Cover Image
close this bookCommunity Nutrition Action for Child Survival (Peace Corps, 1989, 445 pages)
close this folderPart III - Project management systems
close this folderUnit 2: Evaluating progress
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentSession 1: What do he need to know? How can we find out?
View the documentSession 2: Records and reports
View the documentSession 3: A prototype record keeping system
View the documentSession 4: Evaluating activities with the community

Session 2: Records and reports

One of the goals of a community nutrition project is to help the community understand its nutrition problems and the effects that its own action can have on these problems. To do this, the community must be able to collect and use information about its activities and results.

Purpose:

Trainees will discuss the types of information we need in order to monitor and evaluate community efforts. They will also discuss the constraints to community record keeping and some general guidelines for design of community records and reports. Different types of community reports will be examined and the strengths and weaknesses of each will be noted.

Time: 1/2 hour

Materials

- Trainer's Reference - Community Records and Reports"
- Handout - "Examples of Community Records"

Preparation:

Make sufficient copies of sample forms so that each small group will have a set.

Steps:

1. Introduction: Review the information that might be collected monthly or quarterly to assess community nutrition activities.

2. Make sure the list includes information about activities, about the nutrition status and improvement of women and children and about outside resources mobilized by the community.

3. Tell trainees that we are now going to decide on what kind of community record keeping system we need for our project. Ask trainees to close their eyes and try to think of themselves back in the villages or communities they intend to work with. Ask them to think of the community members, the skills they have and any problems they might have keeping records about nutrition activities. Ask them to open their eyes and write on a piece of paper a statement about the kinds of records and reports their communities could learn how to keep and use. You might have them finish the sentence:

"Community records must "

4. Now, ask several trainees to read their statements. Other members of the group may wish to comment. Write the statements on newsprint. Some examples include:

Community records must:

- be simple and easy to understand;
- be pictorial, in some cases;
- help the community volunteers follow up and evaluate improvement of malnourished children;
- record activities and participating families;
- help the community evaluate the effects of their efforts.

5. Tell trainees that every project must develop its own system for record keeping based on the needs and resources of the community, the managers/advisors and the funding agencies. Give small groups copies of three or four different community record forms with information filled in. Ask them to examine the records and list what they think would be the advantages and disadvantages of each type. Combine their observations, and point out any advantages and disadvantages that have not been mentioned.

6. Discuss why it is important to get outside assistance from an expert for the design of project records and reports. Make sure to mention the need to pretest reports and to train community workers and supervisors to complete and use them.

TRAINER'S REFERENCE

COMMUNITY RECORDS AND REPORTS

Designing Records and Reports

The design of records and reports is a highly technical area. For new projects, it is a good idea to enlist the help of an expert who can work with you to make sure everyone's needs for information are satisfied, including the community, the managing agency and the donor, if there is one.

For on-going projects, some type of record keeping system is usually in operation. You should ask yourself if that system is providing you with the information you need and, if it is not, how could you improve it? Again, an expert could be of great help. Remember that you must first decide what you need to know, so that an expert can help you decide how best to obtain the information.

Pretesting Records and Reports

In small action projects, it may not be possible to do extensive pretesting of records and reports. You can do the following, however, to make sure that records and reports are understandable:

- Make sure the format and language used in records and reports are familiar to the individuals who will use them.
- Have several community workers/volunteers use hypothetical information to fill in the records or reports.
- Explain to a group of community workers, supervisors, etc. how to complete records and reports. If they do not understand, make changes in your explanation until you are sure that it is understandable.

Training Community Workers to Complete and Use Reports

Adults learn by doing! First, make a list of the steps your trainees will have to complete to successfully maintain records and reports. Make sure that you explain each step in this process and any forms they will be expected to use. Then, conduct a practice session in which the trainees complete forms using either authentic or dummy data. They should first do this with assistance and then alone. Pinpoint any problems they have and work with them individually until you are satisfied that they have mastered all of the required steps.

HANDOUT

EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY RECORDS

1. Individual records

Name :

Name :

Mother's Name :

Mother's Name :

Birth date :

Birth date :


Date Registered :

Immunization :

1/83

weight 4.9 kg



diarrhea



mother taught to



prepare ORS


3/83

weight 5.0 kg



slow growth



counseled


4/83

home visit



child O.K.

Road to Health Chart

Child Clinic Record

These individual records can be kept by the mother as home-based records or by a community worker.

2. Community worker's activity record

Name

Month

Date

Activity

Comments

1/1/83

Weighing clinic in Matibo



Weighed 17 children, nutrition



education class for 10 mothers


1/4/83

Home visits - 5 families


1/5/83

Meeting with Chief about new



dispensary


1/6/83

Distribution of weaning foods -



15 kg distributed


1/7/83

Education meeting with youth club


1/10/83



etc.



3. Cumulative Family Record

Family :

Maternal/Child health and family planning register :

Village :

Health Worker :

Woman's Name :

Age :

Live births :

Living children :

Address :

DATE OF CONTACT :







Woman :

Repro. Status








FP/Method








Contraceptive







CHILDREN UNDER 5 :







NAME :

AGE :








Nutrition

A/C









Weight








Immun :

Polio

1










2










3









DPT

1










2










3









Measles









BCG








Diarrhea :









During last two weeks ?









If yes, treated with ORS ?







NAME :

AGE :








Nutrition

A/C









Weight








Immun :

Polio

1










2










3









DPT

1










2










3









Measles









BCG








Diarrhea :









During last two weeks ?









If yes, treated with ORS ?







NAME :

AGE :








Nutrition

A/C









Weight








Immun :

Polio

1










2










3









DPT

1










2










3









Measles









BCG








Diarrhea :









During last two weeks ?









If yes, treated with ORS ?







Instructions :

Women :

Reproductive Status - Write one of the following : Breastfeeding, Pregnant, Family Planning, At Risk
Family Planning/Method - Write the method used

Children under 5 years - Complete one block foe each child in the family under 5 years old.

III - 2, 16

A/C = Arm Circumference - Write the child arm's circumference.
Weight - enter either the actual weight of the child or the nutrition classification of weight for age from the growth chart.
Immunization - At the time of registration, mark all vaccines that a child has taken. At every other contact, mark only new vaccines taken.
Diarrhea during last two weeks? - Write yes next to this question if the child has had diarrhea during the past two weeks.
Ask the mother how diarrhea has treated. If the mentions ORS, write yes next to the question "If yes, treated with ORS?"