WCA/ESA M&E Learning Event -the discussions continue

Good Morning from Grand Bassam!

It’s been a long night. Discussions, discussions around our grilled fish and attieké in a local maquis (outdoor restaurant). There is a great ambiance even though there is a little heatwave and the generator gave up on us for a little while. The discussions were so interesting that our discussions on RIMS and success stories from Madagascar, Niger, Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire were not interrupted!

Tuesday's theme was  RIMS – the IFAD Results and Impact Monitoring System. The IFAD team gave an overview of some of the difficulties noticed in reports and upgraded some tools to make the monitoring of the RIMS indicators easier. Participants are quite pleased with the developments. In order to have better focus on RIMS, the large group split up to work on three different themes: (i) how to choose level 1 and level 2 indicators; (ii) how to count beneficiaries (men, women, households, etc) to estimate outreach (and make sure there is no double counting! and (iii) how to assess level 2 indicators. It was surprising to see how different projects perceive their work how they chose their indicators. In the group I participated in, Madagascar shared its method of weighting the number of RIMS indicators per component by the financial weight of that component.. This approach was somewhat controversial and created a lot of debate within the group.. The shortcomings of this method were discussed, such as the value of soft investments (ex. capacity building) that are key for a project sustainability. On this topic, the group agreed that a combination of methods should be used to have the best reporting system possible, stressing the necessity of choosing the few  most pertinent indicators.  

As mentioned earlier, Niger, Madagascar, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal shared their experiences in M&E. Although the projects differ largely, the common ideas by the presentations from these countries are proactive solutions to M&E. For example using simple approaches, have a common understanding of indicators by both project team and stakeholders at all levels, constant discussions and involvement, sharing of information and most of all, careful planning of all activities to achieve expected results. A special thanks to these teams for some great M&E work that they were so pleased to share.

Participants especially appreciated the sessions on how to link and follow up on Annual Work Plans and Budget and Logical Frameworks and the necessity for M&E planning not just annually (AWPB), but over the life horizon of the project, with end results in mind, to ensure that activities are thought out and planned for in a logical sequential manner throughout project implementation. 

Group work included preparing an action plan to improve RIMS Reporting for 2013, addressing the three questions raised in the working groups and putting to practice all of the things discussed here in Grand Bassam – especially since a prize is at stake!

Looking forward to tomorrow for the next discussions!