Monitoring unable to access the project interventions areas. Following

Monitoring Approaches in FATA:

In recent era, many donors are focusing FATA for
education, economis growth, social cohesion, health related activiites. On one
hand donors are interested in investing in development activities but on the
other hand they want the implanting partners to have rigorous m & e
mechanism. Donors make accountable the implanting partners for intervention and  concerned about value for money. Remote
monitoring appreaoches normally reffered to the situation where
project/programme team is unable to validate/verify the acitivites due to
access issues or security concern. In most of the cases, while working in the
areas like FATA, which is implemented in volatile and remote context, many
organizations routinely continue to struggle with measuring results. There are
various problems faced by the M&E team to capture monitoring results in the
remote areas and sometimes they are unable to access the project interventions
areas.

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Following are some of the approaches that M&E
can use in order to carry out remote monitoring of the project:

·      
Third Party Monitoring:

TPM is particularly prevalent in fragile and
conflict affected areas like FATA) – places that are considered ‘no go’ areas
for many organisations. Organizations who receive funding from donors are
required to use the Logical Framework or result based framework, as an approach
of monitoring and evaluation of their projects, but the M&E team often has
the difficulty of measuring results and generating evidences to identify what
types of interventions work and what doesn’t work, while working in the remote
areas like FATA. These challenges highlight the need of good approaches and
regular monitoring and evaluation. The involvement of third party monitoring
(It can be a local NGOs or any other organization/institute), becomes necessary
to show the impact of the project. It may be more effective for a donor to
complete a particular monitoring assignment because it can assess the true
impact 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 an
unbiased or much less biased review of a project or programme. It can assess
the true impact of a project, while not over-claiming what’s happening and
provide public information on what’s being done, what’s being spent and what
impact it’s having.

While monitoring and evaluating activities
should deploy a cost effective and efficient approach using multiple layers of
M, the multiple layer M includes internal M team, third party
independent monitoring of activities and community monitoring of the project
activities. Thus, the real time monitoring of all the activities is ensured to
obtain timely data for using it for analysis and informed decision making.

·      
Reviewing of Implementing Partners (IPs) data

This can be another approach that can be used in both situations when
organization has limited resurces for dedicated M activites or either for
remote monitoring situation due to security concerns. Proper desk review
approaches is used and major chunk of secondary data provided by the local implentiing
partners can be varerified against the agreed deliverables. Team in country
office can easily identify the gaps and share the feedback with the implanting
partners. IPs normally provide all the means of verification and these MOVs
then cross checked with the targets. Different types of analysis can be done
and trends can be shared with the donors.

·      
Photo Monitoring

It is another very good and valid approach to verify activities. It can
be easily done by local partners and they can provide the photo evidence of
each activity.

·      
Occasional spot checks

If possible and security situation allows then occasional spot check of
the field can be conducted. This will validate and verify the activities. Spot
checks of IP offices can also be a tool to get the feedback about the progress
and issues they are facing. This will help the organization to make course
correction and lesson learnt document can be used.

Remote monitoring can also be referred when
project team has to monitor activities in far flung areas. In that case, then
in order to carry out the monitoring activities, the following approaches can
be used;

1.      
Planning a Field Visit:

FATA has been sensitive in terms of security
situation. The M team should plan their visit keeping in view the
security requirements. Some of the culturally appropriate approaches can be
used in order to avoid the risk. Following are some of the points that should
be considered;

ü  The
M team should leave early in the morning for the monitoring visit if it
is a one day visit.

ü  The
team should be aware of the cultural norms and local language of the area that
they want to visit.

ü  The
M officer should wear a proper dress in order to mix up with the local
context as it is always suggested to keep a low profile.

ü  The
visit depends on the kind of monitoring as well, if it is data collection, post
or pre distribution data collection, it should be planned accordingly.

2.      
Use of Camera:

The M team should use
cameras for continues monitoring of an activity location in FATA. The
photographs should come up with the start and end of an activity.

3.      
Use of Audio Recorders:

Audio recorders can be used for
interviews, meetings and workshops which are planned to be conducted in
different locations. By using an audio recorder, one can easily transcribe the
interviews and take notes of the meeting and workshop while developing a report
or a story of the beneficiary.

4.      
Use of GPS Trackers:

While going to the remote areas
of FATA, it is always good to use the GPS trackers in order to track the field
staff working in a particular area. This approach can minimize the risk while
working in a tough security environment.

5.      
Use of Finger Prints Reader:

In order to identify the
participants, the finger prints readers should be used. Mostly, in the remote
areas, people use their finger prints.

6.      
Use of Smart Phones:

It is always good to keep a low
profile, but sometimes the M team needs a smart phone for integrated
monitoring to capture the results. Smart Phones can be used as an approach to
such kind of monitoring. They can be kept in a safe place and used when needed.