Online Program

Using systematic monitoring to respond to implementation challenges during a microfinance and health intervention with young men in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:43 a.m. - 10:56 a.m.

Peter Balvanz, MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Suzanne Maman, PhD, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Basant Singh, Medical University of South Carolina, Ghaziabad, India
Thespina Yamanis, PhD, School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC, DC
Mrema Kilonzo, MS, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Marta Mulawa, PhD, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke, Durham, NC
Donaldson Conserve, PhD, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Lusajo Kajula-Maonga, MS, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Developing monitoring systems that track intervention trial progress is integral to addressing emerging issues.  Designing such systems can be challenging in under-resourced international settings because of communication delays.  We are implementing a microfinance and health intervention with social networks of young men in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  We developed a system that enables timely review of microfinance repayments to identify and address repayment issues.


We collect process data weekly on loans accessed, amount repaid versus expected, and savings deposited.  Data are entered on an Access client database in Tanzania and synced weekly to a web based server.  Aggregated data and pre-configured statistics are accessed in the U.S. through a master database.  From these data we create graphical reports to compare repayment rates of camps and individuals to discuss on conference calls.


Within nine months 6,518 repayment entries have been collected.  These data reveal that repayment success varied by geographic location, and clustered by network.  Factors found contributing to lower repayment patterns between neighborhoods and camps include higher concentrated disadvantage, civil turmoil, and proximity to camps that participated in a pilot under different repayment rules. Our field staff targeted underpaying networks to reinforce rules and consequences of non-repayment, and promote strategies that worked for successful borrowers.


Our international research team used real-time monitoring and weekly phone conference calls as a way to identify patterns and challenges in loan repayment during a microfinance trial.  Efficient and effective process evaluation for behavioral interventions is feasible for international teams working in under-resourced settings.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe monitoring system developed to track microfinance repayment in an under-resourced international setting Explain methods of monitoring process data to determine and address challenges in intervention participation.

Keyword(s): Data Collection and Surveillance, Performance Measurement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 7 years of experience in domestic and international public health research and programs, with a specialization in community-based participatory research. I currently serves as the UNC Research Coordinator for Vijana Vijiweni II, a cluster-randomized trial to determine the efficacy of a combined microfinance and peer-leadership training intervention in preventing HIV and gender-based violence perpetration with networks of young men in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.