INOGO Monitoring & Evaluation

Publication Date: 
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
INOGO Newsletter , No. VI
Photo Credit: 
Claire Menke

In Phase I, as a result of working together, we developed Alternative Futures Scenarios as a tool for INOGO stakeholders to better envision their desired future.  At the end of that process, some of you asked “But how will we know if we’re on the right path, towards the future we want”?  To address this, members of the INOGO team and collaborators have since been exploring what sources of data exist – covering social, economic and environmental issues relevant to the region – to incorporate as part of an INOGO monitoring system that could be run sustainably over time.

Monitoring involves tracking progress by comparing the status of things at different points in time against what was planned.  Monitoring is helpful and what we do in many aspects of our life.  For example, when cooking soup, you might taste it along the way to see if more salt, or more cilantro, is needed to end up with the right flavor. Or, when you plant a garden, you check the plants occasionally for pests and also to see how the plants are growing over time, to ensure a good crop is produced. Both of these are kinds of “monitoring.” The process is the same as for tracking progress with economic or social development, environmental conservation, or the development of leaders in the region. In addition to monitoring “como vamos” towards the future that we want for the whole region, INOGO will also be monitoring the progress of the Caminos de Liderazgo program.

How can an INOGO monitoring system be set up to help stakeholders monitor progress towards their desired future in the region? National institutions have existing data that can be useful e.g., MEP gathers data every year on graduation rates, dropout rates, and other important information about all schools in the country. The Ministry of Health is collecting information on water throughout the region, and universities and other groups collect information on the status of forests and marine areas throughout Costa Rica, including in Osa and Golfito.  NGOs and community groups also routinely collect project information – all of which has the potential to contribute to a monitoring effort.  Additionally, new data can be collected – using household surveys, camera traps, or even devices that record forest sounds.

Are you part of any ongoing monitoring effort in the region?  INOGO welcomes hearing your feedback if you are collecting information that could help determine how the region is changing over time.  We look forward to potentially collaborating with you and sharing additional updates about the monitoring work we are doing as it develops.