Project Partners: DILG, PEP-CBMS Network Coordinating Team

Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) is an organized process of data collection and processing at the local level and of integration of data in local planning, program implementation and impact-monitoring. It is a system that promotes evidence-based policymaking and program implementation while empowering communities to participate in the process.  

CBMS provides

  • Local-level census of poverty indicators
  • Detailed measurement of many dimensions of poverty
  • Identification of households that are poor in each dimension
  • Systematic source of data

for local & national governments, NGOs, international institutions, etc.

  • to guide use of local budgets and target programs and beneficiaries
  • to lobby for new resources
  • to monitor impacts of crises and policies

CBMS data helps

  • promote evidence-based policymaking
  • program design, targeting & implementation
  • empower local communities to participate in the process

PEP Network has helped implement CBMS in over 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

A coordinating body for the CBMS Network

The CBMS Program Office – based in Manila, the Philippines – was created in 2002 to facilitate development and utilization of CBMS for policymaking and governance. 

I. The Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) International Network

The community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) Network is part of the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP) Network. Launched in 2002, with support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)-Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the CBMS International Network generally aims to assist its members develop, refine and institutionalize community-based monitoring systems in developing countries, and to promote CBMS knowledge and initiatives internationally. Furthermore, the Network promotes evidence-based policymaking, program design and implementation while empowering local communities to participate in the process. From 2007-2012, in addition to IDRC, Network activities were likewise supported by the Australian Agency 

II. Rationale for CBMS Work

CBMS is one of the tools developed in the early 1990s to provide policymakers and program implementers with a good information base for tracking the impacts of macroeconomic reforms and various policy shocks. It is an organized way of collecting information at the local level for use of local government units, national government agencies, non-government organizations, civil society and development partner agencies for planning, program implementation and monitoring.

CBMS attempts to build and strengthen the capacity of planners and program implementers at the national and local levels for an improved and more transparent system of resource allocation and governance. A major objective of CBMS is to assist in poverty reduction. In so doing, there are other corollary benefits achieved like building the capacities of local government units, increasing gender equity, and eliciting early warning signs of crisis.

Due to the growing number of countries that implement and intend to implement the CBMS, a regional coordinating body tasked to facilitate the development and utilization of the CBMS for policymaking and governance was created. This coordinating body is now known as the CBMS International Network Coordinating Team.

III. Core Programme of the CBMS Network

1.       Research

The CBMS Network provides support to researchers in developing countries in partnership with national and/or local stakeholders to develop, pilot-test, and institutionalize a community-based poverty monitoring system. Current priority research themes under the Policy Analysis for Growth and Employment (PAGE)-CBMS research program are:

  • Providing Social Protection to the Informal Sector
  • Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship

Earlier CBMS research work has also been initiated by the Network in line with the following:

  • New CBMS methodologies and instruments
  • Composite poverty indicators
  • Multidimensional Poverty Analysis through CBMS
  • Program and Project impact analysis
  • Use of CBMS for Program Targeting
  • CBMS for local governance
  • Gender responsive budgeting
  • Localizing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Support for local government for environmental management using CBMS
  • Monitoring impacts of shocks (food and fuel crisis, global financial crisis)

Through a competitive CBMS research grants program managed by the PEP-CBMS Network Office based at AKI-DLSU in Manila, the Network provides funding of up to US$ 50,000 to national or local institutions in developing countries for varying phases of CBMS work. Support provided to CBMS research partners extends to their participation in various PEP-organized capacity-building workshops as well as in international policy fora and conferences, dissemination of country project findings in PEP publications and website, and peer-review of on-going research work.

2.       Dissemination and Advocacy

Conferences, workshops and field/study visits

The Network provides support for the dissemination of findings of research partners through the organization of national and international policy conferences, general meetings, and workshops.  These activities are deemed vital in disseminating the findings of the research network to its stakeholders and getting feedback, fostering technical collaboration with current research and development partners, and in establishing linkages with new partners.

CBMS policy conferences focus on the dissemination of research findings with regards to emerging development issues and concerns.  Earlier conference tackled issues and findings relating to localizing the millennium development goals, improving local governance and accountability, and in scaling up poverty reduction initiatives.

Workshops on the other hand involves interactive lectures, discussions and hands-on training exercises on topics relating to multi-dimensional poverty analysis, panel data analysis and poverty mapping utilizing methodologies and instruments developed under the CBMS Network.  These activities are intended to further build capacities of researchers in refining their on-going CBMS work.

CBMS Country Projects and Partners

The Network has facilitated the development and implementation of CBMS in about 20 countries covering Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam in Asia; Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Haiti, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia in Africa; Argentina, Bolivia and Peru in Latin America.  Over the years of its operation, the Network’s research partners for the development, pilot test and scaling up of CBMS work in these countries include:

CBMS Country Projects

Institutional Partners


Instituto de Economic - Universidad Naciona del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires


Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development


l'Institut National de la Statistique et de l'Analyse Economique


Fundacion ARU

Burkina Faso

University of Ouagadougou, CEDRES


Cambodia Development Research Institute


National Institute of Statistics



Centre for Policy Analysis


Center for International, Economic and Social Studies and Research (CHERIES)


SMERU Research Institute

KenyaUniversity of Nairobi


African Institute for Health and Development


Department of Statistics, Ministry of Planning and Investment 


Observatoire National de la Pauvreté et du Développement Humain Durable (ONAPAD)


Department of Agricultural Economic, University of Nigeria


Pakistan Institute of Development Economics


Research Analytics International (Private) Limited


Centro de Estudios y Promoción del Desarrollo


De La Salle University - Angelo King Institute for Economic and Business Studies

South Africa

Center for Rural Development and Poverty Alleviation, University of Venda


Institute of Rural Development Planning (IRDP)

TogoCentre de Recherche et de Formation en Economie et Gestion (CERFEG) of the Universite de Lome


Socio-Economic Development Centre


Zambia Research Development Centre