Developing and Communicating Best Practice
Understanding what works for the poor is crucial in delivering poverty reduction programmes that are effective and provide good value for money. The Innovation, Monitoring and Learning Division (IML) is dedicated to monitoring progress and assessing impact of activities within the Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP), and communicating the findings to relevant audiences.
Best Practice during CLP-1
Under the first phase of the CLP (CLP-1, 2004-2010), IML was heavily involved in programme design, and led monthly monitoring of CLP progress. The division was responsible for a number of innovations, including the introduction of a “rolling” baseline and the use of independent contractors to verify quality of CLP outputs. The division also developed the CLP's website and conducted a significant amount of research on CLP activities, helping to inform senior management decisions on issues such as which pilot programmes to scale up.
Best Practice under CLP-2
Developing and communicating best practice continues to be a priority under CLP-2. The IML division will continue to review key aspects of the programme to provide information on effectiveness and sustainability. Key objectives include redeveloping the website to better reflect current priorities, and developing a new monthly progress reporting system to ensure improved transparency and value for money. The division will also continue to innovate, for example by developing graduation criteria for CLP participants, a concept that is relatively new in poverty reduction programmes.
Rolling Baselines & Household Monitoring
IML coordinates the collection of baseline data for all core participant households (CPHHs). The data provides the CLP with a basis against which progress and impact can be monitored. The use of a rolling baseline - where the status of CPHHs just about to enter the programme is used as the baseline - has been recognised internationally as an innovative and effective tool. A sample of CPHHs from each cohort1 is monitored on indicators such as income, expenditure, asset value and nutrition status. Monitoring is intensive whilst CPHHs are in the programme (18 months) and then bi-annually thereafter (depending on the indicator) right through until the end of CLP-2.
Research & Communications
Conducting research and communicating the findings is essential in validating the CLP’s approach, and providing rationale for modifications where necessary.
1 CLP-2 will support 67,000 core participant households in six separate cohorts, or groups, between 2010 - 2016.
A CLP core participant is measured during the annual nutrition survey
Recent research has generated a number of reports that have had a bearing on CLP strategy, for example :
All findings are published on the CLP website, and the CLP also participates in a number of working groups where findings from other poverty reduction programmes are shared, ensuring that learning and ideas can flow in and out of the CLP on a regular basis.
IML continues to coordinate and disseminate the monthly progress report which outlines progress against key indicators such as the number of plinths raised, and the number of CPHHs accessing safe water and sanitary latrines.
Verification of Outputs Delivered by NGOs
The CLP implements its activities through local NGOs which are contracted to deliver a set of outputs. To ensure quality and deter misreporting, IML manages an independent contractor to verify the quality and quantity of declared outputs. A random sample of between 5-10% of outputs by NGO is verified each month.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys
Customer Satisfaction (CS) surveys are also conducted during cattle purchase and during the cash-for-work project in monga (or ‘hungry’ season). These activities require significant resources and can therefore provide an opportunity for ‘leakage’. CS surveys take place at cattle markets and during cash-for-work as they are actually occurring, allowing participants to report problems (such as corruption) immediately.