Report on the Training of Monitoring and Evaluation staff of IFAD Projects in Gambia
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JENOI, GAMBIA. 17th to 21st September 2012. The training was undertaken under contractual agreement between the Central Projects Coordination unit (CPCU), Ministry of Agriculture and the West Africa ...

JENOI, GAMBIA. 17th to 21st September 2012. The training was undertaken under contractual agreement between the Central Projects Coordination unit (CPCU), Ministry of Agriculture and the West Africa Rural Foundation. The
training was funded by the following IFAD projects in the Gambia: Livestock and Horticulture
Development Project, Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project and Rural
Finance Project.

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Report on the Training of Monitoring and Evaluation staff of IFAD Projects in Gambia Document Transcript

  • 1. Report on the Training of Monitoring and Evaluation staff of IFAD Projects in Gambia JENOI, GAMBIA. 17th to 21st September 2012The training was undertaken under contractual agreement between the Central ProjectsCoordination unit (CPCU), Ministry of Agriculture and the West Africa Rural Foundation. Thetraining was funded by the following IFAD projects in the Gambia: Livestock and HorticultureDevelopment Project, Participatory Integrated Watershed Management Project and RuralFinance Project.Page | 1
  • 2. Table of ContentsExecutive Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3Chapter 1. Background, Goal and Objectives………………………………………………………………………..4Chapter 2: Training Programme and Sessions……………………………………………………………………….5Chapter 4: M&E Challenges, Strategic Orientation and Way Forward....................................16Chapter 3: Evaluation of the Training Support……….……………………………………………………………18 Annexes Annex 1: List of Participants…………………………………………………………………….…………………………19 Annex 2: Training Programme…….……………………………………………………………………………………..20Page | 2
  • 3. Executive SummaryThe training workshop targeted key M&E and project implementation staff of IFAD projects inthe Gambia, Focal Points providing support for project implementation and staff of the CentralProjects Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture. The overall goal of training was todevelop and strengthen capacities for effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation of IFADprojects within the context of the Country Programme Approach (CPA). The specific objectivewas to enable participants acquire and re-enforce knowledge in: results and ImpactManagement Systems (RIMS); operationalization of project monitoring and evaluation systems;participatory Monitoring and evaluation; M&E data collection, management and analysis;reporting and communication in M&E; and ensuring M&E sustainability.Adult learning and exchange modules combined a series of plenary and group sessions toensure effective participation in the training sessions. These sessions supported thepresentation and examination of key issues including: the strategic role of M&E in projectimplementation, the RIMS framework, environmental and social performance monitoring andevaluation, participatory M&E, management of the logframe matrix and M&E indicators,operationalization of M&E systems, elaboration and management of the M&E plan matrix,monitoring of the AWPB to support project management, the RIMS framework for evaluatingoutcomes and assessing impact, RIMS reporting, communication, and sustainability of M&Esystems. The training concluded with a joint reflection by key M&E staff of the three projectson the principal M&E challenges and strategic options for addressing key constraints.Page | 3
  • 4. Chapter 1: Background, goal and objectives of the training1.1 BackgroundCapacity building for project implementation staff and partners is an important element of theoverall strategy for improving the performance of IFAD projects in the Gambia. In the context ofits country programme approach, the CPCU has initiated an in-country training initiative toprovide implementation support key thematic areas. Technical support for the initiative is beingprovided by WARF in light of its expertise in these thematic areas, comprehensive knowledge ofthe implementation environment of IFAD projects in the Gambia and other countries in Westand Central Africa and the ongoing collaboration between WARF and IFAD projects in thecountry.Given its strategic importance in project implementation and the results-based managementframework adopted by IFAD, M&E was identified as one of the thematic areas of the currentcapacity building initiative between the CPCU, Gambia IFAD projects and WARF. The theme wasselected in consultation with IFAD’s Country Programme Management office for the Gambia.1.2 Goal and ObjectivesThe overall goal of training was to develop and strengthen capacities for effective and efficientmonitoring and evaluation of IFAD projects within the context of the Country ProgrammeApproach (CPA). The specific objective was to enable participants acquire and re-enforceknowledge in:  Results and Impact Management Systems (RIMS)  Providing support for Results-Based Management (RBM)  Operationalization of project monitoring and evaluation systems  Participatory Monitoring and evaluation  M&E data collection, management and analysis  Reporting and communication in M&E  Ensuring M&E sustainabilityPage | 4
  • 5. Chapter 2: Forum Programme and ProceedingsThe training programme was divided into six thematic sessions, focusing on the development ofknowledge and the facilitation of mutual learning and exchange as per the goal and objective ofthe programme. The training programme is attached in annex (Annex 1). Details of theproceedings of the different sessions are discussed in the rest of this chapter.2.1 ProceedingsSESSION 1: Official opening, introduction of participants, expectations and training objectivesThe training programme was officially opened by a series of remarks by the representative ofthe Regional Agricultural Directorate of the Lower River Region, the Coordinator of the CentralProjects Coordination Unit, the Project Coordinator of PIWAMP, the Project Director of LHDP,the representative of WARF and the Project Coordinator of RFP. The speakers all emphasizedthe importance of M&E and IFAD’s RIMS framework in providing support for effective results-based management. The context of the training initiative within Gambia’s Country ProgrammeApproach was also highlighted. The speakers noted that the current training is part of a broadercapacity building arrangement between the office of the Country Programme Management,CPCU, CPA team, individual project management teams and WARF.A total of 23 participants, drawn from the project M&E and implementation staff, focal pointsand the media (GRTS, Daily Observer, Soma Radio), then presented themselves and highlightedtheir expectations from the training programme. Participants expectations centered on mutuallearning and development of capacities in: operationalization and management of M&Esystems; use of the RIMS framework for monitoring, evaluation and reporting; enhancing theparticipation of communities and beneficiaries in M&E; environmental monitoring; and thedevelopment of effective communication strategies. The list of participants is presented inannex 1 of this report. The presentation of participants was followed by a presentation of thegoal, objectives and detailed training programme. The programme is available as annex 2 of thereport. The consistency between the expectations of participants and the training programmePage | 5
  • 6. is a reflection of the extensive exchange that was undertaken during the initiation of thetraining and the elaboration of the programme.Session 2: M&E in Rural Development InterventionsThe session focused on re-enforcing understanding of the role and importance of monitoringand evaluation in the implementation of rural and agricultural development interventions. Thediscussions placed emphasis on the following issues:M&E in Rural and Agricultural Development Initiatives  Support system for effective management and reporting in project implementation  Assesses project performance in terms of resource use, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact.  Provides relevant information to beneficiaries and all stakeholders engaged in project implementation and management.  Critical information for donors, government, policy makers, etcSession 3: Issues and ConceptsDuring this session, participants exchanged on the following key issues and concepts that areimportant in monitoring and evaluating project performance: Inputs (resources), Activities(Actions / work undertaken), Outputs (Immediate results/deliverables from actions), Outcomes(Short and medium term effects of outputs) and Impact (Long term effects of intervention). TheRIMS framework for measuring and reporting results and impact was presented and discussed,focusing essentially of the three levels of results as follows: First Level Results: Outputs Second Level results: Outcomes Third Level Results: Impact.Page | 6
  • 7. The hierarchy of results and results chain were then presented and discussed to enhance anunderstanding of the linkages and inter-relations between project implementation andperformance in terms of the three levels of results.During the exchanges, participants had a common understanding of the three levels ofmeasuring and reporting performance in the framework of RIMS. It was also emphasized thatRIMS is indeed component of the M&E system and does not necessarily encompass all elements of thesystem.Other issues presented and discussed with participants included environmental and social performancemonitoring. The participants from the National Environmental Agency (NEA) provided a briefing onissues of environmental monitoring, whilst participants brainstormed on key aspects of socialperformance monitoring. Specific project examples were provided to highlight the extent to whichenvironmental and social performance monitoring are currently integrated into the project M&Esystems. The session was concluded with an exchange on participatory M&E, focusing on its importancein enhancing community and beneficiary participation and its complementarity with classic M&Eapproaches.Page | 7
  • 8. Session 4: Managing the Project Logframe and Performance IndicatorsThe session was on the management of the project logframe matrix, focusing on indicators formeasuring performance. The project logframe matrix, elaborated during project design orappraisal, was presented as the intervention logic of the project. The logframe matrixsummarizes the relationship and linkages between the development goal/objectives of theintervention, inputs/resources, activities/actions and results (outputs, outcomes and impact).Performance indicators are also an integral part of the logframe, precisely describing theinstruments/variables for measuring progress or performance. It was also highlighted that thelogframe matrix identifies critical assumptions that will influence project implementation anddelivery of results. Following exchanges on these issues, the logframes of the three projectswere highlighted to demonstrate its various elements.The discussions then focused enhancing a common understanding of the meaning, role andimportance of performance indicators in measurement. This was followed by an exchange onthe characteristics of a good performance indicator (specific, measurable, achievable, relevantand time-bound). Other key issues for developing good indicators include reliability, ease andcost of collection, potential for influencing change and potential for enhancing participation. Characteristics of a Good Indicator  SMART  Specific  Measurable  Attainable  Relevant  Time-boundPage | 8
  • 9. Each of the projects was then invited to present examples of its indicators, covering the threeresults levels as per the RIMS framework. Selected output, outcome and impact indicators ofeach project were analyzed for SMARTness during group sessions, and the results of theanalysis were presented to the entire group of participants in a plenary session. The analysisdemonstrated mixed understanding the understanding and management of performanceindicators, especially at the outcome and impact levels. Detailed question and responsesessions were therefore used to clarify a number of issues in the management of outcome andimpact indicators for measuring performance.Session 5: Rendering Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Operational and FunctionalThis session focused on identifying and discussing key issues and challenges in theoperationalization of M&E systems. It was noted that all three projects have successfullycompleted the design of their M&E systems, with different levels of operationalization andfunctioning. Key questions for determining the functionality of the project M&E systems werediscussed and used to identify challenges in M&E management.Page | 9
  • 10. Key Questions for Rendering M&E Systems Operational and Functional  Are the information needs clear?  Are we all in agreement on the indicators?  Are the sources of information clearly defined?  Have we identified all actors?  Are we clear and in agreement on the roles of the actors?  Do we have a general plan?  Do we have the needed resources?  Have we clearly identified tools/methods?  Do we have a clear mechanism for managing data?  Do we have a mechanism for data processing?  Is there a communication strategy and plan?  Is there a strategy for ensuring sustainability?Page | 10
  • 11. Session 6: Elaboration of M&E planning matrices and monitoring of activities and outputsThe initial elements of the sixth session dwelled on the importance of having a good M&E planand the elaboration of a planning matrix for monitoring and elaboration. Following thediscussion on the importance of planning in M&E, a planning matrix template was presentedand discussed in details, followed by presentations of project sample matrices which werereviewed. Suggestions we made for the elaboration and/or improvement of project M&E planmatrices. The exchanges revealed that some projects have planning matrices whilst others arein the process of elaborating their first comprehensive M&E plans. The generic template ispresented below. PROJECT OBJECTIVES, KEY INDICATORS, TARGETS AND MONITORING ARRANGEMENTSProject:Location:Project num ber:Com ponentSub Com ponent:Beginning date:End date:PROJECT GOAL Activity: Means of Data verification Perform ance Baseline 20XX Targets Indicators Value Quality Control Inform ation Use Source Method of Frequency of Responsible Mechanism Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Annual Collection Collection Total CostSubsequent exchanges on the monitoring activities and outputs revealed that all three projectM&E personnel were relatively comfortable with the procedures and have in place adequatemechanisms for monitoring activities and outputs. Activity and output monitoringarrangements identified included the use of systematic data collection sheets and extensivePage | 11
  • 12. involvement of implementing partners in data collection. Some partners are also undertook preliminary data analysis and submitted regular reports depending on contractual arrangements. There is limited beneficiary involvement at this level, but all projects are stepping up capacity development initiatives and modalities for greater participation of beneficiaries in the monitoring of activities and outputs. Specific examples of what projects are doing in this area (for example the use of village record books) were discussed during this session. Session 7: Monitoring the implementation of the annual work plan and budget (AWPB) This special session was undertaken to assess the option of developing a simple analytical framework for joint monitoring of the implementation of the AWPB by all personnel engaged in project management (Coordinators, M&E staff, Component Heads/Managers and Finance/Accounts). The rationale here is that periodic (quarterly) assessment of physical and financial progress in the implementation of the AWPB is a useful support mechanism for project management. When undertaken jointly by the PMU team, it will facilitate the identification of challenges in project implementation and the elaboration of corrective measures to ensure that targets are delivered as planned. The proposed analytical approach, containing three key elements that jointly give an indication of progress in the implementation of the AWPB, is presented below.Analytical Plan for monitoring progress in the implementation of the AWPBPART A: Determining Progress in the physical implementation of Activities  Identify targeted value for each activity (extracted from the AWPB)  Identify achieved value (what has been done during the period under review)  Determine level of achievement (achieved value as a proportion of targeted value)PART B: Determining progress in financial Achievement  Identify the budget allocated to the activity (extracted from the AWPB)  Determine actual expenditure on the activity ( extracted from finance reports)  Compute financial achievement (%)PART C: Comparison of Physical and Financial achievements  For each activity, jointly identify ‘significant’ differences or gaps between physical and financial achievements, and agree on corrective measures for the next quarter where appropriate Session 8: Outcome Measurement in the framework of RIMS Page | 12
  • 13. This session focused on taking participants through the procedure for measuring projectoutcomes within the framework of RIMS. After initial exchange to further enhance theunderstanding of outcomes, the concepts of effectiveness and likelihood of sustainability as thecriteria for measuring outcomes were presented to participants. This was followed by a plenarypresentation and exchange on the scoring system in measuring outcomes.Key issues discussed included the use of qualitative and quantitative data in measuringoutcomes, the various sources of information, methods of analysis and the value of flexibilityand creativity in outcome measurement. Below is the RIMS scoring system for outcomemeasurement that was presented and discussed during the session. Source: Extracted from the IFAD RIMS ManualPage | 13
  • 14. Session 9: Impact Assessment in project M&EThe session explored impact as a third level result in the RIMS framework. The focus was oncontext and issues in impact measurement in the framework of RIMS. Participants were initiallyassisted to have a common understanding project impact, followed by a discussion on generalindicators for measuring impact. The importances of establishing a baseline/reference situationas early as possible in project implementation was emphasized as an important element formeasuring and understand impact of project intervention.The RIMS guidelines for the choice of indicators in impact assessment and their links to selectedmillennium development goals were then presented and discussed. Other issues discussedincluded the role of project M&E staff in preparing and undertaking impact assessment, qualitycontrol and supervision of impact studies. Source: Extracted from the IFAD RIMS ManualPage | 14
  • 15. Session 10: Reporting and Communication in M&EEach project made a brief presentation of its reporting procedures as the basis for the session.The presentations focused on: reporting requirements for each project; available support foreffective reporting; and challenges in M&E reporting. The projects reported similar reportingrequirements both to IFAD and government. The major challenges relate to RIMS, especially thereporting of second level results. All projects have a good handle on reporting first level results,with one project expecting to initiate its RIMS reporting effective 2012. The need for developingconcrete plans to ensure timely and accurate reporting was discussed with the three projects.Given the nature of the challenges identified, the subsequent session briefly highlighted thereporting format for RIMS first level results (outputs). Attention then shifted to the reporting ofsend level results. Participants revisited the criteria for outcome evaluation (effectiveness andlikelihood of sustainability), the rating scale for reporting on second level results, the reportingprocedure, sources of information and finally analysis of information for outcome reporting.Specific project examples were used to highlight RIMS level 2 reporting.The session concluded with a discussion on the elaboration of a joint communication strategybased on the Country Programme Approach. Such efforts would focus on enabling the threeprojects to work together to identify successes and lessons that will be processed andcommunicated through appropriate media outlets (documentary, CPA bulletin/policy Brief,local radio panel discussions, etc).Page | 15
  • 16. Chapter 3: M&E Challenges, strategies and the way forwardThe final session was devoted to an exchange between core project staff on principal challengesin M&E management and implementation, strategies for addressing these constraints and theway forward for effective M&E among IFAD projects in the country. The major issues andrecommendations are as follows: 1. M&E support during direct supervision missions (DSM): The team noted brought out the need to include M&E support direct supervision missions as a means of identifying and addressing project specific and CPA related M&E problems during these periods. The team recommended that the CPM should consider the inclusion of an M&E expert in the mission team as an element of the overall strategy for enhancing M&E performance. 2. The team also strongly recommended a quarterly review and assessment of progress in the implementation of the AWPB as an important management support mechanism. The Coordinator, Component Heads. Finance/Accounts Heads and M&E team should get together at the end of each quarter to jointly assess progress in the implementation of the AWPB and develop corrective measures to ensure delivery of targets as appropriate. 3. The three projects will set up an M&E learning team (MELT) which will serve as a platform and resource for exchange, learning and sharing of experiences in M&E. It is recommended that arrangements be made with WARF to host and moderate this platform through a one-year pilot technical assistance initiative with the CPCU/CPA. Support will include an online M&E help desk for Gambia IFAD projects, direct support to projects are required, and the provision of M&E expertise during direct supervision missions. 4. Networking was identified as an important and critical element for building capacities. It is recommended that resources available for networking be utilized to enable M&E staff visit IFAD projects with reputable M&E systems in the region. The vast knowledgePage | 16
  • 17. generated during the implementation of PASSE/PROSUME by WARF could be drawn upon to identify and establish linkages with appropriate IFAD projects in the region. 5. The M&E teams of the tree projects should jointly engage in a visibility initiative in the wake of the forthcoming regional forum to be hosted by The Gambia. Actions would include the elaboration of visibility and promotion materials, including a short video documentary if resources are available for this. 6. Where resources permit, the CPA should consider the participation of core M&E staff in the anticipated training on project management. This will enhance efforts to address cross-cutting issues that are important in project implementationPage | 17
  • 18. Chapter 4: Evaluation of the training programmeTrainees were requested to undertake an evaluation of the workshop and make specificrecommendations for improvements in the future. Participants were generally very satisfiedwith the workshop in terms of the relevance of the themes, quality of presentations, theinteraction and participation of all trainees and the overall organizational modalities. The levelof satisfaction with the workshop facilities (hall, meals, electricity, etc.) however ranged fromaverage to unsatisfactory. Below are selected extracts of comments by workshop participants.“I will like to thank the facilitator very well for the preparation he has taken to provide this typeof training. The topics delivered have increased my knowledge and understanding of the M&EOfficer’s duties and responsibilities. As for the venue of the training, I don’t think Jenoi is theideal place for such training workshops”“The proceedings were clear and well understood. But for such an intensive workshop, there is aneed to have two facilitators instead of one”“The information was prompt but after a day’s session everything was in order and adjustmentswere made to suit the situation”“I learnt a lot from this workshop. The level of participation was great. Issues highlighted werevery well presented by the facilitator. Food is good. I hope what has been learnt will be executed.Generally the workshop was very educative”“The whole process of the facilitation was excellent. The themes/topics treated were veryrelevant and have added value to our day-to-day work. The RIMS reporting format andreporting schedules as well as the requirements was also helpful”Page | 18
  • 19. ANNEX 1: List of Participants NAME INSTITUTION TEL. 1 Sheriff T.J.Sanyang LHDP 9966740 2 Abdoulie Touray LHDP 7431591 3 Mohamed Kebbeh WARF 22177616656 4 Noah Kujabi CPCU 9902614 5 Omar Baldeh RFP 6202779 6 Yusupha Nyassi RFP 9903610 7 Ramatoulie Hydara RFP 9905895 8 Maimuna sey RFP 9959218 9 Mariama Gomez PIWAMP 9926424 10 Alpha SEY FPC 9918647 11 John Sabally PIWAMP 9951709 12 Ebrima Ceesay PIWAMP 9788880 13 Bakary jammeh PIWAMP 9822527 14 Omar Cham PIWAMP/SLMP 9941311 15 Ebrima Jobe SWMS 9520400 16 Miki Jawneh PIWAMP 9908959 17 Pateh sowe PIWAMP 6642062 18 Borry mansa Demba NEA 9067179 19 Mamadou Edrissa Njie GYIN Gambia 3938929 20 Ebou Sambou Reporter GRTS 9844342 21 Salifu Touray Daily Observer 3510119 22 Jeero Maane PIWAMP 9937822 23 Sankung Jaiteh GAWFA 7979582 24 Ousman Jarju LHDP 9921124 25 Alieu Joof LHDP 9965038 26 Fadinding Darboe VAPEX 9756390 27 Sana Singhateh DOA/PIWAMP 6811943 28 Bakary.S. Dampha Soma Radio 6212445 29 Kevin A Baldeh DOA/PIWAMP 9894469Page | 19
  • 20. ANNEX 2: Training Programme DAY 1: 17/09/2012 TIME Theme/Topic8:30-9:30 Registration of Participants9:30-10:30  Welcome and opening address  Introduction of participants and their expectations10:30- 11:30 Review of Goal, objectives, programme11:30 – 12:00 Health Break PART A: M&E Concepts and Issues12:00 - 13:00 M&E in rural development projects and programmes13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break14:30 – 15:30 Concepts and issues: RIMS, RBM, environmental/social performance monitoring15:30 – 16:30 Participatory vs. classic M&E: Issues, complementarity, challenges16:30 – 17:00 Wrap-up DAY 2: 18/09/2012 TIME Theme/Topic 8:30-10:30 Managing the logframe/Indicators: 15 minutes introduction, 30 minutes for each project experience, 15 minutes wrap-up 10:30 – 11:15 Breakfast PART B: Operationalising the M&E System 11:15 - 12:00 From the M&E architecture to the operational framework 12:00 – 13:00 Defining the needs and sources of information (project Experiences) 13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break 14:30 – 16:00 Identifying M&E actors and defining roles: Project Experiences 16:00 – 17:00 Organization and coordination of actors for effective M&E (Project team work) 17:00 – 17:30 M&E System Sustainability Page | 20
  • 21. DAY 3: 19/09/2012 TIME ISSUE PART C: Monitoring Project Implementation: Inputs, Activities and Outputs 8:30 – 10:00 Planning for M&E 10:30-12:30 Monitoring the AWPB, activities and outputs: (Sample template and project documents) 12:30 – 13:45 Participatory M&E: What is being done or planned by the projects? 13:45 – 14:45 Lunch Break 14:45 – 15:00 Quality control in project monitoring PART D: Measuring Outcomes and Assessing Impact 15:00 – 16:30 The IFAD Framework for measuring outcomes: effectiveness and sustainability DAY 4: 20/09/2012 TIME ISSUE 8:30 – 10:00 Framework for Impact Assessment: 10:00 – 10:30 Breakfast PART E: Reporting and Communication 10:30 – 12:30 IFAD reporting needs and formats: Annual RIMS reporting 12:30 - 13:30 Communication in M&E: importance, needs, audiences 13:30 – 14:45 Lunch 14:45 – 15:30 Communication strategy DAY 5: 21/09/2012 TIME ISSUE PART F: M&E challenges and strategies8:30 – 9:30 Project M&E challenges and support needs9:30 – 10:30 Elaboration of strategy for addressing challenges10:30 – 11:00 Conclusions, recommendations and closing Page | 21