Real-time monitoring (RTM) it is a way to facilitate the timely use of data in order to better inform ongoing programmatic activities. RTM allows for high-quality data – that is timely, relevant, accurate, complete, and specific – to be collected, organized, stored, and managed in efforts to increase data accessibility, data visualization, and data use.
Mobile technology has made a huge difference in terms of monitoring and evaluation over the past 10 years. Today, access to mobile phones and laptop computers or tablets is greater than ever. With these technologies, it is possible to collect data on Social and Behavior Change (SBC) project results and analyze them quickly. RTM allows program teams to use data to identify unforeseen opportunities and make course corrections throughout the life of the project.
For example, in Malawi, CCP used mobile data collection to gather real-time data about the different HIV-related services provided to young women. The program team was then able to translate raw data into meaningful information in a timely manner so that program managers could decide if the project was reaching enough young women and providing necessary services. From this, the team decided how they could adapt the logistics and program design– quickly, in a matter of days, not weeks or months later.
On this page, the Health COMpass offers a selection of technical articles, tools, and project examples relating to real-time monitoring. If you have a tool or project example to share, please send it to us! You can send it directly to the Health COMpass Curator, Susan Leibtag, firstname.lastname@example.org or upload it here.
Technical Articles and Documents
- DeSilva, Mary, et al. Real-Time Electronic Drug Monitoring for HIV-Positive Adolescents: Promising Acceptability and Feasibility in China. Journal of AIDS and Clinical Research, Volume 7, Issue:7, 2016.
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC Innovations: Real-Time Data Strengthens Uganda’s Efforts to End Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission. May 2015.
- Waisboard, Sl, et al. Communication for polio eradication: improving the quality of communication programming through real-time monitoring and evaluation.
- Liu, Chuck. 4 Ways to Harness the Power of Real-Time Analytics. Kissmetrics blog.
- Burton, Scott, et al. “Right Time, Right Place” Health Communication on Twitter: Value and Accuracy of Location Information. Journal of Medical Internet Research, Vol 14, No. 6, Nov-dec. 2012.
- Real-Time Monitoring of Twitter: How to Do it and Why it Matters, Twilert Tips, May 2014.
- Feasibility of Interactive Text message Response (ITR) as a Novel, Real-Time Measure of Adherence to Antiretroviral Therapy for HIV+ Youth. 2013.
- Improving community health worker performance through automated SMS. 2012.
Banner photo: A 56-year-old auxiliary nurse midwife in Badagaon block, Jhansi district, Uttar Pradesh, India, learns how to register a beneficiary using her tablet-based mSakhi application, a mobile phone-based job aid developed by IntraHealth International under the Manthan Project. © 2015 Girdhari Bora for IntraHealth International, Courtesy of Photoshare