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advice on double counting


Having attended some of your courses I recollect your trainers suggesting that if ever we had queries please don't hesitate to I'm asking!

I am currently serving in the field in Haiti on an internship programme and am exploring the challenge of how to avoid double counting when delivering services to beneficiaries. Could you point me in any direction you can by way of documents / research / personal advice on how to tackle this conundrum?

In very general terms, if we are delivering services in a number of areas to a wide range of people, how can we avoid inflating beneficiary numbers through (for example) counting one beneficiary who has received three services as three beneficiaries? If we allocate individual identification numbers, what's to stop people who have been allocated a number claiming they haven't got such a number in order to try and receive more services?

With thanks in anticipation.


1 Answer

Harriette Purchas

The key to this is registration. For the displaced people after the Haiti earthquake, UNHCR (who are the experts on this) sent in a large team to this end and all the displaced should have a card/number. You don't say who you are working for but in any case you should be able to find a UNHCR (failing which OCHA) person who can advise in the ground on what cards your beneficiaries should have. Registration is never perfect but my experience is that for every 10 people who claim to have been left off, between 4-9 of them are just trying it on, and the number of families with more than one card greatly exceeds the number with none. The problem is always to distinguish between them so that people in genuine need receive their entitlement.
You don't say what services you are providing and I am not sure exactly what your concern is. If it is merely a question of reporting the number of beneficiaries then surely the thing to do is to report them separately: X number of people received item/service A, Y number of people received service B. There is always a problem in this regard with medical services, thus it is better to report consultations than patient numbers. regards Maggie