Data collection methods are tools and approaches used to gather the information about the impact a programme is having on beneficiaries and stakeholders and the types of impact the environment is having on the programme.
Why use them? This section reviews data collection approaches, exploring their applicability for PVE work, and the advantages and disadvantages of their use in a PVE context.
When to use them? Throughout a programme and after it has finished to gather the information you need to tell you about the impact.
How to use them? Use within a programme team and with partners and stakeholders as part of a participatory monitoring process, depending on the tool type.
Figure 24:

All data collection methods have their pros and cons. In complex operating environments, when working with hard-to-reach or at-risk populations and when dealing with sensitive data, as with many PVE programmes, drawbacks of specific methods and challenges can be compounded.

Table 10: Challenges for data collection in PVE programmes and mitigation measures

Considering gender in data collection for PVE

In northern Nigeria, women associated with Boko Haram and their children are subject to high levels of stigma. It was difficult to interview the women in an environment where they felt comfortable to speak as going to their homes meant that they would be overheard by family members. Women also did not feel comfortable attending events in community centres as they would be asked why they were attending such an event. Therefore, combining data collection with vaccination check-ups in clinics allowed women to access an important service, and speak when unobserved and alone. This vastly improved the response rate and quality of data.

Source: International Alert programming experience in Nigeria.