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MonQI is a multi-scale and multi-disciplinary approach for monitoring management and performance of small scale
agricultural enterprises world-wide with the aim of improving the quality of farm management, crop production, quality of produce, livelihoods and environment.
The rational behind MonQI is that integrated monitoring of agricultural enterprises helps to understand these enterprises and paves the way for improvements in social, economic, agricultural and environmental conditions.
MonQI is a research framework for systematic analysis -of financial aspects and product and nutrient flows- of agricultural systems at farm level and describes the existing management situation. The methodology is flexible and can be modified according to the research needs.
MonQI Toolbox is a set of materials (questionnaire, software and manuals) for the application of the methodology.
MonQI monitoring and analysis focuses on the household/farm/enterprise and the sub-activities that these include. Its results can be aggregated from the lowest (activity) level to the higher levels such as household, village and (sub) district.
MonQI can be applied to many different research and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) settings depending on the set up, detail of monitoring and embedding in the project.
Some possible applications of MonQI are
- Joint Learning (farmer fields schools, Integrated Nutrient Management)
- Environment (nutrients, pesticides and non-timber forest products)
- Livelihoods monitoring (development of household assets and income)
- Monitoring Agro-Food Chains for Certification
These profiles are not clear-cut and it is possible that a certain monitoring approach combines different aspects.
The MonQI core methodology, systematic monitoring and analysis of agricultural (resource-based) livelihoods or enterprises, uses a Conceptual framework that strongly guides its setup and application.
Approach and tools
The working approach can be summarized in a five step procedure:
- Monitoring of farm management using MonQI questionnaires;
- Gathering and checking background data with the Background Data Module;
- Data-entry using the Data-Entry Module;
- Data processing using the Data Processing Module;
- Analysis and reporting of the results.
The MonQI software consists of several components, three of which have been integrated into one software program :
- Data-Entry Module (DEM)
- Background Data Module (BDM: Management of background data)
- Background Processing Module (DPM: Calculation and export of results )
These three module make use of two databases
- Background database (BGDB), containing shared background data
- Farm database (FDB), containing the farm inventory and management data.
Information is gathered using a paper questionnaire.
Processed results, a combination of input data and calculated results, can be exported out of the software in common file formats (Excel, Access, comma separated). This allows for analysis and reporting using regular data processing software such as Excel or SPSS.