This 2006 report by Ben Haagsma is from a mission of IC/Consult to Ethiopia to assist two organisations -SHDI and NGO Cereal Banks Consortium- to improve their monitoring systems and their baseline studies.
SHDI provides capacity building of agricultural cooperatives and unions, while the NGO Cereal Banks Consortium helps farmers to set up cereal banks. Both organisations focus on promoting access to markets for small producers.
The report is structured in 7 chapters: Chapter 1 introduced the background and objectives of the mission; Chapter 2 clarifies terminology, monitoring for proving and improving, formal and informal monitoring; Chapter 3 provides the outcomes of a joint workshop; Chapter 4 gives detailed information on the systems of the Cereals Bank Consortium; Chapter 5 outlines monitoring systems of SHDI; Chapter 6 contains reflection and discussion; while Chapter 7 outlines some next steps.
In Chapter 2 the author presents some perceived differences between monitoring to 'prove' something (accountability) and to 'improve' something (learning). For example a survey can both provide average values, e.g. average amount of potatoes produced per year, and extreme values, the range from the lowest to the highest amount. The author argues that the average is most interesting for proving/accountability, while the extreme values are more interesting for improving/learning.
The report contains some interesting feedback on the content of questionnaires (sections 4.3 and 5.4) and on sample sizes for surveys (section 3.8).
Section 6.3 provide some interesting insights on the importance of participation in monitoring, both of target groups and within NGOs themselves.
Read the report.
The synopsis was prepared by Justine Anschütz to help make ICCO sponsored 'research' more accessible