Making decisions about monitoring

When introducing the monitoring of a plan to enhance child rights, it is important to consider the purpose of the monitoring and how the information will be collected and used.

The following questions are helpful to consider:

  • What is the purpose of the information? Is it to support planning of services, to identify gaps in services, to help make decisions, or to help evaluate the impact of a project or take-up of a new service?
  • What types of information will be needed? Examples may include, records of people seeking consultation, being tested or treated, or being referred elsewhere. It may involve recording characteristics of those individuals, such as their age, gender and whether or not they have a disability.
  • How can the information be collected with the least possible effort? Monitoring is not an end in itself. The information collected will help to improve services, but too much time spent processing information will reduce the time available to provide services.
  • Who will collect the information? Is it a single person, or will many people collect and record similar information? Is there a standard way of collecting information so it can be compiled more easily?
  • Who will analyse the information? Information analysis may be fairly simple, such as manually adding up the number of children with a physical injury who attend a clinic. It may be more advanced, such as calculating the average age of those children with physical injuries that attend. It may be complex, such as identifying common issues from the feedback received from children.

Activity 2.1: Routine monitoring in your practice

Think about the types of information you might routinely gather in your work.

Write down in the first column below, two examples of information you already collect and record, or that you could collect and record, that links to the work you have done in the rest of the course about children’s rights. This could be information about individuals, such as their age or their medical history. It could be information about services, such as how often a person visits a health facility with the same problem or presenting complaint.

When you have at least two examples in the first column, try to answer the questions in the other three columns for each example. One row is completed as an example.

1. What information do you collect and record?2. Why do you collect this information?3. Who uses this information?4. What do they do with it?
Frequency that individual children attend a clinicTo identify children who are at risk

Other health workers

Clinic manager

Take action to investigate and protect children from harm










  1. You could have included a wide range of examples in column 1, such as recording on each child’s record the date of their birth registration, their birth weight, or the dates they visit and the problem they present. Any information you collect is a form of monitoring. If you do not collect information about something, then you are not monitoring that activity. Check that your examples link to your learning on supporting children’s rights.
  2. Information should always be collected for a specific purpose. If you are recording the date that each child visits, then one of the purposes may be to assess how busy the service is at different times of the year. You might record the type and frequency of injuries to a child, so you can identify patterns that might indicate a child is experiencing neglect, abuse or violence.
  3. Apart from yourself, you may have noted other people use the information you collect. You may be asked to provide information to other people. If you record information on a computer system, you may be aware other people collect that information for a purpose. Do you know who they are? Are they based at your practice or elsewhere?
  4. Did you find this question harder to answer? You might know who else has access to the information you gather, but it might not be obvious why they need it or what they do with it. We will come back to this when we look at evaluation.

2.3 What is monitoring?

Tools to assist with monitoring: outputs and indicators