Monitoring and Evaluation is a vital part of our Healthy Village approach, to manage and measure the quality of the results, both for our own continuous learning and improvement but also to collect evidence on what works (and doesn’t) to share with others.
In Bangladesh for the Max Nutri-WASH (Healthy Village) programme we developed a monitoring & evaluation approach strongly linked with Payment-by-Results (MaxPbR) covering the whole programme area (62 Union Parishads, or municipalities, and 1.2 million people).
It links payments to our implementation partners to predefined results.
This is a shift away from a traditional focus on paying for activities, although part of their costs are still paid upfront to allow partners to carry out the work. MaxPbR focuses on results that are both verified by call centre agents and cross-checked by monitoring officers, and which are then linked to incentive payments for implementing partners.
We have defined a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These indicators range from access to clean water, to the clients’ ability to reproduce messages on nutrition, to child growth measurement. We consistently measure these KPIs in the project areas. This is done by the field staff of our partner NGOs, through mobile apps, but the data is cross-checked through a call centre we have set up. Each household is linked to a mobile phone number, and call centre staff communicate with stakeholders in the communities to verify the data. Data is also checked by Max Foundation via regular monitoring visits to communities (when possible given COVID-19).
Implementing this innovative system (innovation within an innovation!) has required us and our partners to go to the next level on data collection and verification to ensure accuracy.
Many programmes collect baseline, midline and endline data on a sample of the population, but in our case we are doing so on everyone (aiming for 100% but with a small margin of error in data collection). This means 283,000 households linked to a mobile phone number in our database, as well as contacts for schools, entrepreneurs, etc.
MaxPBR is a mechanism to increase accountability, effectiveness, and value for money.
The new system requires registering of each unique beneficiary (households, schools, entrepreneurs, etc.) with mobile phone numbers, which are 283,000 households. In 2018, a female-powered team of five call agents started beneficiary verification by calling a sample of these registered beneficiaries by phone. With this system, we have better information on results. Additionally, we began building a data analysis dashboard (the Healthy Village Tracker) to help us adapt and strengthen our programmes in real time.