The QIA and QIS methods - Participatory methods for capturing and quantifying user's views about their WASH services
The Qualitative Information System (QIS) is a new system to capture and manage qualitative information over time and space, store and manage this information on computer databases, and link assessment with action planning. In brief, QIS is a flexible system:
· to capture and manage qualitative information;
· which can be tailored to suit local conditions and needs;
· and yet generate uniform and comparable qualitative information;
· that can link assessment and action;
· for project management and communities.
The Qualitative Information Appraisal (QIA), the main component of a QIS, is designed for use as one-time assessments for baseline, mid-term and overall project impact assessments. IRC, together with Pragmatix India, developed the QIA and QIS (regularly repeated series of QIAs) to form a flexible system to capture, store and manage qualitative information over time and space on computer databases, and to link assessment with action planning and adaptive management.
The documents available here provide further details on these methods including their background and development as well as application.
Over the last year, BRAC has tested and developed a performance monitoring system that will, over the coming year, be rolled out to track the progress of WASH across nearly half of Bangladesh. The system uses innovative technology to enable monitoring at such a large scale. A smartphone app uses a simplified form of Qualitative Information System (QIS) software.
An innovative monitoring approach called SenseMaker has also been piloted. Together, these methods enable changes in behaviour – which are often hard to quantify – to be expressed in the form of data from which lessons can be drawn. Also read the E-Source article.
BRAC WASH monitoring process.pdf (1.0 MB)
This document summarises the performance monitoring framework for the AusAID and Netherlands Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS) funded "Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All" programme implemented by SNV, IRC and local partners in Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam. The performance monitoring framework was developed jointly by SNV and IRC, with a large number of inputs from different partners and colleagues from the countries.
The monitoring framework is based on the Qualitative Information System (QIS) developed by IRC together with Pragmatix India.
PM instruction_final.pdf (345.2 kB)
IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) and Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH) held a QIS (Quantitative Information System) workshop in Nepalgunj, Mid Western Region, Nepal from 17 to 22 June 2008.
WaterAid India (WAI) and IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC), held a QIS (Qualitative Information System) workshop in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India from 3 to 7 September 2007. Based on the resulting data and findings, WaterAid India decided to use QIS for participatory monitoring and evaluation of their future projects.
This flyer provides a brief background to the evolution of the Qualitative Information System method, from its origins in the Methodology for Participatory Assessments (WSP-WB, IRC 1999), along with details about its underlying principles, applications and components that comprise a QIS.
Note about the flyer's format: the attached two page PDF file is currently laid out in landscape with the two sheets intended as back and front of a 3-page flyer, folded lengthwise twice, to form a pamphlet.
QIS_Flyer.pdf (230.8 kB)
A Qualitative Information Appraisal (QIA) captures people’s perceptions of processes and outcomes, using participatory methods, and translates this qualitative information into numbers using different methods especially ordinal scoring through a self contained three-step methodology.
These Protocols provide a detailed guide to conducting a QIA including information on deciding when to use a QIA, tips for planning field work and facilitating multi-stakeholder meetings as well as step-by-step information on data management.
In the 1990s IRC developed, together with the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), the Methodology for Assessment (MPA) to assess sustainability of services and to generate gender and poverty sensitive data. Besides streamlining and improving upon the MPA, IRC along with Pragmatix India, has now developed the Qualitative Information System (QIS), a flexible system to store and analyse qualitative data, gathered using the Qualitative Information Appraisal (QIA), for monitoring progress and adaptive management at both project and community levels.
This paper, presented at the WEDC 2004 Conference, presents the background to the methods' development, notes a number of key concerns about maintaining quality of qualitative data and introduces a set of criteria to ensure quality of both the participatory processes and the data collected.
Villagers in four districts of Sri Lanka have thanked field teams for taking the time to listen to and record their views during an assessment of sub-projects in 102 villages. The teams were using the participatory Qualitative Information System (QIS),