Monitoring water, sanitation, and hygiene programs in cholera outbreaks is critical to improve humanitarian response. The objective of this research was to evaluate, and improve, WASH in cholera monitoring tools currently used in northeast Nigeria. We collected 723 forms from 2019 from three form types, combined them into one database of 980 activities, and stratified data by form type, response, implementing organization, activity, month/day, and geographical area. We conducted seven key informant interviews (KIIs) with monitoring tool users and decision-makers. Data irregularities (including in design, collection, and entry) led to an inability to meaningfully analyze monitoring forms. In KIIs, eight themes emerged: ease of use of current tools, improvement in monitoring over time, lack of access to data, need for training, inconsistent reporting practices, need for modification of current questions, need for the addition of new questions, and connectivity issues. Although informants reported monitoring helped organizations identify gaps during the response, the scarcity and inconsistency of the reported data make it difficult to draw any conclusions about program effectiveness, accountability in humanitarian response, or to make recommendations for improving programming. To improve monitoring, we recommend refining data collection by increasing the quantity of data reported, data consistency, and data relevancy.
Monitoring helped reduce response gaps and improve coverage by allowing organizations to adjust implementation strategies and coordinate with other TWiG members.
Unclear and undefined data collection processes and ambiguous questions in the monitoring forms led to inconsistent data collection.
The scarcity and inconsistency of the reported data made it difficult to draw any conclusions about program effectiveness and accountability.