Strategies Used by USG Country Teams for Dealing with Double Counting of Individuals and Sites - A Review

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Author(s): Obiero W, Schmidt S, and Foreit K

Year: 2010

Strategies Used by USG Country Teams for Dealing with Double Counting of Individuals and Sites - A Review Abstract:

The Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (O/GAC) has invested substantially in improving results reporting so that the monitoring and evaluation of the President's Emergency Plan is based on valid and reliable data. Experience to date points to "double counting" as a particularly important data quality problem that can be detrimental to program planning and data-driven decision making. Double counting results in over-reporting (i.e. reporting more services or beneficiaries than were actually provided or served). It occurs when a partner or the program as a whole mistakenly counts an eligible person or event more than once during a reporting period, thereby inadvertently inflating the report of program results. Over-reporting of program results in turn will over-estimate program coverage and achievements, undermining the ability of decision-makers to determine which programs are worth scaling up, where coverage gaps exist, and how best to appropriately target interventions to address those gaps. Consequently, during preparation of the Semi Annual and Annual Program Reports to O/GAC the Emergency Plan USG country teams spend considerable efforts to adjust the reports of Implementing Partners for potential double counting.

Double counting occurs in a variety of forms: when the same individual beneficiary is counted more than once by the same partner, when the same individual is counted for the same service by two or more different partners, or when the same service site is counted by two or more different partners. However, there is no central guidance to identify the extent of double counting and/or to standardize adjustment procedures across different country programs.

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