SAVE Toolkit: Technologies for monitoring in insecure environments

In this toolkit from the SAVE research programme, users can find a detailed summary of technologies suited to monitoring in insecure environments, including applications, their pros and cons as well as many links to more detailed information. The examples and lessons are drawn from practice and pilot projects.

This resource and the following information was provided by Alice Macfarlan. See also, the BetterEvaluation Theme page on Using technologies for monitoring and evaluation in insecure settingsstewarded by Elias Sagmeister.

Authors and their affiliation

Rachel Dette, Julia Steets and Elias Sagmeister

Year of publication


Type of resource


Key features

This resource focuses on six technologies that practitioners deemed useful in insecure environments:

  • Using Mobile Phones For Monitoring And Gathering Feedback
  • Digital Data Entry With Tablets Or Smartphones
  • Remote Sensing And Aerial Imagery With Satellites, Radars Or UAVs
  • Mapping And Location Tracking
  • Complementing Feedback Mechanisms With Radio Programmes
  • Communications With Online Platforms

Each chapter looks at benefits of a specific technology; discusses practical and ethical challenges as well as mitigation measures; runs through the concrete steps for implementation; and provides insights from applications in
Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Syria. At the end of each chapter, we offer a collection of resources to learn more.

Who is this resource useful for?

  • Advocates for evaluation;

  • Commissioners/managers of evaluation;

  • Evaluators

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I've found this resource to be a really in depth source of knowledge on an area that I had little expertise in. It's highlighted a number of challenges related to using technology in evaluation that I hadn't thought of, some of which are applicable in a wider context than in insecure settings. Though I'm not personally involved in monitoring in insecure settings, I'd be recommending this resource as preliminary reading to those who are.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

The guidance on implementation and assessing and mitigating risks related to using technology in insecure settings is very thorough, and includes some practical tools such as tables that can be used to help estimate costs. In addition, I think the solution stories are a very valuable addition to see how these technologies have been applied in practice. 



Dette, R. Steets, J. and Sagmeister, E. (2016) Using technologies for monitoring and evaluation in insecure settings. Retrieved from: