World Food Programme: “Beneficiary Contact Monitoring”


WFP at work: listening or directing?

A colleague just passed me the World Food Programme’s guidelines on Beneficiary Contact Monitoring.

The idea looks terrific: “Beneficiary Contact Monitoring is a systematic investigation to monitor beneficiaries’ – women’s, men’s, girls’ and boys’ – perceptions of an operation.”

I like the sound of this, particularly coming from a major UN agency.

The guidelines say that the approach:

  • Focuses on beneficiary access to, use of and satisfaction with outputs by seeking feedback directly from the women, men and children who are the target group for an operation.
  • Provides managers with an indication of progress towards the achievement of an operation’s outcomes.
  • Uses a variety of techniques and data collection methods.

If members of the target group do not have access to operation outputs, they will not experience any benefit.

If members of the target group have access to, but have chosen not to use, the outputs, they will not experience any benefit.

If members of the target group are using operation outputs, but are not satisfied with the services or facilities they are receiving, they are unlikely to use them in the longer term, and therefore their experience of benefits will be limited.

BCM indicators should be included in the logical framework at the outcome level.

It all sounds brilliant.

But a quick google suggests that the guidance was published in 2002. It doesn’t go into any detail about how to collect peoples’ views. There are no tools, just general descriptions of participatory research methods.

So, here’s my question: does WFP regularly use “beneficiary contact monitoring” practices and indicators today? Has this effort to incorporate beneficiaries’ views been any more successful than Beneficiary Assessments in the World Bank?

I’ve a horrible sinking feeling that maybe they haven’t, for all too familiar reasons. Please tell me I’m wrong!

One Response

  1. Yes, WFP has been doing regular BCM for its every activity and sampled beneficiary by applying variety of standard tools and techniques.

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