APR closing comments by Thomas Elhaut

The APR was brought to a close by Thomas Elhaut, who promised free massages to those who would listen to his speech :-)

Instead of summarizing the APR, Thomas highlighted what he felt were the main points of change that IFAD needs to act upon:

  • Agriculture is back on the agenda: we have to do it much better this time around in the context of a food /financial crisis and the key agricultural productivity and research
  • Direct supervision: we are aiming for improved administration and shorter turnaround. Many projects are at risk, so we need to help each other. We have to move towards implementation support - facilitation, mutual accountability and support each other's learning. We heard good ideas to improve DS, such as through peer reviews, reviewing the timing of missions and empowering missions through their composition (involvement of government,grant managers and local stakeholders)
  • Grants in country progammes: we have limited resources so let's use them strategically. They are a foundation for KM and we are underexploiting that. We need stronger linkages; loans have to be greared to grants at the project design stage...why wait for marriage? (as Tung put it ;-))
  • KM: we made big progress in demystifying KM. We now know that KM is about learning and sharing, keeping it simple and innovating, with support from others, giving a shoulder to cry on. We need to be selective in what we do around KM, be evidence-based, resist standarizing and be gender/culture sensitive. ENRAP helps with this, bringing together people face-to-face and with technology; EMachina will help us with technology in the next phase. Remember that IFAD's identity is rural poverty reduction and innovation. Cassandra and her team will share this with the rest of the world
  • Managing country programmes for results: need to have simplicity and clarity. The starting point is the log frame but we need to have clarity of objective, to decide where you want to go before you try to get there. Monitoring and evaluation is a management tool; be selective, simple and concrete, collect what you need, need what you collect. We have to mainstream further by identifiyng M & E resource people in country
  • Financial: we have improved procurement but we still have some way to go. We will organize procurement trainings, but also trainings on fraud and corruption. We plan to organize a financial event with aid agencies and finance ministries to look at trying to find funds for KM and to simplify procedures. We will have more money to address global issues next year but we know that you are already confronting them on a day-to-day basis and are finding solutions for those constraints
  • Productivity issues: we need to have more talks about it... this was the first time we sat down with John Skerritt
  • Climate change: need to desgn with more flexibility, have coping strategies, policy responses and earmark funds for women to deal with climate change
  • Sustainability: it is the other side of climate change and the food crisis, the economic and social dimension. There needs to be ownership of the identity agenda at the project design and keep it on the radar throughout
  • Private sector: it is an important player, we have to start working with them as partners. We want to bring them along at the next APR meeting so we will be doing some prep work
  • Knowledge market: it was remarkable, many thanks to all for sharing about your work
  • Blog: I want to see the results from the exercice on country team work reported on blog. What are you going to do? I would love to see 2-3 changes as consequence of this workshop. Let's keep the blog alive, as least until the next workshop

Thomas hoped that we will be inspired and committed to take on all of the above so we have a better record next year. In closing, he thanked Chase and Martina (who had already thanked everyone else), wished us good field trips and bon voyage, until next year!


Anonymous said…
Thanks Mr Elhaut for the opportunity. There are indirect benefits that will ensue from my participation in the APR, that is probably worth mentioning. As a disciple of KM myself, I intend to replicate the practices from the IFAD sessions for my Departments planning sessions specifically...i guess a more Philippinized version of the storytelling technique Talk Show.. and yes the Romeo and Juliet will be a hit. But my favorite innovation? the six minute summary. .. This, Thomas, is what "UNFORGETTABLE" has taken away from the sessions.. and more... Congrats to CHase and Martina.
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