Monitoring Technique
Home Contents Introduction Opening Remarks Objectives Introduction to NPMS CSOs/Govt Partnership Poverty Assesment Day One Recap Research Methodologies Monitoring Technique Cross-cutting isssues S E Database Role of CSOs in PRSP Lobbying & Advocacy Monitoring Strategy Lesson Learned Closing Remarks



Presentation on Animation and Participatory Poverty Monitoring Techniques

wpe99.jpg (26556 bytes)

1.    Participatory Methodologies

The presentation was made by Mr. Edward Mhina from Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP). The aim of the presentation was to expose participants to skills which are relevant to design and use participatory monitoring and evaluation techniques, which can then be used to monitor the impact of Government efforts to reduce poverty at the community level.
The word "participation" means empowerment, or giving each person a say in decisions around their lives. Participation is a process, the outcome of which is an increasingly meaningful participation by the people and civil society orgnisations in the development process.

2.    Community Participation

Ideally, each and every member of the community should feel responsible and take part in the process of improving their socio-economic well being. Community participation has 5 stages which may be useful for CSOs to take into consideration during the process of participation in monitoring the PRSP. These steps include:

  1. identification of problems and root causes;

  2. prioritisation or ranking of options;

  3. identification of opportunities;

  4. development of interventions and timeframes; and

  5. monitoring and evaluation of implementation and output.

The reason for civil society engagement in monitoring the PRSP is to see what changes have taken place in the community as a result of implementing the PRSP. The process will check whether PRSP objectives and goals on improving the well being of the poor have been achieved.

There are quantitative and qualitative aspects of poverty monitoring. Quantitative aspects of monitoring involve sums and figures. Quantitative aspects look at human benefits accruing from the implemented activities. Poverty monitoring should also try to get separate data on how male and female community members have fared in each intervention or activity (e.g. how many were involved, how they were involved, what opinions did they have in their involvement etc). The monitoring process should check and detect how poverty reduction interventions negatively affect women in comparison with men.

Ideally, the monitoring process should result in revision of plans and strategies to widen the "room for change". CSOs may use this process to lobby for the re-definition of the PRSP working objectives or to change them altogether. As the poverty reduction process gathers more momentum, more people and institutions will become involved and new entry points, strategies/priority activities will need to be devised. We recommend that PRSP monitoring indicators should be designed in a way that captures both the achievements in the implementation of the agreed goals and benchmarks, as well as the qualitative changes, or impact so that the transformation of the "quality of life" and gender relations in the respective areas of intervention are captured.

Below is an example of the difference between quantitative and qualitative indicators:

Quantitative indicators:

These include indicators that measure:


Changes in income


Number of health centres


Number of children enrolled in primary schools

Qualitative indicators:

These include:


Increased status and confidence among women


Changes in the health status of children (less disease)


Reduced number of gender related conflict at household level


The contribution of people living in poverty is recognised by Government leadership at all levels.

Wealth Ranking

The wealth ranking exercise is one of the participatory poverty monitoring tools/exercise. Through community participation, ranking of wealth is based on community perceptions on well being, as well as the way local communities define well-being, standards of living or what makes a person better-off/well-off. The method provides an opportunity to understand how the poor define poverty and where they say poverty is located.

Participatory Impact Assessment

Participatory Impact Assessment is a process of collaborative follow-up and assessment on achievements and shortfalls in the implementation of a particular activity. The follow-up on the implementation of the PRSP is being done collaboratively between the Government, CSOs and the poor themselves. The process should ideally generate specific recommendations which will lead to the design of the strategy and take corrective action that involves the end-users and decision makers.

CSOs should involve basic social services delivery users in assessing progress through in-depth interviews and small group discussions around key probe questions at the community level. CSOs can also draw pictures which are drawn by artists based at the community level to activate discussions around key development questions. In the process, the target group/users become facilitate/involved in the PRSP impact monitoring assessment, data collection and analysis, and in the determination of follow-up activities.

9.1 Plenary Discussions:


Community based participatory poverty assessment is important because the process provides for community empowerment, capacity building, social justice, equity and democracy in the community. Gender consideration should also be taken into account. For example, if interviews are taken around 11.00 a.m., most women will not be able to be captured because they will be working in the field. However it is also important to involve men, because male involvement is important in issues related to Family Planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and household income and expenditure.


The main aim of PPAs and other participatory poverty assessments at community level should focus on identifying problems/constraints, prioritisation or ranking of opinions and identification of opportunities.


The advantages of PPAs are that they involve bottom-up planning and implementation of poverty reduction initiatives, as well as providing the basis for ownership and sustainability of the intended initiatives by the target beneficiaries.


We should be aware that in some places there is what has been termed as the "interviewee fatigue". What do we do if people refuse to participate?

9.2  Recommendations


Effective PPAs should include and involve all social interest groups and take into account gender balance, providing equity for both women and men. Other interest groups such as the disabled, faith groups and influential leaders should also be consulted/involved.


CSOs that are involved in poverty monitoring should be acquainted with appropriate PPA tools and techniques.


Monitoring poverty and PRSP should take PPA approach at all levels.


Back Home Next