DMS Makes RED III Progress and Impact Monitoring Easy
2 March 2016
The Regional Economic Development Program III (RED III) is a Cambodian rural development program supported by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The program is scheduled to last from September 2014 to December 2017. It succeeds the GIZ-supported Regional Economic Development Program – Green Belt that was implemented in the province of Siem Reap from October 2007 until August 2014.
The program aims to support the poor, rural population – especially women – in using new, sustainable business and employment opportunities to increase their income and reduce poverty. Since January 2015, RED III is active in three provinces: Siem Reap, Banteay Meanchey and Oddar Meanchey. The program promotes four fields of activities (1) Local government action for inclusive growth, (2) Stakeholder cooperation for local economic development, (3) Sustainable services and business links for increased competitiveness of local products and (4) Knowledge partnership with national level stakeholders.
With the expansion of the program to two additional provinces with their own offices, three components, and a vast range of different stakeholders involved in implementing program activities, managing program data can become challenging. The program has adopted the GIZ Document Management System (DMS) as the centerpiece for data collection, modification and storage which integrates this variety of data generating sources.
The DMS functions as a cloud computing device across GIZ which helps store and organize relevant corporate information regarding projects or programs around the globe, including instruments and tools, regulations and strategies, reports and experiences etc. Information can be accessed, edited, and changed by authorized DMS users (usually GIZ personnel) by using ‘Open’ and ‘Edit’ functions which are controlled by Microsoft Office programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) using an ActiveX control that is normally installed the first time when the DMS is called up. Users can also download documents. In case the ‘Open’ and ‘Edit’ functions do not work due to the automatic installation is blocked by the Internet Explorer security settings, the software Office-Editor “OFFICEEDITOR_CLIENT” needs to be downloaded and manually installed.
In the context of RED III, for the purpose of storing and monitoring documents, the DMS is used in the following way:
On the GIZ website (https://www.giz.de), there is a link, through which you can access and log on to the intranet including DMS (https://dms.giz.de). On the DMS overview page, there is a main selection menu from which you can navigate your way to your own projects or programs. For RED III in particular, you need to go through ‘Enterprise’, ‘Region’, ‘Asia’, ‘Cambodia’, ‘GnB Auftraege’, and ‘201322262-Regionale Wirtschaftsentwicklung (RED) III’. Since the program has a mandatory standard structure of established folders, RED III created a new folder for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) working documents. This separate folder helps to keep working documents apart from finalized documents, which are stored in the standardized folders mentioned above. This way, work-in-progress can easily be accessed, edited, changed without risking a mix-up of finished and unfinished products. Staff members can further create sub-folders under the new folder and add (upload) documents or data files as required.
In this regard, an M&E technical staff member of the program created several forms for data entry using Microsoft Excel and uploaded them onto DMS. These forms serve the purpose of monitoring implementation progress (milestones and activities) of the annual operational plan, spatial coverage (villages, communes, and districts), household outreach and impacts of the program. The following pictures show some parts of the forms.
After these forms had been uploaded onto DMS, all program technical staff members involved in entering data were informed and trained on how to use them. The training, which is conducted and repeated in the framework of short workshops, always includes an introduction to DMS, how to navigate through the data files, enter data or edit the data files on the DMS and finally on how to make sure that the updated data files are properly saved and synchronized.
The M&E technical staff member follows up and backstops all types of data entries regularly and ensures that deadlines for updating data on DMS are met. When necessary, he provides technical training on advanced Microsoft Excel functions used in data entries, summary, and visualization.
In the context of the RED III program, the use of DMS is the most efficient way to collect and manage data from different provinces and components. Storing data in only one authorized repository does not only safeguard data integrity but also ensures that summaries, analyses and reports generated from the data are consistent. Moreover, the DMS supports transparency and data quality for it is open to all staff to point out wrong or inconsistent data and make the necessary corrections.
For further information, please contact:
Dr Wolfram Jaeckel, RED III Program Leader | , Or
Mr Samrach Ten, RED III Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor |