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Table 3 Summary of remote operation modalities (Hansen 2008b; Oxfam International and Merlin 2009; Stoddard et al. 2006; Zyck 2012)

From: Humanitarian health programming and monitoring in inaccessible conflict settings: a literature review

  Remote control Remote management Remote support Remote partnership
Nature Reactive Reactive Proactive Proactive
International staff authority High/complete Moderate Low Low/none
National staff authority Low/none Moderate High High/complete
National staff capacity development Little Moderate Full Unnecessary
Longitudinal monitoring Little Some Full Full
Flexibility Little Some Very Very
Quality Low Moderate High High
Sustainability Low Moderate High High
Time-line Short term Medium term Long term Long term
Vulnerable to staff turnover High High Low (investment in local staff capacity development limits turnover) Low (highly developed local organizations limits turnover)
(Minimal local capacity development increases vulnerability to turnover)
Required experience in context and infrastructure by local organization Minimal Some Yes Yes
Potential benefits - Continuity of program - Better initial oversight given primarily controlled by international organization - Continuity of program - Better initial oversight given primarily controlled by international organization - Capacity building - Continuation of program long term, sustainable - Tailored to changing context - Continuation of program long term, sustainable - Tailored to changing context
Potential weaknesses - Communication problems - National staff bear much of responsibility and risk with little authority - Unsustainable - Communication problems - National staff bear much of responsibility and risk with little authority - Corruption risk - Lack of oversight - Scarcity of experienced national staff - Corruption risk - Lack of oversight - Scarcity of experienced national staff - Reduced funding due to donor reluctance