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Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation of a Community Based

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					Asia Workshop on Next Generation Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation
9-11 November 2005, PRIA, New Delhi, India

     Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation of a Community Based
           Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation (CBDP) Project
                     in Assam and North Bangladesh

(A case from the low land Char dwellers in the Brahmaputra river basin in India
and Bangladesh)

Deepak Tamang, Search-Nepal



1.      Background

The presence of major river systems - of which the Brahmaputra is the dominant
in Northern Bangladesh and the State of Assam in India - create recurring flood
threats and river erosion, in addition to other natural disasters including
earthquake, storm, drought, cold spells and heat waves.

People living in such disaster prone areas are often alone in coping with the
effects of the disasters. They cannot depend on outside assistance or a benevolent
State to take responsibility for their well-being. Therefore, the best option in the
present situation is for the community to become aware of their own potential in
changing reoccurring disasters into manageable hazards.

With the objective of increasing awareness and response capacity to natural
disasters and reduced effects of these disasters on the most vulnerable people at
the communities living in these high disaster prone areas, a number of projects,
national NGOs, international agencies and the government apparatus are
operational in these areas to ensure self-reliant community response to disaster
preparedness and disaster mitigation.

It involves:

(a) Institutional Build-up & Strengthening to establish and strengthen local social
    structures to be able to carry out disaster preparedness, mitigation and
    response measures at the local level.

(b) Coping Strategies and Reaction Capacity that include training on specific
    skills such as e.g. First Aid, Warning & Rescue and will enable Taskforces to
    respond to the needs of the community systematically and immediately in
    case of a calamity or disaster.
(c) Awareness raising that targets the broad community and is an effective way
    to disseminate information about hazards, cause & effect, coping mechanisms
    etc., and will improve the community's ability to respond to disasters.

(d) Cooperation & Coordination that will build links between the community
    organisations and the official institutions. That will also facilitate the
    understanding and cooperation among different stakeholders dealing with
    the same problem (NGOs, International Organization, donor, state agencies
    etc).

In contrast to the initiatives in the typical development project such as in the
mountainous communities in Nepal, undertaken by national NGOs such as
Search-Nepal - which often last nearly a decade, the disaster mitigation effort last
from less than one year to fifteen months duration? Unlike the development
projects - the disaster mitigation efforts are short, implementation dominant and
relief intensive. Hence, people's institutions are motivated to develop their own
self-reliant response to disaster during the most vulnerable first week and the
aftermath effects and rehabilitation thereafter.

The community members have been formed into Disaster Mitigation Teams
(DMTs). There are 100 DMTs in Assam side of the Brahmaputra in Goalpara and
Dubri districts. Similarly, there are 100 DMTs on the Bangladesh side in
Lalmonirhat and Kurigram districts. These in turn are run by a Management
Committee (MC) consisting of 10 members. The DMTs are further divided into 6
Task Forces (TFs). The head of these TFs constitute the (MCs). There are TFs for
disaster relief; health; water, food and sanitation; disaster assessment and
networking; security and relief distribution etc.

The PME is carried out through monthly meetings; PRA based maps, rankings,
resource maps and social maps. Furthermore, the DMTs are encumbered to hold
two mock drills a year - which serve as community preparedness and assessment
of community's ability to respond to natural disaster before outside help can be
sought and relief reaches the vulnerable communties. The PME discusses small
savings and also grain banks to ward of the most difficult days during floods,
quakes or hurricanes. This is the first week of the disaster period. Folk songs, folk
theatres and mock drills serve as entertaining model for PME.




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The CBDP and response capacities in the Brahmaputra basin has been refined
and developed from the experiences of Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat during
January 1982 and the super cyclone of Orissa in October 1999.

2.     The CBDP Management

The Project has a total financial resource of 387,002 EUR for 12 months. Divided
over 200 DMTs, each DMT cost is EUR 2,000. Around (6.6%) percent goes for
administration. The donor administration is over (20%). In aggregate the
administrative costs are kept at a minimum and below (7%) overall.

The Project is focusing specifically on enhancing the local capacity for disaster
prevention and preparedness. It uses the local communities as the entry point
and the strategy is to improve the local coping mechanisms through
organisation, training, mobilisation, preparedness plans, small-scale mitigation
schemes and linkages with local, regional and national warning systems.

Hence, the Project shares achievements and constraints related to both its overall
objectives as well as progress, problems and prospectus based on practical
operational results related to the organisation, training, mobilisation plans, small
scale mitigation and linkages with local, regional and national systems. These
have been articulated as its 4 major outputs or results as mentioned above.

Besides, the impact monitoring is geared to enhance and strengthen the cooping
capacity of the vulnerable population at the individual; household; community
and institutional level.

3.    The CBDP Structure




                                                                                  3
                                                                      AFM (1)



                          Project Coordinator                         AFM (1)
                           Field Manager (1)

                                                                      M/O (1)



                                                                      A/C (2)


     Social Worker x 11                                               Volunteers x 22
                                        Accountant x 2




                             Disaster Management Committee 10-15

 State Union
 Federation
 Union Federation          Village Disaster Management Committee 10
 Development                                  M/F
 Management
 Committee

                               Disaster Management Team 20-22 M/F
 Village Development
 Management
 Committee 10
                                         Community People




Working Committee                                        6 Special Task Forces
1 President                                              1 Rescue Task Force
1 Vice President                                                1 First Aid TF
1 Secretary                                              1 Relief & Shelter TF
1 Cashier                                                1 Water & Sanitation TF
                                                         1 Damage Assessment Team TF
                                                         1 Warning & Communication TF




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4.    The Major Activities according to the 4 Outputs



Output         Activities
(A)            Institutional Build-up and Strengthening
               DMT/DMC and Taskforce formation
               VDMC Training
               Workshop on Federation DMC
               Training to newly elected UF Executive Members
               Orientation of UDMC/ Local Self Government Members
(B)            Coping Strategies and Reaction Capacity
               Skill Training for Taskforces (TF)
               Participation in self help schemes such as grain banks,
               voluntary savings, infrastructures building such as community
               centers and raised platforms
               Preparation and participation in Mock Drills at least once a year
               Publication of Community Action Plan

(C)            Awareness Raising
               Awareness Campaign
               Preparation of Maps/PRA
               Motivational Training for Volunteers
               Folk Song & Popular Drama
               Celebration of International Disaster Reduction Day
               School Teacher/Student Art Competition
               Orientation on Earthquake
(D)            Cooperation and Co-ordination
               Workshop on Emergency Reporting
               SPHERE Orientation
               Field visibility (Sign board display)
               Emergency kit




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5. The modus operandi of Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation (PME)




                                                        5. Relevance


                       2. Project
                       Design


                                              4.  Effect/
                                              Impact
1. Objective                                                           7. Major Learning




                                                        6. Sustainability
                     3. Interventions




6.    The dominant Participatory Monitoring Components

They are 100 DMTs in Assam in Goalpara and Dubri district. Similarly, there
were 100 DMTs in Lalmonirhat and Kurigram district in Bangladesh. In order to
arrive at the Project Objective (component 1); the results (component 2) was
discussed extensively and orientated among the DMTs.                Component 3
(interventions or Project Activities) and component 4 (immediate Effect and
Impact) were normally handled by participatory monitoring. This was facilitated
by the Project staff but actually discussed in monthly meetings of the DMTs. The
visiting donor Coordinator also either enhanced or made critical notes of the
monthly routine participatory monitoring.

7.    The dominant Participatory Evaluation Components

Similarly, components 4, 5, 6 and 7 were handled by a combination of self
evaluation by the Project stakeholders and external evaluation by group
members, Project Staff and external experts. The findings normally led to
learning and improvement in both component 1 and 2 for future Project Design


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and Intervention. It also facilitates operational efficiency and effectiveness of all
major activities of the Project.

8.     The Key Questions which are helpful during Participatory Monitoring
       & Evaluation

Areas of Enquiry

Efficiency
Finance Resources
Material Resources
Human Resources
Community contributions
Psychological empowerment
Project Management Functional
Time
Cost
Quality

Effectiveness
Community mobilization, participation and ownership
Training(KSA and change behaviours)
Awareness and Community Based Disaster Preparedness
Social Capital
Networking and Coalition Building,
Micro-Macro Linkages
Policy Advocacy, coordination and cooperation related to CBDP vis-à-vis the state, local
government and NGOs CBOs, INGOs and Donor Partners.

Output
The completed major activities and inputs have to be of high quality leading
to quality Services and Products, Utilization and Benefits derived from these completed
activities.

Result 1
Institutional Build-up & Strengthening to establish and strengthen local
structures to be able to carry out disaster preparedness, mitigation and response
measures at the local level.
What has been achieved? What has not been achieved? Why it has not been achieved?
Remedy, Re-planning and Rectification Required?


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Result 2
Coping Strategies and Reaction Capacity that include training on specific skills
such as e.g. First Aid, Warning & Rescue and will enable Taskforces to respond
to the needs of the community systematically and immediately in case of a
calamity or disaster.

What has been achieved? What has not been achieved? Why it has not been achieved?
Remedy, Re-planning and Rectification Required?

Result 3
Awareness Raising that targets the broad community and is an effective way to
disseminate information about hazards, cause & effect, coping mechanisms etc.
and will improve the communities ability to respond to disasters.

What has been achieved? What has not been achieved? Why it has not been achieved?
Remedy, Re-planning and Rectification Required?

Result 4
Cooperation & Coordination that will build links between the community
organisations and the official institutions. That will also facilitate the
understanding, coordination and cooperation among different stakeholders
dealing with the same problem (NGOs, International Organization, donor, state
etc).

What has been achieved? What has not been achieved? Why it has not been achieved?
Remedy, Re-planning and Rectification Required?

Impact
Immediate Changes (Mostly Positive)
Although discuss and document the Negative If Any?
Long term potential for future civic and social activism related CBDP?

Relevance
Is the Project relevant to the needs of the vulnerable communities?
Are the major activities in line with priorities of the vulnerable communities?
Are the major activities gender sensitive, gender just and gender balanced. Does it
encompass women and men, tribal, minorities, elderly, sick, children, youths and
pregnant women etc?




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Sustainability
What are the potential for future sustained residual awareness and capacity to respond to
CBDP?

Can the social capital at both primary stakeholders and secondary stakeholders such as
vulnerable risk groups and task force, committees and responsive mechanisms become
reasonably self sustaining and autonomous in terms of process, institution, finance and
programme intervention in future?

To what degree can the social capital and CBOs including UF and User Groups become
socially responsive and civically active in the future?

Can and will the trained volunteers serve the community after the Project? What are the
means to continue to obtain their services?

9.     Supplementary Questions

a.   Efficiency
•    Access the efficiency of the Project according to input, output set out in the
PPM/Log     frame.
•    Measure the degree of achievement of output
•    Focus on the main input and investigate weather they were used in a manner that
     contributed to the achievement of the objective?
•    Examine appropriateness of operations and management process
•    Examine the reason for inefficiencies

b.      Effectiveness
•       Assess the effectiveness of the Project according to the Project purpose/objective
and output set out in PPM/ Log frame.
•       Measure the degree of achievement of the Project purpose/objective according to
the     output and examine the reasons for such effectiveness?
•       Investigate the effect of any key external conditions/factors for the success or
failure of     the achievement of the Project?

c.    Examine Positive and Negative Effect of the Implementation of the
Project,
      either direct or indirect?
•     Examine the extent of the overall goal has been or is expected to be achieved?
• Focus on a) policy issues, b) socio-cultural and economic aspects? c) Institutional and
   management aspects, d) technical aspect, e) Environmental aspect?


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•      Examine what changes have been brought to the life of the vulnerable groups?

d .Examine weather the Project Purpose/Objective or overall goal set out in
the PPM /log frame are useful as Project Objectives to the vulnerable groups?

•      Examine whether the needs of the vulnerable groups have been fulfilled or not?
•      Examine the appropriateness of the Project Objectives in relation to the
       government policies, orientation and direction? Including those of donor
partners?
•      Focus on the cross cutting issues such as gender justice as indicated in the
       PPM or Issue 3 above?

d.    Examine whether the effect of the implementation of the Project will
continue after the termination of the Project?

•       Examine whether the benefits of the Project shall be continued based on the
        activities and assistance of the CBOs and support mechanisms created by the
Project?
•       Evaluate the institutional capacity of CBOs?
•       Evaluate the effectiveness of coordination and cooperation including coalition
        building among stakeholders to sustain the CBDP benefits and effects of the
Project
•       Evaluate the prospects of the overall objective is achieved or not?

10.           Tools and Techniques (Methods and Measures) Applied for PME

1. PRA based social map, resource map, Venn diagram, historical time line to
   create awareness, vulnerability map, networks, coordination, and community
   action plan.

2. Annual mock disaster drills, street plays, folk songs and folk dances to create
   awareness and advocacy messages including re-iterative community
   meetings and feed back after each such events.

3. Community Action Plan, division of roles and responsibilities for 6 task
   forces under DMTs such as damage assessment; relief and rehabilitation; first
   aid; police and security volunteers; primary health, water and sanitation; food
   and shelter.




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4. Formation of 100 DMTs (in Assam India. Formation of 100 DMTs in
   Bangladesh. Managed by MC (10 person) consisting of each chair of 6 TF and
   4 office bearers. Learning by doing, interaction and visits to one another. This
   included cross border visits from India to Bangladesh and vice a versa.

5. Field visits, community interaction, strategic sessions, monitoring reports,
   participant observation, direct observations, feed back from community
   members, opinions from key informants and affected parties.

10. The Multi stage stakeholders involved in PME at various levels and events
Local
•     DMT members, TF members and MC
•     Implementing NGO - Project staff
•     Volunteers
•     CBO leadership/activists
•     Selected individual households (in high risk or recent
      Disaster-affected areas)
•     Local NGO partners (if appropriate)
•     Local elected leadership (Union Parishads/Gram Panchayat etc,)
•     Relevant local government officials

National
•     Implementing NGO central-level staff
•     Relevant NGO/other disaster networks
•     Other relevant actors (other NGOs active in the same field,
      National NGO partners)
•     Donor staff (if appropriate)
•     Government staff
•     Local government representatives

12. Conclusion

The important role of PME is to constantly guide and steer the Project towards its
goal, objectives, results and operational activities including inputs.          A
participatory monitoring and self evaluation allows a Project to accomplish
better result, greater ownership and higher chance of sustainability and
replication. The CBDP has learned from many disasters related events and
projects from throughout South Asia. The Bhuj earthquake and the orissa super
cyclone - like the recent Kashmir earthquake was an earth shaking natural
disaster. The CBDP has demonstrated that by being prepared for such events,


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local communities are much better prepared to mitigate its effects and stand on
its own feet before large scale external rescue, relief and rehabilitation can come
and support them in times of needs. The self introspection and deep discussion
and internalization of project ideas through participatory monitoring and
evaluation have certainly increased the efficiency, effectiveness, impact,
sustainability and replicability of the Project. Although, much needs to be
refined and developed further - it is believed that South Asia which is prone to
many natural calamities can learn important lessons from the experiences of the
CBDP Project in Assam and northern Bangladesh.




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