MINT Implementation Checklist

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Introduction

This is a collection of questions to ask prior to deploying MINT to a country/programme, in order to:

  • gather detailed requirements,
  • set the scope,
  • derive an architecture,
  • identify opportunities and possible obstacles, and
  • be able to monitor and evaluate the MINT implementation itself.

MINT implementation checklist/questionnaire

Current and future reporting requirements

  1. What are the reporting requirements of your programme? Try to identify all of them, including reports that are already being produced and any additional reports required. For inspiration, areas can include:
    1. Legal reporting obligations (focus on the facts/evidence only, knowing that the legal reporting includes a lot of narrative that is out of the scope in this context)
    2. Reporting from regional centres to the national one
    3. Reporting from implementing partners to the national centre/national authority
    4. Reporting to headquarters (e.g. UNMAS, UNDP, etc.)
    5. Reporting to donors
    6. Reporting to management
    7. Reporting for planning purposes (e.g. weekly/monthly progress reports)
  2. Do you already have defined indicators (on any level, output, outcome, etc.)? If yes, which ones?
  3. For each reporting requirement, try to fill in the following table and be as precise and detailed as possible:
    Report name (tentative or real) Main content (statistics/indicators/narrative/etc.) Already implemented? Automatic generation possible? Audience Frequency Format Data Source (And, is the data available?) Comments
    ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Current reporting system

  1. Is there currently a reporting system in place?
  2. If yes:
    1. Is the process "from data entry to reports" automated or are manual interventions required?
    2. What data sources is the system querying?
    3. Which technology is it based on?
    4. Who is using it and who is maintaining it? Are enough people trained on it?
    5. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the current reporting system? And what makes you request MINT?

Expectations/scope and resources for MINT

  1. What are your main expectations regarding the upcoming MINT implementation?
  2. Who are the key decision makers who should endorse MINT in order to make sure it is properly implemented and sustainable?
  3. What main use cases do you intend to address with MINT?
  4. Who is the expected audience and in which groups can the potential users be split?
  5. If there is a reporting system already in place, do you intend to have both systems in parallel, or should the entire reporting be covered by MINT?
  6. How many resources can be allocated to implement and maintain MINT? Typically, an IM officer should be the local administrator (and have a backup). These people should be available to attend an A2/MINT training, and then train users inside the programme.
  7. Would you like to customise MINT? i.e. include your own corporate colors, logo, etc.?
  8. Agree on progress indicators (measuring the progress and outcomes of the MINT implementation, see below)

Data sources, data quality and security concerns

  1. What data sources are available? IMSMA? Any others?
  2. What is the level of confidentiality of the data?
  3. With whom are you open to share the data? Implementing partners in the country? If yes, should they see all the data or only data submitted by them (e.g. activities carried out by the organization/operator)?
  4. How big is the expected gap between the data (in IMSMA or any other system) and reality? What is the level of confidence in the data? Is there a major clean-up of data that needs to be performed?
  5. For the indicators defined, is all the underlying data available in a structured way? Or does the data collection process need to be adapted?

Technical infrastructure

  1. Are resources available to set up a server (or use an existing one) with a public IP address that can be accessed by MINT? This is the prerequisite for hosting the data in-country. The alternative is that GICHD hosts the data(base), but in this case a process needs to be set up to keep that copy of data up to date. Additionally, a MoU might be required in order to formalize who can access the data and who can't (making sure that the data is not made available to anyone without consent).

Possible implications

While most of the questions listed above help identifying detailed requirements and structuring the implementation, some could have answers that might be blocking. For example:

  • If absolutely no resources can be allocated / no one is available to be trained on MINT, then an implementation will most probably not make sense.
  • If the identified data source (e.g. IMSMA) is not trustworthy, i.e. it is known that the collected data does not illustrate reality, then this issue needs to be addressed first. Visualising data that is known to be wrong does not make sense.
  • If the data underlying the information to be visualised it not available/collected, then the data collection process has to be adapted first. This could go hand in hand with a MINT implementation though, even if it will take time to have a sufficient amount of data.

Monitoring a MINT implementation

In order to be able to measure the progress of a MINT implementation in a programme/country, indicators have to be defined at the beginning of the implementation project. While the focus should be put on outcomes, there are also interesting output statistics that can be gathered (for some, automatically) and provide some insight in outcomes as well. The following indicators have been identified (by VIE and GAR):


Indicator Level How this indicator works Data Source Data collection method Who will collect data How often will data be collected Cost of collecting data Difficulty of collecting data Who will analyse and report Who will use the data
1 - Number of distinct users accessing MINT in a given time frame Output This is a basic indicator showing the level of activity, i.e. how/to which extent is MINT integrated into the IM/Ops procedures MINT report (these stats can be gathered automatically) Gathered automatically Automatic collection set up by an administrator Continuously No costs Easy and automatic Primarily the local MINT administrator/focal point, who ideally should share it with the GICHD IM advisor Primarily the local MINT administrator/focal point, as well as the GICHD IM advisor
2 - Number of distinct organizations accessing MINT in a given time frame Output (Nb. orgs using MINT) and Outcome (indication on the extent of data sharing) This indicator measures how broadly MINT is used among the actors in a country. This has to be put in the specific country context. Looking beyond the number, it gives an indication on the extent of data sharing, which in turn influences the communication and coordination. MINT report (these stats can be gathered automatically). However, it has to be configured to the country context (how are orgs represented in MINT? Sub-organisations? Roles?) Gathered automatically, once set up properly Automatic collection set up by an administrator Continuously No costs, but has to be set up/customised at the beginning Easy and automatic, given that a clear separation of orgs exists (either based on roles or sub-organisations) Primarily the local MINT administrator/focal point, who ideally should share it with the GICHD IM advisor Primarily the local MINT administrator/focal point, as well as the GICHD IM advisor
3 - Are the key decision-makers (identified during requirements gathering) using MINT? Level of engagement (conditional agreement / full agreement / enthusiasm)? Resource allocation (possible / in progress / funded)? Outcome (this indicates a behavioral change and concrete actions taken) This indicator captures whether key decision makers have adopted the usage of MINT as part of their objectives, and whether this commitment also resulted in resource allocation. If not, try to identify the blockages - is it funds/resources, technical problems, organisational problems, etc.? Mine Action Programme Follow-up interview/questionnaire by IM focal point, or IM assessment GICHD IM advisor Twice per year Minimal, can be done remotely Easy if a good relation exists with the key people in programmes; risk of not getting the information or getting wrong information - but this can be cross-checked by indicators 1 and 2. Primarily the local MINT administrator/focal point, who ideally should share it with the GICHD IM advisor Primarily the local MINT administrator/focal point, as well as the GICHD IM advisor
4 - Frequency of checking objectives/targets against results/data. How often do you KNOW if activities are on track? Outcome MINT does not help being on track with mine action activities, but it helps KNOWING whether they are on track and whether corrective actions need to be taken. This indicator does not measure the corrective actions themselves and their appropriateness, but the knowledge about the progress. For example, if previously a review was conducted twice per year and then MINT allows a continuous monitoring, this constitutes an important improvement. Mine Action Programme Follow-up interview/questionnaire by IM focal point, or IM assessment GICHD IM advisor Twice per year Minimal, can be done remotely Easy if a good relation exists with the key people in programmes; risk of not getting the information or getting wrong information - but this can be cross-checked by indicators 1 and 2. Primarily the local decision makers, who ideally should share it with the GICHD IM advisor Primarily the local decision makers, as well as the GICHD IM advisor

To start with, a baseline should be determined before an implementation.