Photo: Lutful Husain
This month I would like to talk about another common theme. ALNAP have in late June released a series of three papers on humanitarian monitoring that I suggest are essential reading to all practitioners.
We are all very much aware that in humanitarian response monitoring, we report the reach more often than any other "quality" indicators. I have written about that in an earlier post as well. This paper invites us to think about how to get better at monitoring outcomes – the first level of change for our beneficiaries – rather than just how many people we have reached with our interventions.
As an evaluator where we use a lot of qualitative methods for evaluating humanitarian action, I have always questioned the focus on quantitative approaches in humanitarian monitoring. We cannot quite express quality so well by just counting, and as evaluators we ask, we read, and we observe. This paper is a timely and vital contribution to the sector and makes us re-think how we can use qualitative methods more consistently and in a more structured way.
The third paper in this series builds on real-life experience in "non-traditional" monitoring in humanitarian response. It uses three lenses to look at them – when do we monitor, how can we be flexible, and how do we put monitoring data into perspective. Good food for thought with useful examples that we can model.