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Report on the




 Training of Monitoring and Evaluation staff of IFAD Projects in
                           Gambia



                                   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.




Page | 1
Table of Contents

Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3

Chapter 1.   Background, Goal and Objectives………………………………………………………………………..4
Chapter 2:   Training Programme and Sessions……………………………………………………………………….5
Chapter 4:   M&E Challenges, Strategic Orientation and Way Forward....................................16

Chapter 3:   Evaluation of the Training Support……….……………………………………………………………18




                                             Annexes
 Annex 1: List of Participants…………………………………………………………………….…………………………19

 Annex 2: Training Programme…….……………………………………………………………………………………..20




Page | 2
Executive Summary

The training workshop targeted key M&E and project implementation staff of IFAD projects in
the Gambia, Focal Points providing support for project implementation and staff of the Central
Projects Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture. The overall goal of training was to
develop and strengthen capacities for effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation of IFAD
projects within the context of the Country Programme Approach (CPA). The specific objective
was to enable participants acquire and re-enforce knowledge in: results and Impact
Management 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 to
ensure effective participation in the training sessions. These sessions supported the
presentation and examination of key issues including: the strategic role of M&E in project
implementation, the RIMS framework, environmental and social performance monitoring and
evaluation, 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 evaluating
outcomes and assessing impact, RIMS reporting, communication, and sustainability of M&E
systems. The training concluded with a joint reflection by key M&E staff of the three projects
on the principal M&E challenges and strategic options for addressing key constraints.




Page | 3
Chapter 1: Background, goal and objectives of the training

1.1    Background

Capacity building for project implementation staff and partners is an important element of the
overall strategy for improving the performance of IFAD projects in the Gambia. In the context of
its country programme approach, the CPCU has initiated an in-country training initiative to
provide implementation support key thematic areas. Technical support for the initiative is being
provided by WARF in light of its expertise in these thematic areas, comprehensive knowledge of
the implementation environment of IFAD projects in the Gambia and other countries in West
and Central Africa and the ongoing collaboration between WARF and IFAD projects in the
country.

Given its strategic importance in project implementation and the results-based management
framework adopted by IFAD, M&E was identified as one of the thematic areas of the current
capacity building initiative between the CPCU, Gambia IFAD projects and WARF. The theme was
selected in consultation with IFAD’s Country Programme Management office for the Gambia.

1.2    Goal and Objectives

The overall goal of training was to develop and strengthen capacities for effective and efficient
monitoring and evaluation of IFAD projects within the context of the Country Programme
Approach (CPA). The specific objective was to enable participants acquire and re-enforce
knowledge 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 sustainability


Page | 4
Chapter 2: Forum Programme and Proceedings

The training programme was divided into six thematic sessions, focusing on the development of
knowledge and the facilitation of mutual learning and exchange as per the goal and objective of
the programme. The training programme is attached in annex (Annex 1). Details of the
proceedings of the different sessions are discussed in the rest of this chapter.

2.1 Proceedings

SESSION 1: Official opening, introduction of participants, expectations and training objectives

The training programme was officially opened by a series of remarks by the representative of
the Regional Agricultural Directorate of the Lower River Region, the Coordinator of the Central
Projects 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 emphasized
the 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 Programme
Approach was also highlighted. The speakers noted that the current training is part of a broader
capacity 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 points
and the media (GRTS, Daily Observer, Soma Radio), then presented themselves and highlighted
their expectations from the training programme. Participants expectations centered on mutual
learning and development of capacities in: operationalization and management of M&E
systems; use of the RIMS framework for monitoring, evaluation and reporting; enhancing the
participation of communities and beneficiaries in M&E; environmental monitoring; and the
development of effective communication strategies. The list of participants is presented in
annex 1 of this report. The presentation of participants was followed by a presentation of the
goal, objectives and detailed training programme. The programme is available as annex 2 of the
report. The consistency between the expectations of participants and the training programme


Page | 5
is a reflection of the extensive exchange that was undertaken during the initiation of the
training and the elaboration of the programme.

Session 2: M&E in Rural Development Interventions

The session focused on re-enforcing understanding of the role and importance of monitoring
and evaluation in the implementation of rural and agricultural development interventions. The
discussions 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, etc




Session 3: Issues and Concepts
During this session, participants exchanged on the following key issues and concepts that are
important 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). The
RIMS 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
The hierarchy of results and results chain were then presented and discussed to enhance an
understanding of the linkages and inter-relations between project implementation and
performance in terms of the three levels of results.




During the exchanges, participants had a common understanding of the three levels of
measuring and reporting performance in the framework of RIMS. It was also emphasized that
RIMS is indeed component of the M&E system and does not necessarily encompass all elements of the
system.

Other issues presented and discussed with participants included environmental and social performance
monitoring. The participants from the National Environmental Agency (NEA) provided a briefing on
issues of environmental monitoring, whilst participants brainstormed on key aspects of social
performance monitoring. Specific project examples were provided to highlight the extent to which
environmental and social performance monitoring are currently integrated into the project M&E
systems. The session was concluded with an exchange on participatory M&E, focusing on its importance
in enhancing community and beneficiary participation and its complementarity with classic M&E
approaches.




Page | 7
Session 4: Managing the Project Logframe and Performance Indicators

The session was on the management of the project logframe matrix, focusing on indicators for
measuring performance. The project logframe matrix, elaborated during project design or
appraisal, was presented as the intervention logic of the project. The logframe matrix
summarizes the relationship and linkages between the development goal/objectives of the
intervention, inputs/resources, activities/actions and results (outputs, outcomes and impact).
Performance indicators are also an integral part of the logframe, precisely describing the
instruments/variables for measuring progress or performance. It was also highlighted that the
logframe matrix identifies critical assumptions that will influence project implementation and
delivery of results. Following exchanges on these issues, the logframes of the three projects
were highlighted to demonstrate its various elements.

The discussions then focused enhancing a common understanding of the meaning, role and
importance of performance indicators in measurement. This was followed by an exchange on
the characteristics of a good performance indicator (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant
and time-bound). Other key issues for developing good indicators include reliability, ease and
cost of collection, potential for influencing change and potential for enhancing participation.


                 Characteristics of a Good Indicator
    SMART
            Specific
            Measurable
            Attainable
            Relevant
            Time-bound




Page | 8
Each of the projects was then invited to present examples of its indicators, covering the three
results levels as per the RIMS framework. Selected output, outcome and impact indicators of
each project were analyzed for SMARTness during group sessions, and the results of the
analysis were presented to the entire group of participants in a plenary session. The analysis
demonstrated mixed understanding the understanding and management of performance
indicators, especially at the outcome and impact levels. Detailed question and response
sessions were therefore used to clarify a number of issues in the management of outcome and
impact indicators for measuring performance.


Session 5: Rendering Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Operational and Functional

This session focused on identifying and discussing key issues and challenges in the
operationalization of M&E systems. It was noted that all three projects have successfully
completed the design of their M&E systems, with different levels of operationalization and
functioning. Key questions for determining the functionality of the project M&E systems were
discussed and used to identify challenges in M&E management.




Page | 9
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
Session 6: Elaboration of M&E planning matrices and monitoring of activities and outputs

The initial elements of the sixth session dwelled on the importance of having a good M&E plan
and the elaboration of a planning matrix for monitoring and elaboration. Following the
discussion on the importance of planning in M&E, a planning matrix template was presented
and discussed in details, followed by presentations of project sample matrices which were
reviewed. Suggestions we made for the elaboration and/or improvement of project M&E plan
matrices. The exchanges revealed that some projects have planning matrices whilst others are
in the process of elaborating their first comprehensive M&E plans. The generic template is
presented below.


                      PROJECT OBJECTIVES, KEY INDICATORS, TARGETS AND MONITORING ARRANGEMENTS

Project:


Location:


Project num ber:


Com ponent

Sub 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
                                                                           Cost




Subsequent exchanges on the monitoring activities and outputs revealed that all three project
M&E personnel were relatively comfortable with the procedures and have in place adequate
mechanisms for monitoring activities and outputs. Activity and output monitoring
arrangements identified included the use of systematic data collection sheets and extensive
Page | 11
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 AWPB

PART 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
This session focused on taking participants through the procedure for measuring project
outcomes within the framework of RIMS. After initial exchange to further enhance the
understanding of outcomes, the concepts of effectiveness and likelihood of sustainability as the
criteria for measuring outcomes were presented to participants. This was followed by a plenary
presentation and exchange on the scoring system in measuring outcomes.


Key issues discussed included the use of qualitative and quantitative data in measuring
outcomes, the various sources of information, methods of analysis and the value of flexibility
and creativity in outcome measurement. Below is the RIMS scoring system for outcome
measurement that was presented and discussed during the session.




 Source: Extracted from the IFAD RIMS Manual


Page | 13
Session 9: Impact Assessment in project M&E

The session explored impact as a third level result in the RIMS framework. The focus was on
context and issues in impact measurement in the framework of RIMS. Participants were initially
assisted to have a common understanding project impact, followed by a discussion on general
indicators for measuring impact. The importances of establishing a baseline/reference situation
as early as possible in project implementation was emphasized as an important element for
measuring and understand impact of project intervention.


The RIMS guidelines for the choice of indicators in impact assessment and their links to selected
millennium development goals were then presented and discussed. Other issues discussed
included the role of project M&E staff in preparing and undertaking impact assessment, quality
control and supervision of impact studies.




            Source: Extracted from the IFAD RIMS Manual




Page | 14
Session 10: Reporting and Communication in M&E

Each 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 for
effective reporting; and challenges in M&E reporting. The projects reported similar reporting
requirements both to IFAD and government. The major challenges relate to RIMS, especially the
reporting 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 developing
concrete 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 the
reporting format for RIMS first level results (outputs). Attention then shifted to the reporting of
send level results. Participants revisited the criteria for outcome evaluation (effectiveness and
likelihood of sustainability), the rating scale for reporting on second level results, the reporting
procedure, 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 strategy
based on the Country Programme Approach. Such efforts would focus on enabling the three
projects to work together to identify successes and lessons that will be processed and
communicated through appropriate media outlets (documentary, CPA bulletin/policy Brief,
local radio panel discussions, etc).




Page | 15
Chapter 3: M&E Challenges, strategies and the way forward

The final session was devoted to an exchange between core project staff on principal challenges
in M&E management and implementation, strategies for addressing these constraints and the
way forward for effective M&E among IFAD projects in the country. The major issues and
recommendations 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 knowledge



Page | 16
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 implementation




Page | 17
Chapter 4: Evaluation of the training programme

Trainees were requested to undertake an evaluation of the workshop and make specific
recommendations for improvements in the future. Participants were generally very satisfied
with the workshop in terms of the relevance of the themes, quality of presentations, the
interaction and participation of all trainees and the overall organizational modalities. The level
of satisfaction with the workshop facilities (hall, meals, electricity, etc.) however ranged from
average 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 type
of training. The topics delivered have increased my knowledge and understanding of the M&E
Officer’s duties and responsibilities. As for the venue of the training, I don’t think Jenoi is the
ideal place for such training workshops”


“The proceedings were clear and well understood. But for such an intensive workshop, there is a
need to have two facilitators instead of one”


“The information was prompt but after a day’s session everything was in order and adjustments
were made to suit the situation”


“I learnt a lot from this workshop. The level of participation was great. Issues highlighted were
very 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 very
relevant and have added value to our day-to-day work. The RIMS reporting format and
reporting schedules as well as the requirements was also helpful”




Page | 18
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            9894469




Page | 19
ANNEX 2: Training Programme

            DAY 1: 17/09/2012

            TIME                                                       Theme/Topic

8:30-9:30                  Registration of Participants

9:30-10:30                   Welcome and opening address
                             Introduction of participants and their expectations
10:30- 11:30               Review of Goal, objectives, programme

11:30 – 12:00              Health Break

                                            PART A: M&E Concepts and Issues

12:00 - 13:00              M&E in rural development projects and programmes

13:00 – 14:30              Lunch Break

14:30 – 15:30              Concepts and issues: RIMS, RBM, environmental/social performance monitoring

15:30 – 16:30              Participatory vs. classic M&E: Issues, complementarity, challenges

16:30 – 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
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 strategies
8:30 – 9:30           Project M&E challenges and support needs
9:30 – 10:30          Elaboration of strategy for addressing challenges
10:30 – 11:00          Conclusions, recommendations and closing




          Page | 21

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

  • 1. Report on the Training of Monitoring and Evaluation staff of IFAD Projects in Gambia 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. Page | 1
  • 2. Table of Contents Executive Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..3 Chapter 1. Background, Goal and Objectives………………………………………………………………………..4 Chapter 2: Training Programme and Sessions……………………………………………………………………….5 Chapter 4: M&E Challenges, Strategic Orientation and Way Forward....................................16 Chapter 3: Evaluation of the Training Support……….……………………………………………………………18 Annexes Annex 1: List of Participants…………………………………………………………………….…………………………19 Annex 2: Training Programme…….……………………………………………………………………………………..20 Page | 2
  • 3. Executive Summary The training workshop targeted key M&E and project implementation staff of IFAD projects in the Gambia, Focal Points providing support for project implementation and staff of the Central Projects Coordination Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture. The overall goal of training was to develop and strengthen capacities for effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation of IFAD projects within the context of the Country Programme Approach (CPA). The specific objective was to enable participants acquire and re-enforce knowledge in: results and Impact Management 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 to ensure effective participation in the training sessions. These sessions supported the presentation and examination of key issues including: the strategic role of M&E in project implementation, the RIMS framework, environmental and social performance monitoring and evaluation, 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 evaluating outcomes and assessing impact, RIMS reporting, communication, and sustainability of M&E systems. The training concluded with a joint reflection by key M&E staff of the three projects on the principal M&E challenges and strategic options for addressing key constraints. Page | 3
  • 4. Chapter 1: Background, goal and objectives of the training 1.1 Background Capacity building for project implementation staff and partners is an important element of the overall strategy for improving the performance of IFAD projects in the Gambia. In the context of its country programme approach, the CPCU has initiated an in-country training initiative to provide implementation support key thematic areas. Technical support for the initiative is being provided by WARF in light of its expertise in these thematic areas, comprehensive knowledge of the implementation environment of IFAD projects in the Gambia and other countries in West and Central Africa and the ongoing collaboration between WARF and IFAD projects in the country. Given its strategic importance in project implementation and the results-based management framework adopted by IFAD, M&E was identified as one of the thematic areas of the current capacity building initiative between the CPCU, Gambia IFAD projects and WARF. The theme was selected in consultation with IFAD’s Country Programme Management office for the Gambia. 1.2 Goal and Objectives The overall goal of training was to develop and strengthen capacities for effective and efficient monitoring and evaluation of IFAD projects within the context of the Country Programme Approach (CPA). The specific objective was to enable participants acquire and re-enforce knowledge 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 sustainability Page | 4
  • 5. Chapter 2: Forum Programme and Proceedings The training programme was divided into six thematic sessions, focusing on the development of knowledge and the facilitation of mutual learning and exchange as per the goal and objective of the programme. The training programme is attached in annex (Annex 1). Details of the proceedings of the different sessions are discussed in the rest of this chapter. 2.1 Proceedings SESSION 1: Official opening, introduction of participants, expectations and training objectives The training programme was officially opened by a series of remarks by the representative of the Regional Agricultural Directorate of the Lower River Region, the Coordinator of the Central Projects 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 emphasized the 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 Programme Approach was also highlighted. The speakers noted that the current training is part of a broader capacity 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 points and the media (GRTS, Daily Observer, Soma Radio), then presented themselves and highlighted their expectations from the training programme. Participants expectations centered on mutual learning and development of capacities in: operationalization and management of M&E systems; use of the RIMS framework for monitoring, evaluation and reporting; enhancing the participation of communities and beneficiaries in M&E; environmental monitoring; and the development of effective communication strategies. The list of participants is presented in annex 1 of this report. The presentation of participants was followed by a presentation of the goal, objectives and detailed training programme. The programme is available as annex 2 of the report. The consistency between the expectations of participants and the training programme Page | 5
  • 6. is a reflection of the extensive exchange that was undertaken during the initiation of the training and the elaboration of the programme. Session 2: M&E in Rural Development Interventions The session focused on re-enforcing understanding of the role and importance of monitoring and evaluation in the implementation of rural and agricultural development interventions. The discussions 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, etc Session 3: Issues and Concepts During this session, participants exchanged on the following key issues and concepts that are important 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). The RIMS 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 an understanding of the linkages and inter-relations between project implementation and performance in terms of the three levels of results. During the exchanges, participants had a common understanding of the three levels of measuring and reporting performance in the framework of RIMS. It was also emphasized that RIMS is indeed component of the M&E system and does not necessarily encompass all elements of the system. Other issues presented and discussed with participants included environmental and social performance monitoring. The participants from the National Environmental Agency (NEA) provided a briefing on issues of environmental monitoring, whilst participants brainstormed on key aspects of social performance monitoring. Specific project examples were provided to highlight the extent to which environmental and social performance monitoring are currently integrated into the project M&E systems. The session was concluded with an exchange on participatory M&E, focusing on its importance in enhancing community and beneficiary participation and its complementarity with classic M&E approaches. Page | 7
  • 8. Session 4: Managing the Project Logframe and Performance Indicators The session was on the management of the project logframe matrix, focusing on indicators for measuring performance. The project logframe matrix, elaborated during project design or appraisal, was presented as the intervention logic of the project. The logframe matrix summarizes the relationship and linkages between the development goal/objectives of the intervention, inputs/resources, activities/actions and results (outputs, outcomes and impact). Performance indicators are also an integral part of the logframe, precisely describing the instruments/variables for measuring progress or performance. It was also highlighted that the logframe matrix identifies critical assumptions that will influence project implementation and delivery of results. Following exchanges on these issues, the logframes of the three projects were highlighted to demonstrate its various elements. The discussions then focused enhancing a common understanding of the meaning, role and importance of performance indicators in measurement. This was followed by an exchange on the characteristics of a good performance indicator (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). Other key issues for developing good indicators include reliability, ease and cost of collection, potential for influencing change and potential for enhancing participation. Characteristics of a Good Indicator  SMART  Specific  Measurable  Attainable  Relevant  Time-bound Page | 8
  • 9. Each of the projects was then invited to present examples of its indicators, covering the three results levels as per the RIMS framework. Selected output, outcome and impact indicators of each project were analyzed for SMARTness during group sessions, and the results of the analysis were presented to the entire group of participants in a plenary session. The analysis demonstrated mixed understanding the understanding and management of performance indicators, especially at the outcome and impact levels. Detailed question and response sessions were therefore used to clarify a number of issues in the management of outcome and impact indicators for measuring performance. Session 5: Rendering Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Operational and Functional This session focused on identifying and discussing key issues and challenges in the operationalization of M&E systems. It was noted that all three projects have successfully completed the design of their M&E systems, with different levels of operationalization and functioning. Key questions for determining the functionality of the project M&E systems were discussed 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 outputs The initial elements of the sixth session dwelled on the importance of having a good M&E plan and the elaboration of a planning matrix for monitoring and elaboration. Following the discussion on the importance of planning in M&E, a planning matrix template was presented and discussed in details, followed by presentations of project sample matrices which were reviewed. Suggestions we made for the elaboration and/or improvement of project M&E plan matrices. The exchanges revealed that some projects have planning matrices whilst others are in the process of elaborating their first comprehensive M&E plans. The generic template is presented below. PROJECT OBJECTIVES, KEY INDICATORS, TARGETS AND MONITORING ARRANGEMENTS Project: Location: Project num ber: Com ponent Sub 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 Cost Subsequent exchanges on the monitoring activities and outputs revealed that all three project M&E personnel were relatively comfortable with the procedures and have in place adequate mechanisms for monitoring activities and outputs. Activity and output monitoring arrangements identified included the use of systematic data collection sheets and extensive Page | 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 AWPB PART 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 project outcomes within the framework of RIMS. After initial exchange to further enhance the understanding of outcomes, the concepts of effectiveness and likelihood of sustainability as the criteria for measuring outcomes were presented to participants. This was followed by a plenary presentation and exchange on the scoring system in measuring outcomes. Key issues discussed included the use of qualitative and quantitative data in measuring outcomes, the various sources of information, methods of analysis and the value of flexibility and creativity in outcome measurement. Below is the RIMS scoring system for outcome measurement that was presented and discussed during the session. Source: Extracted from the IFAD RIMS Manual Page | 13
  • 14. Session 9: Impact Assessment in project M&E The session explored impact as a third level result in the RIMS framework. The focus was on context and issues in impact measurement in the framework of RIMS. Participants were initially assisted to have a common understanding project impact, followed by a discussion on general indicators for measuring impact. The importances of establishing a baseline/reference situation as early as possible in project implementation was emphasized as an important element for measuring and understand impact of project intervention. The RIMS guidelines for the choice of indicators in impact assessment and their links to selected millennium development goals were then presented and discussed. Other issues discussed included the role of project M&E staff in preparing and undertaking impact assessment, quality control and supervision of impact studies. Source: Extracted from the IFAD RIMS Manual Page | 14
  • 15. Session 10: Reporting and Communication in M&E Each 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 for effective reporting; and challenges in M&E reporting. The projects reported similar reporting requirements both to IFAD and government. The major challenges relate to RIMS, especially the reporting 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 developing concrete 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 the reporting format for RIMS first level results (outputs). Attention then shifted to the reporting of send level results. Participants revisited the criteria for outcome evaluation (effectiveness and likelihood of sustainability), the rating scale for reporting on second level results, the reporting procedure, 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 strategy based on the Country Programme Approach. Such efforts would focus on enabling the three projects to work together to identify successes and lessons that will be processed and communicated 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 forward The final session was devoted to an exchange between core project staff on principal challenges in M&E management and implementation, strategies for addressing these constraints and the way forward for effective M&E among IFAD projects in the country. The major issues and recommendations 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 knowledge Page | 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 implementation Page | 17
  • 18. Chapter 4: Evaluation of the training programme Trainees were requested to undertake an evaluation of the workshop and make specific recommendations for improvements in the future. Participants were generally very satisfied with the workshop in terms of the relevance of the themes, quality of presentations, the interaction and participation of all trainees and the overall organizational modalities. The level of satisfaction with the workshop facilities (hall, meals, electricity, etc.) however ranged from average 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 type of training. The topics delivered have increased my knowledge and understanding of the M&E Officer’s duties and responsibilities. As for the venue of the training, I don’t think Jenoi is the ideal place for such training workshops” “The proceedings were clear and well understood. But for such an intensive workshop, there is a need to have two facilitators instead of one” “The information was prompt but after a day’s session everything was in order and adjustments were made to suit the situation” “I learnt a lot from this workshop. The level of participation was great. Issues highlighted were very 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 very relevant and have added value to our day-to-day work. The RIMS reporting format and reporting 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 9894469 Page | 19
  • 20. ANNEX 2: Training Programme DAY 1: 17/09/2012 TIME Theme/Topic 8:30-9:30 Registration of Participants 9:30-10:30  Welcome and opening address  Introduction of participants and their expectations 10:30- 11:30 Review of Goal, objectives, programme 11:30 – 12:00 Health Break PART A: M&E Concepts and Issues 12:00 - 13:00 M&E in rural development projects and programmes 13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break 14:30 – 15:30 Concepts and issues: RIMS, RBM, environmental/social performance monitoring 15:30 – 16:30 Participatory vs. classic M&E: Issues, complementarity, challenges 16:30 – 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 strategies 8:30 – 9:30 Project M&E challenges and support needs 9:30 – 10:30 Elaboration of strategy for addressing challenges 10:30 – 11:00 Conclusions, recommendations and closing Page | 21