Program assessment and monitoring tools

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clip-iconAssessments and Indices

Name of tool

Tool description

Tool availability

Group Quality Assessment Tool

“The Group Quality Assessment Tool enables practitioners to assess the institutional health of groups, based on standardised indicators, and compare results across groups, field officers, regions and projects. Indicators can be modified and edited by the user. Results are generated automatically at the desired level of aggregation and displayed in clear formats for the purpose of analysis and reporting. The tool is available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.”

Through vsla.net

Data Accuracy Assessment Tool

“The Data Accuracy Assessment Tool enables practitioners to assess the accuracy of group-level data and compare results across groups, field officers, regions and projects. The analysis is based on a standardised comparison of the internal records of the group, the data collected by field officers, and estimates by an independent assessor. Using the Data Accuracy Report template, results may then be consolidated at the desired level of aggregation (normally the project) and displayed in clear formats for the purpose of analysis and reporting. The tools are available in English, French and Spanish and training is required in their use.”

While the tool was developed to measure data quality, it is also an excellent assessment tool for measuring group and training quality. While good bookkeeping is not equivalent to good group quality, they likely are strongly correlated.

Through vsla.net
Saving for Change Social Indicator System

The purpose of the SIS is to measure how members’ attitudes, knowledge and life situations change during their participation in the Savings Group program. There are 5 sections of the SIS survey:

  1. Respondent Demographic and Location Information
  2. Social Capital and Empowerment Indicators
  3. Indicators on Relevant Education Topic(s)
  4. Progress Out of Poverty IndexTM (PPI)
  5. Food Security Survey (FSS)
An overview is available hereFor more information, please contact
Megan Gash at mgash@freedomfromhunger.org

graph-iconData Gathering and Analysis

Name of tool

Tool description

Tool availability

Qmobile

Qmobile was developed by the Fundación Inversión y Cooperación and it is being used with SGs in Guatemala, Peru, and Ecuador. It is meant to assist SGs in their financial management, as well as the organizations that support them in their monitoring and measurement of the impact. It has various helpful features that are available online, offline, and on a mobile device. The tool allows to supervise personnel activity, follow group and program indicators over time, send SMS to groups and their members, create a variety of customizable reports, keep track of members’ socio-economic status, and even geo-reference the groups. 

Through qmobile.co
Standard MIS version 4.04

Management Information System – Version 4.04 | Data Collection Form for MIS 4.04 | This is the old Excel-based MIS developed by VSL Associates. It is being superseded by a web-based version (see below). It should only be used by programs that are unable to use the internet-based MIS.

Through vsla.net (Registration required)
VSLA Project Planning Tool 1 (Excel)

The VSL Associates Project Planning Tool (financed by Plan International and engineered by Chuck Waterfield) is designed to enable project planners to design a savings group project based on populations statistics for the area in which an organisation wishes to implement a savings group programme. 

On the setup sheet, it starts by asking for population data from the most recent census, broken down by the various zones in which the project will operate.  It then factors in family size and asks the analyst to enter the percentage of families that the project expects to reach and over what period of time.  It then makes an assessment of likely Field Officer and Village Agent productivity, and this enables the planner to determine how many Field Officers and Village Agents will be needed, by zone, working for what period of time.  This is then automatically incorporated into a budget template, in which the number of field staff is automatically derived from the data already entered, allowing a total cost and a cost per member to be calculated, both during the life of the project and for as much as four years thereafter.

Once this is completed, the planner can then adjust the scope and scale of the project to match the resources that are likely to be available.

The tool is particularly useful for projects of moderate to large scale that operate for at least three years.

This tool is available here.
Web-based MIS

The web-based version of the MIS is an evolution of the Excel system and allows the user to create multiple projects in a single MIS and to create a network of projects in different MIS instances, which can be accessed from any internet-enabled device. Since it is web-server based it allows for automatic upgrades without user intervention; it also allows for improved error checking and for database queries that compare the performance of projects, supervisors, field officers and village agents. Additionally, it allows for voluntary automatic daily posting of results to the SAVIX. It is preferable in almost every way to the original MIS, and will allow data importation from the old version, but requires some internet connectivity. Where this is a problem, once the initial setup has been done on the internet, data can be entered offline using an Android application called ‘the SAVIX Data Application. Data collection forms and a manual guiding the user through the setup process (The SAVIX MIS setup and data collection guide) are embedded in thesavix.org website under the menu item ‘MIS tools’.”

The web-based MIS is rapidly replacing the Excel version. Over 400 user organisations are registered on the system, along with more than 1,200 projects.

Through mis.thesavix.org (Registration required)

Hotlines

Name of tool

Tool description

Tool availability

Hotlines

Hotlines are a CRS innovation now being tested: group members are given a phone number to call if they have problems that cannot be handled by their trainer. The hotline can solve problems that are beyond the competence of the trainer, or problems that the group may have with the trainer. The calls go to the local partner, who is instructed to log the nature and the issue of each call. 

Availability pending

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