16.2 Monitoring system design

All distribution monitoring systems must include the following minimum components:

  • a method to objectively select a particular location or distribution sites for monitoring. (Note: priority may be assigned to, for example, sites with large numbers of recipients or sites where significant issues have been previously noted. In such cases, prioritisation factors must be explained clearly in site selection methods.)
  • monthly monitoring plans detailing resources (people and time) and coverage (specific sites or recipients)
  • a system to track which locations have been monitored, and to ensure completeness of monitoring coverage
  • information technology to use in capturing and processing data
  • specific procedures on how to perform the monitoring activities, interpret results and report findings
  • supervisory or independent re-performance of monitoring (e.g. re-interviewing recipients and confirming their responses, re-performing calculations in the Distribution Site Reports/muster rolls to ensure mathematical accuracy). Include instructions on sample size(s) and summarising results to ensure that re-performance is conducted properly and effectively
  • review of recipient complaints and steps taken to address them
  • a filing system.

Country Offices must reach agreement with local donor representatives on methods of sampling and the required confidence level for selecting sample sizes. If Country Offices do not have adequate personnel and resources to monitor the sample size required to ensure a specific confidence level, a lower confidence level must be negotiated and documented.

Distribution monitors should be provided with standardised CARE formats to capture and report all necessary information.

  • The format should primarily require objective and easily quantifiable data, such as physical count balances, document verification, and the absence or presence of distribution materials.
  • The format should also include space for a limited amount of subjective observations and recommendations.
  • Distribution monitors should not be required to perform complex calculations, as errors could lead to information distortions.