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Older citizen monitoring

This report offers insight into the HelpAge network’s experience of Older citizen monitoring (OCM) since 2002, based on a review of existing data and key stakeholder interviews.

Older men wait for information about their rights to access basic services in Mozambique

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Published: 2016
Author: HelpAge International
Pages: 32

Executive Summary

Older citizen monitoring involves older people at grassroots level monitoring the implementation of policies and services affecting their lives. Our report highlights the projects achievements and challenges so far.

Older citizen monitoring has three separate but closely linked aims.

  1. The first is to empower older people to claim their rights.
  2. The second is to help older people access existing services and schemes.
  3. The third is to use monitoring data for influencing policy, legislation and service delivery so they better respond to the needs of older people.

'When you tell people about the rights they have… it’s like taking a blindfold off their eyes.' - Doña Mery Lozano, Member of OCM group in Bolivia

This report provides an overview of the OCM approach, similarities and differences in approaches between countries, practical considerations, key challenges and possible solutions, and case studies describing the results that OCM has contributed to.


  1. Recruit older citizen monitors from older people’s associations
  2. Raise awareness of rights, laws and policies among older people, their service providers and elected representatives.
  3. Provide support to OCM groups and OPAs to translate identified issues into monitoring and advocacy targets
  4. Identify advocacy targets before deciding coverage and duration of OCM activities, review targets periodically, and adjust data collection frequency if necessary.
  5. Involve local government early in plans for monitoring and advocacy.
  6. Consider combining OCM methods and tools.
  7. Develop selection criteria and provide training to ensure monitors objectively gather and present the views of older people in their community.
  8. When selecting methods, tools and monitors, consider respondent anonymity and trust in monitors.
  9. Ensure sampling and data collection methods are inclusive.
  10. Scale up OCM and improve its sustainability by collaborating with government or combining OCM with other activities.

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Last updated: May 16 2023

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