Managing the country programme for results session

Best practices in managing development for results
Presented by: Maria Donnat, IFAD

Project M&E systems need to be developed around the "results' chain" in order to be relevant:

Best RBM practices
  • A clearly defined logframe with targets
  • A results-oriented Annual Work Plan and Budget
  • An M&E system that informs project stakeholders on project performance and issues
  • A project management that learns from M&E data and take correction actions.
  • A project management that is responsive to changes in the enviornment.
  • A project that documents and shares lessons learned.
How to do that?
Through regular data collection and analysis based on a pre-determined list of indicators, with the following being the main possible sources of information:
  • Project records (activities)
  • Service providers records
  • Community/beneficiaries records
  • Field visits/observations
  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus group Discussions (FGD)
What to avoid?
"Data collected but not used."

Quantitative vs qualitative data?
"Both are important."

IFAD Results Impact Monitoring System:
(a) Impact surveys undertaken at 3 phases of the project life:
Baseline survey
Mid-term survey
Completion survey

(b) Annual reporting against a list of standard indicators

Building Country M&E capacity to manage for and report on results
Presented by: Nigel Brett, IFAD

The main problem: Reporting results
Projects report on activities and outputs but often do not generate evidence of achievement of results. Without the evidence, IFAD and government have to assume that outputs have resulted in objectives. This is not credible. If IFAD cannot prove it is having an impact, why should countries continue to support us.

IFAD impact in Bangladesh
Sample surveys at start-up, mid term and completion have looked at with and without
project situations, and have generated credible data showing attribution of impact to the IFAD projects. Data shows a significant change has been made in respect of poverty situation. For example, an increase in household assets of 58%
over a 6 year project, compared with an increase of 29% in control groups. Or, an increase of 159% in poultry numbers in target group hhs compared with an increase of only 43% in control groups.

What is needed to enable effective M&E system? (activities undertaken in Bangladesh)
  • M&E system should be designed and included in the IFAD design document
  • Keep the number of indicators to a minimum and make sure they are showing clear links between outputs and impact through a results chain.
  • M&E unit independent and attached to PMU, should be well staffed, and well resourced (in Bangladesh there are 6 M&E field officers in each project).
  • Ensure implementation support for M&E system start-up and regular follow-up training.
  • Ensure you pick strong M&E consultants for implementation support and supervision, preferably keeping the same consultants that designed the system through implementation.
  • Training of M&E staff should be done on continuous basis, including through supervision missions.
  • M&E implementation support by IFAD is needed for preparing good M&E matrices, good logframes, TORs, designing surveys, sample design, questionairre preparation, and finally in reviewing products and interpreting data.
  • Ensure the M&E data is disseminated widely. In Bangladesh this is done through regular Country Programme Newsletters, in both English and Bangla.

Participant Snapshot
Q: What was the most interesting point for you from the presentations in the session
"Managing the country program for results"?

A: RIMS indicators on the project performance regards to the project impact
level. Unfortunately, our country does not have any monitoring system. Basically I noticed some point on the audit, the conflict of
interest is huge in Maldives, becuase of smallnes of population, therefore, as a project manager, we should be extremelly carefull when doing procurement and contract.

(Picture: Ms. Azma Didi, Programme coordinator for Post Tsunami agriculture and fishery rehabilitation program & Ms. Riza Rosal, Programme Assistant, IFAD).

Click here for full powerpoint presentation of the session


Pankaj said…
Dear IFAD,
As an ex-IFAD M & E Manager, and a current UNDP M & E Analyst, please allow me to express my deep admiration for RIMS. It is truly a "best practice" and a global Impact monitoring system which no other donor (to the best of my knowledge) has. RIMS is truly something which many other agencies working in global development can replicate and use. Thanks IFAD ! Pankaj Shrivastav, UNDP, India
Chase said…
Thanks Pankaj for your comment. Its nice to know that you have seen our APR blog.

At the session, I wanted to ask the presenters why IFAD speaks so little about harmonisation and helping projects align with government M&E systems. Also one would expect that the case needs to be made for collaboration and partnership amongst development assistance providers in the area of M&E. It would be great if we could shift priorities to help projects respond primarily to their own governments' needs for knowledge and information (and help those govts to use that info) rather than focussing always on how and why they should be reporting to us. Could development agencies form partenrships to agree on and support M&E reporting that fits government systems and needs?
sakphouseth said…
To my knowledge, Chase is completely right. Although reporting is an important tool for management, the core concept of the M&E does not only lie on doing reporting but on how project is managed to reach development objective by all level including community beneficiary and government authority. From this corner, in practical term, government did make use of the project M&E system. However, to what extend government make use of the project information to manage development and policy formulation is still a misery.

Achieving RIMS operationalized is a great step for us. Moving toward government policy support mechanism should be next agenda to move forward.
chandra said…
I know this question of mine can be a little offtrack, but still I thought it might be an appropriate plateform for the answer I am looking for. My question is - Can choosing a same consulting firm for M&E works and implementation of the same project be a case of conflict of interest and hence be avoided or it is much better?
Donnat said…
Dear Chandra,

In response to your question "Can choosing a same consulting firm for M&E works and implementation of the same project be a case of conflict of interest and hence be avoided or it is much better?", my own opinion is the following:

For lack of more detailed information, I would see the two following scenarios: (A) if this firm is selected to implement part of the project (e.g. a specific component)it should and must be asked to also monitor implementation of this component and report on key, agreed-upon indictors (as for example defined in the Service Provider's Agreement/contract). In this case, the Project Management/Coordination Unit will have the responsability to ensure that this information on performance is validated independently (e.g. through the PMU/PCU organizing surveys or field visits) in the framework of its own M&E framework ; (B) Under a different scenario - the firm is responsible for implementation of a given component and of monitoring the entire project implementation (e.g. achievements under other components not implemented by this firm), then you could be faced with a real conflict of interest. In this case, I would recommend choosing a different firm for M&E related activites.

Your question actually raises the issue of whether or not M&E should be outsourced or be undertaken by PMU/PCU staff. My own view - but it surely depends on the country context - is that M&E should remain the responsability of the PMU/PCU because this is an essential management function. Would anyone, for example, suggest that financial management be outsourced? This being said, the PMU/PCU may want to outsource, from time to time, the conduct of specific surveys or some specific M&E activities for which it does not have enough staff.

Let me know if this addresses your query.

Wiht kind regards,

Maria Donnat
RBM Advisor
vin@y said…
well, to meet you all on blog for experiences sharing.It is nice to get msg from PANKAJ AND CHASE.anyway, me from Jharkhand Tribal Development Programme (506-IN).I have got a mail regarding developing single RIMS report two states .as they are single loan.It is fine to have data but the very purpose may not be achieved because each programme states has their own RIMS progress, which is perhaps best to assess the result and impact.
sp Kindly put your suggestions to make BEST USE OF RIMS as a tool .