by Alessia Bartolucci
On 25 September, for the first time a meeting via Skype, connecting Rome with Banjul, was held with the project staff of the four ongoing projects, PIWAMP, RFP, LHDP and Nema. The meeting allowed us to discuss and agree upon on a number of ongoing issues such as the preparation of the WCA Director’s visit to the Gambia, progress on AgSectoral M&E system at national and project level, the Supervision Mission, the projects’ participation in the Financial Forum in Rome in November as well as plans for the Earth Observation in-country capacity building workshop.
The meeting was also honored by the presence of the newly appointed Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture (Ms Ada Gaye) who got an update on the IFAD-funded activities in the country. The participation of the IFAD HQs team in the CPA meeting was very much welcomed and appreciated by the projects and it was agreed to continue this practice in the future by holding videoconferences with the CPA group on a quarterly basis.
These meetings will represent a useful platform to interact with projects and engage in policy dialogue with government officials on an informal basis thus surely ensuring better project implementation in the Gambia.
Although connectivity was not always stable, my participation in the CPA meeting was a good moment to reconnect with project staff and discuss common issues related to the portfolio in one meeting place, giving common information to all concerned at once – thus also saving time. One lesson learned was to keep the agenda short to make the meeting as dynamic as possible and keep attention high all time through.