The people involved in the campaign – the campaign team, alliance members, volunteer activists –, and the target audiences and stakeholders – are key sources of information. In most campaigns, significant amounts of monitoring are informal and unrecorded: observations and discussions before, during and after campaign events. For effective monitoring however, a certain degree of formalization is needed.
It is important to design forms and build routines, such as regular meetings, and keep regular records that can be the basis of future monitoring reports. Ideally, tools that produce only the data needed for effective monitoring should be applied, and only information that is crucial to monitor the key aspects of the campaign should be collected. Reports should be precise and concise, and regularly discussed at team meetings. It can be demotivating and wasteful for campaigners to fill in reporting and data collection sheets that will be left unused.
Given the multi-faceted nature of campaigning, there is virtually no limit to the tools and methods that can be applied in monitoring. Observation, interviews, focus group discussions, web tracking tools – monitoring data can be collected in many ways. Common tools are often adapted to the specific monitoring (and evaluation) needs of a programme. See Data collection for more information on the kinds of tools that can be used.
Examples: The “barefoot” impact assessment methodology developed for a community radio programme in Mozambique shows how methods can be combined creatively to match the character of a campaign and its information needs. It focused on three sets of questions: (1) Is the radio station working effectively internally and do the volunteers have contracts, rights and clearly defined duties?
(2) Do the programmes respond to the interests of the public? Are they well researched, using culturally relevant formats such as story telling, songs, proverbs and music? Are they considered good and effective by listeners? (3) Does the radio station create desired development and social change (determined by the original baseline research) within the community?
Source: (abstract) Jallov, B., 2005. Assessing community change: development of a ‘bare foot’ impact assessment methodology, UNESCO/UNDP Mozambique Media Development Project.
Monitoring by cellphone: WE CAN in Tanzania
In Tanzania, the Tunaweza (“We Can”) campaign alliance uses mobile telephony to monitor outcomes. Tunaweza encourages individuals – women and men, girls and boys – across society to pledge to eliminate VAW in their own lives, and to promote non-violence within their social circles. Mobile telephony is wide-spread in Tanzania, so Tunaweza alliance members gather the mobile telephone numbers of these “change makers” at the moment when they take their pledge, and then call up a sample of “change makers” at regular intervals to find out about “change maker” activities and their effects. These are recorded in writing, shared in campaign team meetings and used as case studies when reporting to the media and to donors. The Tunaweza alliance’s “flat rate” mobile telephony subscriptions with all major providers makes the process easy and resource efficient.