10 texts on TPM that we recommend

To improve third-party monitoring, specifically in conflict affected areas, we have put together a list of ten recommendations of third-party monitoring sources that we believe can be beneficial when designing your M&E project.


1) Third Party Monitoring: M&E in Conflict Affected Areas – Conference recording by representative of the World Bank


We recommend this YouTube video on Third-party monitoring: M&E in Conflict Affected Areas as it points out the limits of third-party monitoring in conflict areas at the present time. The senior evaluation officer in the independent evaluation group of the World Bank, Lauren Kelly, highlights the limitations of widespread TPM practices such as quality of data collection, ethics, conflict of interests, and conflict sensitivity. The limits enumerated by Lauren Kelly highlight that it is within the current training of TPM agents that change needs to occur.


2) Data Responsibility in Humanitarian Action

Our second recommendation caters to one of the limits brought up in the previous YouTube video on TPM in conflict-affected areas. Lauren Kelly emphasised the need for TPM to focus on better quality data collection, ethics, and conflict of interests, as local communities are a part of local, regional, national, and international politics. To do so, it is essential that data responsibility be handled safely and effectively. This guidebook explains how to approach data responsibility in humanitarian action from people-centred, human rights, and inclusive perspectives.


3) Data to the rescue: How humanitarian aid NGOs should collect information based on the GDPR

 This report delves into the intricacies of collecting data and how to protect the anonymity and safety of respondents and NGOs. Data protection is a key requirement for data collection considering the impact breaches of data can have on local and vulnerable populations. While the report is developed from an EU lens and follows the EU GDPR, important criteria concerning data safety are explained in-depth in the humanitarian context.


4) NGOs and Risk

The following report aligns well with our previous recommendation on data privacy and collection. The concept of risk within the humanitarian field is quite large, and different types of risk can have different impacts on different NGOs, depending on their status (ie. Local or international). In addition, what risks are NGOs willing to take depending on the benefits these risks can have for them? This report provides invaluable insight into the understanding of the concept of risk and how it differs depending on differing factors and situations of NGOs.


5) CARE International: MEAL Approach, Principles, and Operational Standards for Projects and Initiatives

This guidebook provides a clear understanding of what monitoring and evaluation require on different levels and explains how to design your MEAL system. This guidebook walks us through what is expected regarding project inputs, outputs, and immediate and intermediate outcomes. The guideline structures how to develop an effective and efficient MEAL system explaining the importance of a clear definition of participants and mechanisms for reporting, tracking, and counting, the importance of meaningful and manageable quantitative and qualitative indicators, M&E methods to track outputs, outcomes, and impact, and more. This guidebook has what it takes to accompany you through your MEAL systems designs.


6) Third-Party and Collaborative Monitoring

This guidebook points out several limits regarding traditional methods of monitoring, namely lack of communication, lack of technically capable staff, lack of presence in-country, failure to produce quality reporting, and inability to access areas required. The guidebook offers instead the concept of collaborative monitoring and defines it as: “The adoption of a joint and cooperative approach to the targeted and systematic collection of information and data for the purpose of informing the structured assessment of progress on a project or projects”. The guidebook provides an in-depth explanation of what collaborative monitoring entails and how it can cater to the limits of traditional forms of monitoring.


7) Remote Monitoring and Evaluation

This blog article from AACS Consulting provides insights into the benefits and limitations of remote monitoring and evaluation. Remote monitoring and evaluation practices can take place in the shape of online or phone interviews, focus group discussions, audio-diary methods, photos, voice messages, video documenting, documentary analysis of social media, auto-ethnography, and mobile phone surveys, to name a few. These data collection methods can impact the data gathered; however, this does not mean that the data is not important and essential. As we live in an increasingly remote environment where a lot of work takes place online, it is essential to have some working knowledge of the benefits and limitations of remote monitoring and evaluation.


8) Eyes and Ears on the Ground: Monitoring Aid in Insecure Environments 

This study focuses on four insecure contexts: Afghanistan, South Central Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria, and aims to assess the available options for aid agencies to monitor assistance and identify principles of good practice and particular aspects where monitoring approaches could be improved. Findings from the study show that insecurity hampers every aspect of monitoring and evaluation, from the collection of evidence to the interpretation, sharing and dissemination of data collected. The study also provides three strategies for how aid agencies can track and assess their work in insecure environments.


9) Third-Party Monitoring in Conflict

Drawing on the experience of how the Dexis Consulting Group conducted TPM in the Syrian context, this study provides insight into how to conduct TPM in conflict environments. The study outlines several ways for third-party monitoring to be rendered more effective, such as varied data collection methods, avoiding time lags between activity completion and monitoring, and using monitoring findings to improve program learning.


10) Humanitarian Programming and Monitoring in inaccessible conflict settings

This guidebook explores the modalities of remote operating for international organisations in inaccessible conflict settings. Providing insight into the role of international organisations in remote monitoring and evaluation, this study explores the practices of remote control, remote management, remote support and remote partnership. Such studies are beneficial in understanding the role of INGOs in the process of remote monitoring and evaluation.


This article was written by Alyssa Chichereau, a current junior officer at Roadmap. Alyssa pursued a master’s in Globalisation and Development at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. During the course of the last 10 years, Alyssa has worked extensively on data collection in the form of focus groups, surveys and questionnaires, semi-structured interviewing, and desk study research.

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