Making All Voices Count

Community Based Monitoring Model

The 8 core steps include the following:


  1. Community partner relationship: This step entails establishing the community partner relationship including agreeing on the public service to be monitored, securing a MoU, drafting a code of conduct and considering ethical issues.
  2. Establish government relationship: This happens at the different tiers of government (national, provincial/regional, district and local) and includes securing physical access to government departments and their service delivery facilities.
  3. Engage community partner: This step is about building leadership and skills and knowledge of the local community partner and guiding and supporting them through the local facility engagement. Partners are trained on all aspects of the monitoring process.
  4. Community partner monitors facility: This step entails selecting and training monitors, preparing survey tools, collecting the data, doing site observations and finalising the data. Data gathering takes place over a 3 month period each year and consists of a light-touch survey conducted by trained monitors. Responses are captured directly onto the system via mobile or desktop tools.
  5. Report findings: This step entails cleaning and analysing the data, packaging the data, creating a presentation and sending the findings to stakeholders.
  6. Conduct dialogues: This step entails planning dialogue events, hosting the dialogues, creating an improvement plan and establishing a Joint Monitoring Committee. Dialogues are a platform for civil society, service users and management / staff of the monitored government facilities to discuss the findings of the annual monitoring and together, develop and adopt an improvement plan to address the concerns raised. This is a collaborative platform, facilitated by the community partner, from which a joint monitoring committee (made up of community stakeholders and facility staff / management) should be established. The committee ensures the implementation of the improvement plan.
  7. Engage in advocacy: The implementation of the Improvement Plan developed and adopted at the Dialogue is actively monitored. The Joint Monitoring Committee leads this work and reports progress and challenges to the community stakeholders. The results of the annual monitoring surveys provide a good indicator of the overall well-being of the system and also an indicator of issues that need to be addressed at the national or regional level.
  8. Reflection and Learning: This step entails writing up case studies with CPs of the learning experiences - what worked well and should be repeated, as well as the challenges and how these should be changed in the following monitoring cycle. At this stage a review of surveys tools and report formats is done.
Once partnerships and arrangements were set up, the model moved into four phases of monitoring and data collection, analysing and cleaning data into reports, disseminating reports in the communities for reflection in dialogues where improvement plans were developed and adopted.After this, the Joint Monitoring Committee monitored the implementation of the improvement plans, particularly in areas where government was not delivering. A key phase of the model is that of advocacy.

The model can be used at different stages, and not all the steps are always necessary.