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There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to the challenges of monitoring in distant, insecure areas with low literacy levels. To be successful, remote monitoring strategies must be based on an analysis of the context, and be developed over time and with the participation of national staff and beneficiaries. This requires support from donors and, more importantly, a high level of commitment on the part of implementing agencies to thinking outside the box so as to identify the most contextually appropriate strategies to ensure the quality of programs delivered.
This paper aims to increase understanding of the challenges faced in developing and implementing remote monitoring strategies, and provides recommendations for improving program oversight in areas that cannot regularly be accessed by non-local staff. Recommendations are aimed primarily at development actors in Uruzgan, but many will also be relevant to development work in other areas – in Afghanistan and elsewhere – where access is similarly constrained.