Peer-to-peer monitoring in Managua

Brigadistas discuss evidence from the neighbourhood with residents at their household doors.

The bond between brigades and households developed in the early SEPA process made it possible to undertake a “peer-monioring” exercise whereby brigadistas and leaders from one neighbourhood visit another neighbourhood to count larvas and pupas and further socialise results and experiences. The first neighbourhood-to-neighbourhood monitoring exercise took place in the last week of November 2011 in 3,522 households from 29 neighbourhoods.

The visiting brigadistas asked six questions of each householder:

1. Has this household been visited by a SEPA brigadista to look for larvas or pupas? (If the answer is no, go to question 6)

2. When was the last time a SEPA brigadista visited the household?

3. Did they find larvas or pupas during that visit?

4. Have you seen any change as a result of SEPA? (yes/no) What change have you seen?

5. What recommendation would you make to the SEPA brigade?

The visiting brigadistas then ask permission to monitor the household’s water receptacles in the company of household members who are present.

6. Were any larvas or pupas found?

At the end of each day of measurement, the evidence gathered and recommendations of the householders were shared with the brigade and the leaders of the visited neighbourhood. Plastic bags containing any larvas or pupas that were found are given to the leadership with tags to identify the household in which they were found.

Later, each of the visited neighborhoods’ own brigade discusses its results and compares them with results obtained at the time of the baseline survey and those from any other monitoring visit.

Peer-to-peer action has been an expression of solidarity and exchange that not only enhances each participating neighbourhood’s experience, but also increases the trial’s replicability and sustainability as the brigades encounter situations different from their own and develop their capacity for interpretation and dialogue outside their own territory.

The first monitoring experience also helped to dispel some of the fears of being judged by outsiders, as one brigadista’s testimony shows: “The day we were told we were going to monitor another neighbourhood we hesitated, it scared us. We thought it was dangerous, but finally the facilitator convinced us and we went, and when we got there it was the exact opposite… it was extremely calm; people were welcoming and kind.”