Monitoring

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  1. What is Monitoring?
  2. How to set up and activate a Monitoring instance in the project’s Timelines?
  3. How to fill in the monitoring report on GMS?
  4. GMS Focus: Monitoring results and Partner Performance Index (PPI)
  5. Monitoring Extracts
  6. Monitoring and the OCHA Assurance Dashboard

I- What is Monitoring?Top

Monitoring is an essential part of the internal mechanisms for project management, as its main purpose is to assess progress made towards set targets and to verify the accuracy of reporting submitted by Implementing Partners (IP).

There can be different types of monitoring, including:

- Field Site Monitoring,
- Financial Spot Check,
- Third Party Monitoring,
- Remote Call Monitoring.

The GMS ensures a safe and transparent monitoring process. The HFU first creates and activates the monitoring instance, according to the relevant Operational Modalities, in the Timelines’ tab of the project. Then, during the Implementation and Reporting phase of the project, the HFU must perform the monitoring, fill in the necessary information in the monitoring module of the GMS, and save the recommended actions and results for the Partner.
The HFU can then send the results and recommendations to the Implementing Partner or/and Cluster Coordinator, as necessary, before marking the monitoring instance as ‘Completed’ in the GMS.

MONITORING WORKFLOW IN THE GMS 
 

II- How to set up and activate Monitoring instances?Top 

Monitoring instances are part of the Timelines of the project. As such, all instances that are required as per the Operational Modalities applicable to the project should be created as soon as the project reaches the “Budget Cleared” phase of the workflow, i.e. after Technical Review and HC endorsement.

HOW TO CREATE A MONITORING INSTANCE?
All monitoring instances are to be created in the Timelines’ tab of the project.

 
To learn how to create a monitoring instance, please refer to this article on validating the timelines.

HOW TO ACTIVATE A MONITORING INSTANCE?

Timelines are automatically activated by the system at the date saved in the ‘Active date’ field.

*Please note you can edit the active and due dates before an instance is activated. To learn how to edit an active instance, please refer to the Timelines’ validation article of the Help Portal.

You can also click on [Activate] to activate the instance. This action will override the active date previously saved, and the instance will be active immediately.

 

III. How to fill in the monitoring report on GMS?Top 

ACCESSING A MONITORING INSTANCE (HFU/CC) 

After a monitoring type has been activated in the GMS system, the HFU can directly access the instance by clicking on its name in the Timelines’ tab.

Alternatively, the HFU/CC can go to their homepage and click on [Monitoring Overview] on the Quick Access dashboard to open the Monitoring overview screen. 

To generate a Monitoring Overview, select one or more filters from the filters section.

Then click the [Click to filter] button to generate the Tasks Overview.
Click the [Clear] button to reset the entire set of filters.

The GMS will display all projects which are active/open for monitoring.

Click on the monitoring instance which are showing Project Monitor status as Active.

*Please Note: The monitoring instances are not blocked by active project revisions and can be updated even after the project is closed.

FILLING IN THE MONITORING TAB (HFU) 

Once on the monitoring page, you can fill in the monitoring results and details of the visit or remote call in the monitoring tab.

*Please note, you will find at the top of the monitoring tab a history log of previous monitoring rounds.

The monitoring tab is composed of 6 mandatory fields you need to to fill out before clicking on [Save and Stay] / [Save and Exit].

Fields Description:
Start Date (date dropdown): Select the date on which the monitoring activity has to be/was started.
End Date (date dropdown): Select the date on which the monitoring activity has to end/has ended. There are intricate links between the date inputted in this field and the OCHA Assurance dashboard. Please make sure you read the section on monitoring and OCHA Assurance dashboard of this article.
Monitoring Round (dropdown box): Select the applicable monitoring round
Monitoring Participants: Follow the below mentioned steps to add the monitoring participants.
• Monitoring Type (Check box): Select the type of monitoring.
Implementation Progress Result (dropdown box): Select the appropriate implementation progress result. Important Note: Please make sure to accurately reflect the Implementation Progress Result in the monitoring report and to choose the same result in the Performance Index pop-up window upon approval of the monitoring report on GMS. To learn more about this, please refer to this section of the article.
• List Recommendations/Actions for follow-up:  The Recommendations/Actions shown here will also appear at the Progress and Final Narrative reporting phases, thus allowing the IP to update this field and put a remark if they have taken the necessary action. Refer to the guidance below on how to add action/recommendations.

How to add participants in the monitoring tab? 

Click on the [Add Participant] button to add participants.

Participants' pop-up window field description:
• Name (Textbox): Enter the participant's name.
• Title (Textbox): Enter the participant's title.
• Organization (Textbox): Enter the organization's name to which the participant belongs to.
• Email (Textbox): Enter the email address of the participant.
• Phone (Textbox): Enter the contact details of the participant.

Click on the [Save] button to add the participant details.

After saving a participant you can click on the [Edit] link to modify the participant details or click on the [Delete] link to remove the participant from the monitoring list.

How to insert Actions/Recommendations in the monitoring tab? 
Click on the [Add Recommendations/Actions] button to add recommendations/Actions.

Pop-up window Field Description:
• Action (Textbox): Enter the action name.
• Responsible for taking action (dropdown box): Select the person responsible for taking appropriate action.
• Is Action Taken (Checkbox): Select the checkbox if, and only if, the action has been taken by the responsible person.

Click on the [Save] button to add the details.

After saving a recommendation you can click on the [Edit] link to modify the recommendation’s details, or to update whenever action has been taken.

You can also click on the [Delete] link to remove the recommendation from the monitoring list

*Please note, all action points from the monitoring tool will be automatically shown in the Progress and Final Narrative report of the IP, as shown in the screenshot below.

(The screenshot above is taken from the narrative report module on the GMS. You can see that the recommendations inserted in the monitoring module are automatically saved in the progress/final narrative report module).

The IP will be able, in the narrative report, to tick the box of a recommendation and mark it as ‘Action Taken’. In this case, the box turns green in BOTH the reporting and monitoring modules.

Ex. 1: Reporting module:

Ex. 2: Monitoring Module

If there were no actions/recommendations from monitoring, the IP’s view in narrative reports will be:

To learn more about narrative reporting and monitoring recommendations, please refer to this article in the Help Portal. 

SENDING THE ACTIONS/RECOMMENDATIONS TO CC/IP FOR ACTION (OPTIONAL – HFU) 
After the HFU has activated the monitoring instance, filled in the necessary information, and updated the recommended actions, they can send the monitoring report to the Implementing Partner or Cluster Coordinator if necessary.

In this case, an email alert will be sent to the party who receives the task.

• Click on the [Send to IP for Actions] button to send the monitoring recommendations to Implementing Partner for actions.
• Click on the [Send to CC for Actions] button to send the monitoring recommendations to the Cluster Coordinator for actions.
 

INDICATING A MONITORING RECOMMENDATION HAS BEEN ACHIEVED (IP/CC) 

Cluster Coordinators can access the monitoring the same way as HFU users. To learn how to do so, please refer to this section of the article.

Accessing a monitoring instance (IP)
The monitoring instance will be visible on the Agencies/Partners fund landing page. Access to IPs is view only, except for the list of recommendations/actions.

*Please Note: Partners will have access to add comments and to update the status of action point/s at the Interim and Final Narrative Reporting-stages.

Action Taken (IP/CC)
If the HFU sent the monitoring instance for action to either the IP or CC, these users will ONLY have editable access to the list of recommendations/action, and no other data.

The IP or CC can edit the recommendation and indicate that the action has been taken by clicking on [edit] on the List of recommendation in the Monitoring tab.

Once done, the IP or CC should send the monitoring instance back to the HFU by clicking on [Send Back to HFU].

The screenshots below show the IP’s view of the monitoring report when it is sent to [Actions by IP].

THE DOCUMENTS TAB 

The Documents’ tab of the Monitoring module allows users to attach/download documents pertaining to the monitoring conducted. To upload a document, click on [Add document].

Field Description:
- Category
(drop-down list): select from the list the type of document you wish to upload.
You can choose one of the following categories:

  • Beneficiary List;
  • Detailed Implementation Plan;
  • Events/Activity Photos;
  • Monitoring Reports;
  • Needs Assessment document;
  • Others.

- Attach document: click on [choose a file] to select the document from your desktop.
- Document comments (optional): you can leave comments related to the document if necessary.

Click on [Upload] to attach the document.

To download the attached documents, click on [Download all files].

THE TRACKING TAB 
The Monitoring tracking tab allows users to track the who, what, when, pertaining to the Monitoring. This tab shows all the steps of the revision request workflow, including the dates when the monitoring’s status changed, and the user who pushed it to the next stage.

FINALIZING THE MONITORING (HFU) 

Once the monitoring is over, and all fields are filled out and saved and the CC/IP saved their comments, the HFU can click on [Monitoring Completed].

IV/ GMS Focus: Monitoring Results and Partner Performance Index 

Monitoring (both programme and financial) results are used to calculate the Partner’s Performance Index (PI). This is why upon clicking on [monitoring completed], a pop-up window will prompt the HFU to both confirm this the action and to provide further information that will be used in the Performance Index (PI) of the partner.

Select from the drop-down list the answer to the PI question, insert the related comments and click on [Save and go to Completed].

IMPORTANT: Make sure that the answer to the PI question matches the Implementation Progress Result in the Monitoring report. 

To learn more about how a project’s PI scorecard is calculated, please refer to this dedicated Help Portal article. 

 

V- Monitoring Extracts Top

The GMS has two different tools, accessible to HFU, to extract Monitoring data: the Monitoring Overview, and the CBPF Milestone.

MONITORING OVERVIEW 
The Monitoring Overview enables users to get the status of the monitoring instances related to each project. To access the Monitoring Overview, you can either click on the Quick Access icon in the menu bar and then on [Monitoring Overview], or follow this navigation:

Report > Report > Monitor Overview

The Monitoring Overview provides a list of all projects with pending, completed or inactive monitoring instances. You can apply filters (dates, monitoring status etc.) so that the system will select only the projects you are interested to extract the monitoring status for.

To extract the list of all projects, do not apply any filter. Whether you apply filters or not, click on [click to filter] to generate the list.

The filters available are:

  • Select Allocation Year (drop down box): Lists the years of allocation available in the GMS system for the pooled fund.
  • Select Allocation Type (drop down box): List of all projects submitted in the GMS system with the allocation type and year for the pooled fund.
  • Select Cluster (drop down box): List of clusters defined for the pooled fund.
  • Select Organisation Type (drop down box): List of Organisation Type in the pooled fund.(International NGO, National NGO, Other, UN Agency

Based upon the criteria selected above, click the Reload Filters button to load the filtering options below.

  • Project Code (text box): Search a project by Project Code (Last 3 digits of project code need to be mentioned)
  • Select Organisation (drop down box): List of organisation names registered for the pooled fund.
  • Select Admin Location 1(drop down box): Lists the regional locations in the country for which the user is registered for.
  • Select Project dates: Enter the project's dates in the fields.
  • Select Project Duration (drop down box): Lists the duration periods set for the projects in the pooled fund. (1 month to 19 months)
  • Select Monitoring Type (drop down box): Lists the Monitoring types available based on the criteria set above.
  • Select Types of Monitoring Conducted (drop-down box) : Filters by the types of Monitoring round that have already been conducted. 
  • Select Monitoring Status (drop down box): Lists the Monitoring statuses available based on the criteria set above.

Then, click the Click to filter button to generate the Tasks Overview. To reset the filters, click the Reload Filters button (i.e. Select Allocation Year, Select Allocation Type, Select Cluster, Select Organisation type).

Click the Clear button to reset the entire set of filters. Click on the Back to Results icon  to return back to the previously generated Tasks Overview page. (This button will be displayed only if there is a previously generated Tasks Overview page.)

=> To extract the list and all monitoring information of the listed projects onto your computer as an Excel sheet, click on [Export to Excel].

CBPF MILESTONE: MONITORING STAGE 

Another way to extract monitoring information from the GMS is to use the CBPF Milestone module. (You can learn more on this module by clicking HERE).

To access it, go to Report>Report>CBPF Milestone, OR use the quick access and click on [CBPF Milestone].

Go to the ‘Dashboard’.

In the ‘Stages’ box of the module, on the right-hand side, tick the box [3.3 Monitoring]. You can apply additional filter in the filter’s section, then click on [click to filter].

Upon clicking on [click to filter], the GMS generates a list with various monitoring information on projects.

You can read it online, but you can also extract this table as an Excel sheet by clicking on [Export to Excel]. You will find that the extracted Excel sheet contains more information than the online dashboard.

 

VI- Monitoring and the OCHA Assurance Dashboard Top

The OCHA Assurance dashboard draws from the Timeline’s tab and the reporting and monitoring instances created on the GMS to provide a table of all projects’ grant, audit, reporting and monitoring data. It provides very precise data on the performance and timeliness related to these instances.

The OCHA Assurance dashboard provides the following data on monitoring rounds:
- The monitoring type, either monitoring (field visit type) or financial spot check,
- The organization type,
- Whether the monitoring round was conducted or not,
- Whether the monitoring round was conducted on time or late,
- Whether the monitoring round was waived in the Timelines’ tab. (to know more about waived instances and the impact on the OCHA Assurance dashboard, please refer to this article)

It is important to understand how the OCHA Assurance dashboard draws its information from both the Timelines’ tab and the monitoring modules.
Regarding the timeliness of the monitoring, i.e. whether the monitoring round has been conducted on time or not, the OCHA Assurance dashboard takes into account the End Date entered in the monitoring module, and not the ‘Due Date’ of the instance in the Timelines tab of the project.

The End date saved in this field is hence the one used by the GMS to determine whether the instance has been conducted on time or not. The end date inputted here should not represent the date the HFU saved this information in the system but should be the actual end date of the monitoring round.

When the Monitoring Report End Date is after the Project End Date, the monitoring instance will be considered as conducted late in the OCHA Assurance Dashboard.


The Due Date of the Monitoring instance in the Timelines tab does not have any impact on the OCHA Assurance but rather serves as a monitoring tracker for HFUs to know when a project’s monitoring visit should be conducted.