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Third party monitoring in adaptive programming


In contexts of conflict, fragility and rapid change where risk is high and areas are largely inaccessible, there is a need for third-party verification to underpin monitoring and evaluation (M&E) that is context-appropriate, able to analyse and mitigate risks, and recommend solutions. This learning brief highlights learning from the use of third party monitoring (TPM) tools in IAAAP. Drawing on the experiences of the programme, it highlights how monitoring activities, outsourced to the consulting company, FrontSom, contributed to the programme's adaptive approach.

Key findings:

  • TPM processes strengthen development initiatives and emergency-response efforts in two ways: i) providing an inclusive portrait of data and perspectives that a traditional monitoring system may fail to document and ii) delivering actionable and valid recommendations.
  • By developing and agreeing on a set of practical, measurable milestones that each partner had to reach – at any point during their project –partners were able to concentrate on the implementation of their activities and to closely engage and collaborate with other partners, the IAAAP team and the TPM agent. This helped to create an environment in which partners could reflect on challenges and learn from their mistakes, and regularly revise their approaches.
  • Good communication between implementing partners and local counterparts creates greater transparency and more active involvement from the local community and reduces suspicion.
  • Failures, as well as successes, should be recognised and reported on if learning is to play a central role in programming – as it should when using an adaptive approach.

Read the full learning brief.

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