Getting Communities Involved In Setting Priorities and Gathering Data

Getting Communities Involved In Setting Priorities and Gathering Data

Publication info

Posted
4/14/15

CARE believes in putting communities in the driver's seat to determine what projects should do, and if it's working to meet community needs.  One tool we use to accomplish this is the Participatory Performance Tracker (PPT).  This tool allows groups and individuals to evaluate project outcomes, behavior change, and barriers to success.  Groups at the community level compare objectives to outcomes, to hold themselves, their leaders, and CARE accountable for the goals we've set.  Outside facilitators work with groups to evaluate group dynamics and performance.  To effectively use the PPT, groups must hold regular meetings to facilitate dialogue around adoption of key behaviors and practices, as well as capture data on individual and group performance. The data collected can be aggregated at the district, regional, national, or global level in order to analyze how groups progress over time, and may also be analyzed at different times throughout the year. Cohorts can be compared in order to learn what is working in the field and where there may be gaps in program implementation.

Besides monitoring the effectiveness of the program, the PPT process can combine information from several groups and areas. This allows CARE, governments, and partners to identify strengths and weaknesses across the whole program.  Common obstacles, places of community dissatisfaction, or overarching challenges gives us clues about where we need to change our strategies.  Data from the PPT can be analyzed by practice area, i.e. agriculture, financial inclusion, or nutrition to allow for the identification of high and low performing groups. This way, CARE may identify gaps in implementation according to certain groups. The PPT may inform management decision making, and managers may reallocate staff and resources to struggling groups.

Ultimately, the PPT provides groups with a means to assess their own progress to empower and create transparency within groups. Individuals as well as groups are able to identify their own performance gaps to create momentum and pressure to improve. The PPT can be tailored to capture information on common group activities as well as particular factors of importance such as gender inclusivity, savings, and broader financial inclusion. It also provides a way to highlight common challenges and areas for other actors to improve or to provide extra support.

What the PPT Gives You

  • Management and outcome monitoring tool
  • Measures group and individual performance
  • Drives positive behavior change in many sectors of Food and Nutrition Security

CASE Example: Pathways to Empowerment

CARE’s Pathways to Empowerment is a six country program that seeks to improve the productivity and empowerment of women farmers in more equitable agricultural systems. This program has utilized the PPT across six target countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Malawi, Mali, and Tanzania. The program utilizes 11 domains (soil and water management, use of inputs, gender, etc.) that are categorized into pre-planting, planting, harvest, and post-harvest across all six countries. This ensures that the monitoring and evaluation data is comparable across multiple countries.

Findings of the 2013 PPT data indicate that producer groups are engaged in 58% of the recommended practices that have been identified for their value chain across all six countries. Groups had the highest rates of practice adoption in the domains of soil and water management, post-harvest management, and gender. The biggest challenges with group engagement were in the areas of marketing, record keeping and finance, and spraying for pest and vegetative disease management. The gender composition of the groups, as well as the gender of the group leader, was also indicative of adoption practices. Groups of all females had higher levels of practice adoption in the domains of input and land selection, soil and water management, and the use of inputs. Interestingly, the performance of groups with participants of both genders was independent of gender composition; however, groups with female leaders engaged in more of the recommended practices.

USAID just featured this model in their Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptation case study competition.  Read the case here.

 

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