Are there successful examples of Management Information Systems in social protection programmes? What are the reasons for their success and what impact have they had in making social protection programmes more effective and efficient?
MIS are useful because integrated data management of social protection
programmes can lead to more equitable distribution of resources; provide
oversight of multiple schemes; establish links with other services; and
increase efficiency through economies of scale (Barca & Chirchir,
There is a considerable literature on policy guidance, design
guidelines, and a general agreement on what constitutes best practice
for MIS, but little systematic evidence (Barca & Chirchir, 2014).
This report was unable to find any evaluations of MIS, and very few
reports containing reasons for success. Most literature on MIS explains
design principles. The few papers which have examples of systems
actually in use often do not assess reasons for success or failure. This
report is therefore very limited in presenting evidence on what works.
The report first summarises the impact which MIS have had on social
protection programmes, then presents the slim evidence on success
factors for MIS. These include:
- Political will: from the policy level and from staff.
- Technology: at an appropriate level for staff.
- Flexible incremental systems: which can adapt when the programme
- Simplicity: ensuring the MIS is not over-burdened.
- Staffing: increasing capacity.
- Administrative structure: a combination of centralised and
- Financing: MIS are expensive and external financing is often needed.
- Accountability: checks and balances to ensure effectiveness.
Browne, E. Social protection Management Information Systems (MIS) (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1180). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2014) 7 pp.