TF2-Information management

Transversal factsheets

No.2

Information management

What is it?

Information is one of the essential aspects for effective management of AVR programmes. The scope of Information Management (IM) involves the collection, recording, reporting, analysis, use, dissemination and maintenance of information. It covers all phases and facets of a programme.

What FOR?

The purpose of Information Management is to enable organisations to utilise information towards evidence-based decisions and a results-based management. The IM cycle ensures the right dimension of the IM system: appropriate method and format of data collection, as well as proper means to treat and analyse information in order to have enough evidence to use for project dimension, advocacy, communication and coordination.

IM is the process of turning data into useful, usable and trustworthy information[1].

[1] Based on GICHD definition.

How?

With the support of key stakeholders, HI programmes must agree on the way to analyse information gathered through recurring assessment:

  • Define the outputs of information required by involved stakeholders, today and in the future;

  • Define data to be collected, at which frequency, and in what format and medium;

  • What processes need to be in place to ensure the quality of the incoming data;

  • Ways the incoming data will be analysed to ensure consistency in the output information;

  • Formats and means of internal and external information dissemination and reports;

  • Qualitative and quantitative key performance indicators used.

1. DEFINE DATA REQUIREMENTS

  • Define the purpose of the data to be collected as well as the appropriate data collection method;
  • Design and create data collection forms;
  • Define and customize data management system (how to do data and information treatment and analysis to have enough evidences).

2. DATA COLLECTION

It concerns all quantitative and/or qualitative data collected during any kind of field assessments and surveys such as initial diagnosis, needs assessment, baseline and endline impact surveys, focus group discussion or testimony. The data collection phase identifies where and how to gather the required data, and how to validate it. It should be designed to meet the intended use of the data, and consideration should be given to ethical principles such as maintaining respect for confidentiality and privacy.

3. DATA CAPTURE AND ENTRY

It is central to agree on data capture & entry policies such as:

  • Sex, age and disability disaggregated data collection (SADDD);
  • Uniformity and standardization of the data collection process;
  • Inventory of information sources (classification and reliability of sources);
  • Data collection quality management process (standardized forms, data entry fields and data reconciliation, approval process);
  • Define methodologies and relevant criteria for data consistency as well as data accuracy (validation and verification), completeness and links to other existing information.

4. DATA PROCESS AND ANALYSIS MANAGEMENT

The main objective is to reduce the subjectivity and increase the consistency of the output information. HI should ensure that policies and standards for analysis include:

  • Technical definitions of key terms such as victim (direct and indirect), area cancelled, released, cleared, etc.;
  • Methodologies with relevant criteria for identifying trends based on established indicators;
  • Methodologies with relevant criteria for managing low quality information such as duplicate, incomplete, out-of-date or non-primary source information;
  • Policies and methodologies for cross-referencing information from key stakeholders and sources;
  • Methodologies involving relevant stakeholders during the process of analyzing the information, in order to take advantage of their experience and personal interpretation.

5. REPORTING AND PRESENTATION

HI should ensure that policies and standards for reporting and report production include:

  • Methodologies for grouping and structuring data by using summarized statistical reports and maps;

Methodologies on the processes of information sharing and the methods of communication and reporting (type of information, dissemination formats, frequencies), making sure that it is in line with national standards.

6. DATA USE & INFORMATION DISSEMINATION

Information dissemination to internal and external users must be readily and easily used by stakeholders. Key consideration when planning for information dissemination:

  • Whom: To which stakeholders the information will be distributed;
  • What: Which type of information each stakeholder will receive;
  • How: How the information is presented and disaggregated (SADDD, summary, statistics, maps, etc.);
  • When: Frequency of sharing the information (yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly).

Having in mind, for each user/stakeholder with whom the information is shared:

  • Relevance: Evidence based information, level of details and specifics to stakeholder needs;
  • Security: Data discretion policies of HI and the involved stakeholder;
  • Sensitivity: Security issues relevant to data disclosure.


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The IM cycle is based on the following principles

  • Transformation: Continued transformation of data to information and information to knowledge for decision-making;
  • Efficiency: The management of data and information is conducted with a proactive approach, where the IM staff, based on their experience, foresees the requirements and is ready to address them in a timely manner;
  • Inclusiveness: Successful implementation of the cycle depends on the active involvement of operations, management and other stakeholders;
  • Quality: Data is checked and verified at various levels for accuracy and timeliness and organised for analysis;
  • Consistency: Disaggregated data collection, in combination with agreed technical definitions on key terms, will ensure objective and repeatable results on analytical queries; this will enable the formulation of fact-based decisions that are more transparent and accountable;
  • Sharing: Information disseminated to the stakeholders, within and outside the programme, in a standardised way and through various forms of media; sharing information with other stakeholders will encourage them to further participate in the planning, implementation and follow-up process.

MAIN STANDARDS & POLICIES

  • Refer to IMAS 05-10: Information Management for Mine Action
  • See HI Guidance Note 04: Studies and research at Handicap International: Promoting ethical data management, on SkillWeb
  • See HI Practical Guide 18: 2015 Beneficiary Data Collection: User’s Guide on SkillWeb
  • See HI Practical Guide 22: How to conduct a qualitative/quantitative study? From planning to using findings on SkillWeb

Photo credits

  1. Benoît Almeras / Handicap International