches, accountability and protection

Your Task

In your context, what is one adaptation you will do to enhance programme management or monitoring?

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Protecting Children during COVID-19 and other Infectious Disease Outbreaks

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