6. Monitoring and Evaluation
The objective of a CBI will never just be to deliver cash, but it will be to improve outcomes relating to livelihood, food security, shelter, nutrition, WASH, etc. Programme objectives and expected outputs should therefore dictate the specifics of the monitoring plan, not the delivery modality. However, any CBI intervention could also add indicators relevant to understanding household economy in crisis as well as key expenditure patterns. This information can be subsequently used to adjust CARE’s response.
Market monitoring should be part of the MEAL framework when the project includes repeated payments. In the case of a one off payment, the market is assessed at preparedness/design stage to make a decision on CBI appropriateness and the impact on the market will be assessed as part of the final evaluation, but there will be no market monitoring per se. The following aspects are included in market monitoring:
- Ensure that the grant amount is still adequate to cover the identified needs or the MEB;
- Ensure the quality and availability of goods is at least as good as at the beginning of the project;
- Assess the continued appropriateness of the chosen delivery modality;
- Ensure the project is doing no harm to the market and creating inflation.
In addition to these considerations, continued price monitoring exercises should be included in the general market monitoring framework. Below are some guiding principles for market monitoring:
- Ensure consistency in price collection;
- Check for irregularities that appear in the collected price data;
- Plot average prices for key commodities;
- Be aware of seasonality in prices;
- Be aware of the difference between the indicated price and the true price (this is especially the case on cultures that rely on bargaining);
- Combine price monitoring with volume (in trends) monitoring as it is difficult to analyse market prices trends without volume trends.
As for any other projects, an important component of accountability towards beneficiaries is the setup of an internal complaints and a response mechanism
- Raise community awareness of their right to make reasonable feedback and complaints, and to receive a response within a certain timeframe;
- Ensure mechanisms are in place to deal with serious complaints like allegations of sexual abuse, fraud or other sensitive issues;
- Use feedback and complaints information to improve project impact;
- Make sure staff are well trained to handle complaints and know what to do when they receive feedback;
- Help develop an internal learning culture, where feedback and complaints are welcomed and not feared by staff.
- Establish feedback or complaints systems that are difficult to access by vulnerable groups or that can be manipulated by the elite;
- Fail to investigate and act on feedback and complaints;
- Forget to close the feedback loop – have you reported back to communities?