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Community Contribution

What’s New? High-Frequency Mobile Communication Drives Resilience Learning in Somalia

Nathan Morrow

The Somalia Towards Reaching Resilience (STORRE) activity uses CARE’s Participatory Monitoring, Evaluation, Reflection, and Learning (PMERL) process to help communities evaluate risks, assess their adaptive capacities and assets, establish priorities in visions of change, monitor changes over time, and reflect on progress and process. The information and learning we gather through these tools feed into community action plans, helping to prioritize community disaster risk management and climate change adaptation activities.

CLA Approach

  • M&E for Learning: STORRE uses monthly live-call mobile phone surveys with a panel of users to gather household and community information about the changing context, needs, and experience, based on the indicators communities have identified as important during the PMERL process.
  • Adaptive Management: Although the use of data is linked to real and immediate activity needs, learning is also intended to examine whether higher-frequency and on-demand information leads to more adaptive and relevant timing, prioritization, sequencing, and refinement of activities that better fit the changing context. The idea is that on-demand information should promote more adaptive programming and improve communities’ agency in taking anticipatory action.

Lessons Learned

  • Learning new technologies in advance and being prepared for the learning curve by accessing the robust community of practice that exists around mobile communication tools is crucial.


  • In initial qualitative monitoring and reflection, our staff saw a noticeable shift in engagement as participants took responsibility for diverse interventions (such as savings groups and water, sanitation, and hygiene) and contextualized the activities in a deeply place-based structure and leadership.
  • We are already seeing a replication of this approach, with World Vision applying the Open Data Kit to beneficiary baselines and the transfer of VSee two-way communications coming soon to other CARE activities.

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