- Conduct frequent monitoring field visits
- Review and compile M&E data from partner
- Conduct mid-term partnership review (survey)
While monitoring aims to ensure that funds are used in compliance with contracts, it is not meant to be an exercise in ‘policing’ partners. Instead, it is an opportunity for both to learn and improve. Partners often welcome this approach, and some even ask CARE to monitor more, to better understand their challenges. The following is recommended:
- Draft a M&E plan, including clear and simple formats at the start of the project
- Conduct regular monitoring field visits
- If the context does not allow for field visits (e.g. Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia), use third-party monitoring or contract external consultants. Video live-streaming or social media can provide another solution to keep in touch with partners in remote areas.
- Keep monitoring light and simple. Make sure you are not overburdening your partner with information requests, meetings or visits,
- Listen to partners. Ask proactively for feedback and solutions to challenges. Partners often have great ideas on how to improve programming.
- Make sure to act on feedback, complaints or suggestions that come from partners.
See also Chapter 9 Monitoring and evaluation.
For monitoring of activities implemented by partners to which CARE has little to no access CARE has developed a collaborative approach to remote monitoring..
Monitoring the partnership itself is as important as monitoring program activities. If there are challenges in partnering together, this should be identified and addressed. If issues between the parties are not addressed adequately, this may become an obstacle for responding effectively during an emergency.
Continuous monitoring of the partnership relation therefore is critical. CARE should be open to receiving feedback and complaints and a systematic process needs to be in place to facilitate this and track performance. Some recommendations that could help to monitor and evaluate the partnership itself include:
- Make time during face to face program meetings with the partner to discuss the partner cooperation and ways to improve this
- Appoint 1 focal person within your office (usually the partnership advisor or someone who is not the budget holder of the grant) to function as an “ombudsman” and who hears and investigates feedback and complaints in the interest of the partners.
- Conduct a partnership review/survey (during implementation and after close-out) to understand better and act upon feedback from the partners.