Community Based Monitoring – Schools

10 Dec 2021

The Community Based Monitoring of School (CBM-S) Program was initiated in July 2014 in order to bring more coordination between communities and government education departments, increase transparency and accountability, enhance the quality of education services through community monitoring, collaborative information sharing and problem solving. The aim of this program is to make officials more responsive, encourage communities to support the education sector and advocate for policy change at local and national levels.

The CBM-S Program succeeded Integrity Watch Afghanistan’s Community Score Card (CSC) Program in which School Management Shuras (SMS) were empowered through training of SMS members to evaluate education services, identify school problems and seek local opportunities to solve school problems. Although the pilot phase of the CSC has successfully come to an end in the Jabal Saraj District of Parwan Province, nevertheless, due to the lack of an effective monitoring system and the reactive nature of SMSs, Integrity Watch decided to alter its approach and switch CSC to the CBM-S Program. This new approach has enabled community members to regularly monitor schools for an extended period of time and assist school management to resolve school problems.

The methodology of Community Based Monitoring of School Program is as follows:

  1. Coordination with the education sector at Ministry level: At the outset the vital step for a CBM-S program is to contact the concerned ministries and secure their cooperation. At this stage the CBM-S team will have introductory meetings with the concerned departments in the education sector and introduce the program to them. This working approach is greatly needed to inform the further development of the program.
  2. Coordination with the education sector at Provincial level: Following the assured cooperation between Integrity Watch and the MoE, the CBM-S team will reach out to local authorities and seek their consent to the Program as well as invite their support.
  3. Community Mobilization: Community involvement is pivotal for successful implementation of a CBM-S Program. At this phase targeted communities are mobilized and the need for CBM-S programs is explained to members of the community. Communities are then encouraged to elect qualified persons as Integrity Volunteers or Community Representative to monitor schools and education services. The Integrity Volunteers are elected by community members.
  4. Integrity Volunteers Training: To effectively monitor education services, it is essential that Integrity Volunteers are equipped with the necessary skills. After the election of Integrity Volunteers, a training and orientation session is organized to prepare them for the task. The training covers basic concepts of governance, awareness, community mobilization, monitoring and problem solving. Local Monitors will have an understanding of how to use monitoring tools and conduct surveys.
  5. Baseline Survey: It is imperative to rigorously understand the ground circumstances before starting an intervention. This will enable the implementers (in this case Integrity Watch) to draft suitable strategies to measure the effectiveness and impact of the intervention. At this stage Integrity Volunteers administer specifically designed questionnaires to beneficiaries of education services and document the existing situation. Then all of the collected data is fed into Integrity Watch’s database and baseline survey reports are produced.
  6. Monitoring of Schools and Participation in SMS meetings: Monitoring of schools and overseeing the proper functioning of School Management Shura (SMS) are the core objectives of the CBM-S Program. As previously mentioned, the Integrity Volunteers will visit schools at least twice a week and fill up monitoring forms. They will also attend monthly SMS meetings and update community representatives on the findings. At this stage school information is collected and recorded into Integrity Watch’s database. Also, weekly and quarterly monitoring forms are completed  by Integrity Volunteers and recorded into the database and a monthly feedback sheet is prepared from the recorded information and submitted to the school management and community representatives. In addition, the assigned Integrity Volunteers attend SMS meetings and monitor their performance.
  7. Integrity Volunteers Meeting: To expand on their own findings as well as to share their experiences with others, Integrity Volunteers meetings take place once a month. This meeting gives Integrity Volunteers the opportunity to exchange their ideas, determine the common challenges and jointly seek solutions.
  8. Sectorial Monitoring Group (SMG): This step is the most important step of CBM-S program. This board houses all stakeholders such us education officials, representatives of communities and heads of SMSs to discuss immediate problems in the education sector at provincial level. These meetings take place on a quarterly basis.
  9. End line Survey: This survey concludes with measuring the effectiveness and impact of the intervention. The outcome of this survey will be used as input for evaluating the program’s success.
  10. The elected Integrity Volunteers attend SMS monthly meetings and monitor the SMS performance as well. All the monitoring process and monitoring achievements are reported to communities regularly. The results of monitoring show that the SMS meetings are taking place at targeted schools regularly and the contribution of local communities has also increased regarding identifying and resolving school problems.

Since its inception in 2014, communities have monitored 757 schools:  in Balkh (96), Bamyan (65), Herat (131), Kabul (97), Kapisa (199), Kundoz (23), Nangarhar (76), Parwan (70). The program has identified 11321 issues out of which 55 percent of the problems were solved which includes hygiene in some schools, provision of portable water, attendance of teachers and students, activation of School Management Shura, absence of textbooks in some schools, and the construction of boundary walls and even school building in exceptional cases.  However, 5584 problems remained unsolved which includes the construction of school buildings, issues about boundary walls, textbooks, desks and chairs or carpets, portable water, shortage of professional teachers, laboratories.

For more details about the program and to access the Community Based Monitoring-School CBM-S-Flowchart, please visit