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MEL Practitioner Guide: Alternatives to Survey Measurement for Activity and Context Monitoring - Use Cases from Latin America and the Caribbean Citizen Security Programming

Gregory Haugan, McKinzie Davis, Miguel Albornoz, & Alejandra Mijares

This guide provides practical and useful guidance for Mission Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) staff; Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG) technical teams; Contracting/Agreement Officers Representatives (CORs/AORs); and Implementing Partners (IPs) on how to track activity performance and gauge hard-to-measure DRG indicators using alternative data sources to surveys. While these data sources may be used as alternatives to surveys in some situations, they may also be used to supplement or complement survey data. For example, remote sensing data might provide community-level measures of highly sensitive indicators that cannot safely be asked in a survey, such as presence of illicit crops. On the other hand, remote sensing data could be paired with survey data to measure indicators that remote sensing cannot, such as average size of landholdings, trust in government, or prevalence of land-related conflict. The guide also presents example use cases from the citizen security sector and builds upon USAID’s Crime and Violence Prevention Field Guide and USAID’s Youth Violence Prevention Indicators and Interventions Resource Guide. In addition, the content of the guide complements one of USAID Learning Lab’s monitoring toolkit resources, Data Collection Methods and Tools for Performance Monitoring.

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