The second Agricultural Growth Program (AGP2) Project Implementation Manual (PIM) and the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) manual indicate that the M&E system for the first AGP was inadequate to properly track and measure program performance. M&E tools were not well understood nor used consistently and, regional and woreda AGP M&E personnel had limited understanding of Result Based Management (RBM). The quality of reports and the data were poor and did not reflect actual results.
The World Bank and Government of Ethiopia Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) Joint Review Implementation Support (JRIS) mission reports indicated similar problems (i.e. inadequate evidence-based monitoring) in the AGP2 M&E system. This critical issue necessitated giving high priority to strengthen M&E human resource capacity and data management systems in federal and regional Program Coordination Units (PCUs) as well as Implementing Agencies (IAs) for AGP2.
To alleviate the problem, CDSF conducted M&E knowledge and skills competency assessment at regional and woreda levels to identify the competency gap of Federal and Regional PCUs and IAs. Based on the results of the assessment, CDSF designed a training on RBM for federal and regional level M&E experts from the RPCUs and IAs. In December 2017, CDSF delivered a national level training-of-trainers (ToT) capacity development event for 32 M&E experts (2 women) drawn from F/R PCUs and IAs. Subsequently, CDSF provided support for the rolled out and cascaded RBM woreda-level training in four regions (i.e. Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Tigray) and supported the cascading of the trainings.
The RBM training is currently being institutionalized and scaled up in many AGP IAs in Amhara region. The highest-level decision-making bodies including, regional council members and the speaker of the House have acknowledged the RBM training as a viable solution to the problem in AGP and IAs M&E system.
Accordingly, with technical support from CDSF Amhara Regional Office, the AGP2 RPCU allocated budget for rolling out and cascading the training to M&E regional, zonal and woreda CUs and IAs’ M&E experts. The RPCU also cascaded the training to kebele level for Development Agents, Kebele Development Committee members and others. A total of 264 participants (63 women) at regional and zonal levels and 5,066 (480 women) at kebele and woreda levels participated in the training.
Similarly, the Amhara Region Agricultural Research Institute (ARARI), the Amhara Bureau of Agriculture, and the Amhara Regional Peoples Council took the initiative and delivered the RBM training to their staff.
W/ro Lubaba Ibrahim, Women and Children Affairs Standing Committee Chair at Amhara Regional Council office said the following.
“I have worked in different institutions for more than 22 years in various capacities and took many trainings. However, I liked this training better for many reasons. In this training, I gained knowledge about RBM concepts and tools. The data quality assessment tool was very interesting. I believe this training will solve some of our problems and strengthen our M&E system.”