15.5 Tools for monitoring and evaluation

There is a wide range of tools available which can be used to generate information for monitoring and evaluation purposes.

  • Think back to Study Session 3 and list the main methods that can be used to gather data from communities and individuals about their access and use of sanitation and waste management services.

  • The main methods are:

    • interviews with individuals and households
    • observation in public places and in homes
    • community discussions (Figure 15.3)
    • focus groups (Figure 15.4)
    • questionnaires that can be completed by large numbers of people or used to structure interviews.
Figure 15.3 Community meetings can allow people to participate in M&E planning.
Figure 15.4 A focus group considering an issue.

Large-scale monitoring programmes can generate enormous amounts of data. Collating the data and organising it in a way that is meaningful for evaluation or other purposes is a significant task. This is the purpose of a management information system (MIS). An MIS is a computer-based system that provides tools for collecting, organising and presenting information so that is useful for managers and other stakeholders.

In Ethiopia, there are two national monitoring systems that are relevant to urban sanitation and waste management. The Health Management Information System/Monitoring and Evaluation(HMIS/M&E) is used to record data from routine services and administrative records across all woredas and all health facilities throughout the country (MoH, 2008; Hirpa et al., 2010).

In the WASH sector, the National WASH Inventory (NWI) is a country-wide monitoring programme that was initiated in 2010/2011. Its purpose is to provide a single comprehensive set of baseline data about water, sanitation and hygiene provision for the whole country. The early phases of data collection used paper-based surveys and questionnaires but later phases have moved to a system of collecting data using smart phones (as long as there is service) which is much quicker and more efficient. The WASH MIS has been developed to collect monitoring data and to enable production of reports from national to woreda levels.

There is a lack of coordination between the HMIS and WASH MIS and this is recognised as a problem. In addition, at present, there is greater emphasis on water supply than there is on sanitation and hygiene, and currently there is no national monitoring of solid waste management. Recent developments such as the One WASH National Programme, which you read about in Study Session 1, are signs of the move towards more collaborative and integrated working in the sector which will bring many benefits.

Summary of Study Session 15