There is always a first time - and here is "first one" for Nepal

IFAD Nepal Country Programme Training/ Workshop
22-26 August 2013
Hotel Chautari, Nagarkot

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), together with the five on-going Projects/Programmes under IFAD portfolio in Nepal: Western Upland Poverty Alleviation Programme (WUPAP), Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Programme (LFLP), High-Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas (HVAP), Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) and Kisanka Lagi Biu-Bijan Karyakram/Improved Seeds for Farmers Programme (KUBK-ISFP), has jointly organized a five-day (22-26 August 2013) workshop/training program at Hotel Chautari, Nagarkot. The fundamental objectives of the event are to:

  • improve the performance and delivery of each project thereby contributing to the performance and delivery of the whole country portfolio
  • strengthen the capacity building aspects of the country team in various aspects of project management and synergies.  
This is the first time such event is organized in Nepal gathering key staff of all projects under implementation.

22 August 2013 

The workshop/training started with an evening reception on 22 August where the 70 participants from five IFAD-funded projects participated in an interactive introductory session.  Participants are coming from all regions of Nepal, from remote districts in mountain and mid-hills.

23 August 2013: Morning session

The first day of the event focused on Project Performance and Country Programme Improvement aspects. Mr. Rajendra Adhikari (Joint Secretary Ministry of Agricultural Development) and Mr. Benoit Thierry (CPM) inaugurated the event by watering the Kisanka Lagi Biu-Bijan Karyakram/ Improved Seeds for Farmers Programme’s (KUBK-ISFP) potted plant.

Mr. Rajendra Adhikari (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agricultural Development), Mr. Benoit Thierry (CPM), Mr. Naba Raj Poudel (Foreign Aid Division Office, Ministry of Finance), Devendra Yadav (Livestock Coordinator, LFLP), Mr. Uttam Prasad Nagila (Project Coordinator, WUPAP), Mr. Rajendra Bhari (Project Manager, HVAP) and Ariel Halpern (Procasur) chaired the opening session.

Mr. Naba Raj Poudel (Foreign Aid Division Office, Ministry of Finance (MoF)) delivered the opening remarks on behalf of MoF. He highlighted the potential impact of the workshop in improvement of IFAD-funded project performance and claimed that this workshop could be a baseline for similar events. Mr. Poudel also talked about National Project Performance Review (NPPR) annual and quarterly meeting for evaluation of donor funded projects commenting that the capital expenditure is very low.

Mr. Rajendra Adhikari (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agricultural Development) marked the closing of the inaugural session by delivering his remarks on behalf of Ministry of Agricultural Development. Mr. Adhikari mentioned the new Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS) highlighting the importance and impact of public-private partnership and the significance of marketing and effectively utilizing the agricultural production to ensure subsistence. He also said that Nepal needs subsistence agriculture for which the farmers need to be integrated into value chain. “This event should find the such communication mechanism to share our knowledge,” he said emphasizing the use of communication as the major key.

23 August 2013: Afternoon session

Benoit Thierry (CPM) made a presentation on the new Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) and upcoming Country Programme Integrated Support Unit (CPISU). His presentation highlighted the following points:

  • Country Programme Evaluation conclusions
  • Portfolio results and Expenses Analysis 
  • Indicators of Annual Performance based Rating
  • Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (COSOP) goal and objectives

Each project made a brief presentation on the factors impeding project performance and proposals to resolve the problems.

After the presentations, the participants were asked to vote the implementation issues on the basis of prioritization. The following issues were identified

  • Sustainability: 20 votes
  • Implementation in design: 14 votes
  • Monitoring and evaluation: 11 votes
  • Gender and inclusion: 9 votes
  • Staff: 9 votes
  • Aptitude to agribusiness: 9 votes
  • Fiduciary: 8 votes
  • Coordination at local level: 8 votes
  • Rural finance: 5 votes
  • Longer project time needed: 3 votes
  • HQ planning to field implementation: 2 votes
  • Expectation management: 2 votes
  • Nutrition: 1 vote
  • Time management: 1 vote

After a brief tea break, the participants worked in four different groups split by   projects to find answers to the following questions:

  • How to retrofit the existing portfolio into the new COSOP RMF (Result Management Framework)? 
  • How does the RMF affect our individual projects? 
  • How to improve synergy, learning exchange and cooperative behavior?

After a 40-minute group discussing the project groups came up with constructive outcomes that will be incorporated in the Road Map at the end of the workshop. The roadmap shall be jointly agreed in policy dialogue agenda for country portfolio.