Verifying Information in Challenging Environments for Citizen Monitors

Events are often influenced by external factors both domestically and internationally. Cross-referencing information within a domestic and international political context will give you a better understanding of the information within a certain framework. Additionally, cross-referencing information in the domestic and international political context can also help you develop the big picture context.

In other words, cross referencing means checking the information you gathered against others sources of information on the same topic. This will allow you to fill in gaps to your information, as well verify or falsify the information you gathered.


The domestic environment can have a very close relationship to the information reported. Looking at the domestic environment can help you understand the reasons as well as the possibility of an event occurring. When looking at the domestic environment to cross- reference the context you need to ask yourself:

  • Did something happen domestically to trigger the event?
  • Are there other events similar to this taking place?
  • What is the economic situation in the country?
  • Is something influencing the way people are describing the event?


Now more than ever, countries are influenced by external factors; sometimes domestic events are triggered by international factors. When looking at the international environment to cross- reference the context you should ask things such as:

  • What is general political environment in the region?
  • Are there any political issues happening in one country that can effect another?
  • Have events taken place in a neighboring country that might have spilled over in to another?