Good Management Practices: Monitoring
Monitoring is a part of our internal control mechanism for programmes. In BRAC, monitoring first started under the Oral Therapy Extension Programme in the year 1980. Subsequently in 1988 it started work as a cell within the Rural Development Programme (RDP) and produced periodical statistical report by analyzing the programme MIS, as well as conducting monitoring on a regular basis. Due to the growing demand of BRAC programmes it became an independent department in the late 1990s.
The objective of the monitoring department is to conduct periodic analysis using selected indicators, enabling managers to determine whether key activities are being carried out as planned and are having the expected impact on the target population. The monitoring unit ensures the quality of activities. It provides support in controlling activities of the program as well as support programs in making future plans.
Monitoring activities are designed as a continuous process of data collection, analysis and interpretation in order to produce relevant, timely and accurate information. Monitoring process begins with the selection of indicators at the beginning of the year. Indicators are covered on a bi-monthly basis. These are formulated through meetings and discussions with area managers, regional managers and senior managers of the programs. A yearly tentative ‘schedule of indicators' is prepared at the beginning of each calendar year, which contains all the indicators selected by the program personnel and the monitoring department jointly.
Monitoring findings are disseminated to the relevant field level managers during data collection by the monitors, on a bi-monthly basis through presentations and discussions. The meeting follows publication of summary and narrative reports. Emphasis is laid on assessing the effectiveness of the project components with an indication of the corrective measures required. If necessary, further follow up or investigation is undertaken. This information is especially designed for programme implementors, senior BRAC management, stakeholders and programme sponsors.
The monitoring department has gradually broadened its area of activities to include all core and support programmes of BRAC. It covers core programs such as Economic Development Programme (EDP), BRAC Health Programme (BHP), BRAC Education Programme (BEP), Community Empowerment Programme (CEP), Human Rights and Legal Aid Services (HRLS) and BRAC Enterprises. The department also covers the following support programs: Learning Division, Human Resource Division, Finance and Accounts, Internal Audit, Procurement, Transport, Central Store, and Telephone.