Learner’s Submission: Result-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System in Zimbabwe

20/01/2014

“The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. However, for head of states to achieve the set goals they need an effective monitoring and evaluation system that is result oriented.

There is a lack of project management capacity in international development projects.  A good RBME is an ongoing system. This means that there is constant feedback, learning and improving. Existing plans are regularly modified based on the lessons learned through monitoring and evaluation, and future plans are developed based on these lessons. Results based monitoring is also an ongoing process. The lessons from monitoring are discussed periodically and used to inform actions and decisions. Results based evaluations should be done for programmatic improvements while the program is still ongoing and also inform the planning of new programs. This ongoing process of doing, learning and improving is what is referred to as the RBME approach. Learning not only helps improve results from existing programs and projects, but also enhances the capacity of the organization and individuals to make better decisions in the future and improves the formulation of future programs and projects.

Clovgate Elevator Company is company in Zimbabwe, s involved in the installation, upgrades, service and maintenance of Elevators and Escalators in the southern region of Africa. Clovgate Elevator Company has been and it’s trying to improve the lives of Zimbabweans by installing elevators at hospitals, clinics and government buildings.  This company is involved in carrying out multiple projects at once; by so doing the organization as adopted the results based monitoring and evaluation system. The adoption of the results based monitoring and evaluation system has also necessitated the setting up of the projects and programs monitoring and evaluation departments in our organization. In setting up the RBME, the organization has done what is known as an integrated approach in RBME meaning that everyone or each and every department in the organization must adopt the RBME towards the achievement of organizational objectives. This approach can transfer the sophistication of information into structure, form, grouping, reporting and process that would allow all stakeholders to understand, communicate and exchange experience and knowledge. Since the organization adopted an integrated approach, each and every individual in organization and all departments are users of the RBME system. The RBME System was put in place so that everyone, each and every department in the organization should self monitoring and evaluation to allow performance improvement prior to results publication. In case of one department fails, RBME can predict failure and allows time to improve on performance prior to performance review. This performance review process could be applied by departments to report their achievements.

The  RBME system at Clovgate  comprises  of  a  Results-Based  Budgeting  (RBB)  system,  Results-Based  Personnel  Performance System (RBPPS) and Results Based Operations Management System (RBOMS). The  above  systems are  deemed  critical  to  assist the organization  in  conducting  systematic  program  planning,  formulation  and implementation which  in  turn  is  expected  to  improve  the performance of the organization.

The interest of our organization in pursuing RBME is that many complex, long-term projects fail to live up to their promises and produce disappointing outcomes on completion. Some of these are well-known for exceeding their budgets or deadlines or both.  Publicly available statistics of project failures vary dramatically in their estimates and do not include confidential data from private corporations so are not an entirely reliable guide.

Results-Based Monitoring and evaluation enhances the effectiveness of your organization by establishing clear links between past, present and future interventions and results. Results-Based Monitoring and evaluation can help an organization to extract, from past and ongoing activities, relevant information that can subsequently be used as the basis for programmatic fine-tuning, reorientation and planning. Without results-based monitoring and evaluation, it would be impossible to judge if work was going in the right direction, whether progress and success could be claimed, and how future efforts might be improved.” – Soul Nyangoni – Harare, Zimbabwe

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Learner’s Submission: Potential User of RBM in My Organisation

17/01/2014

“I am working in Emmanuel Hospital Organisation in a Project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We have developed the Result Framework together with the doner agency. This project is for 10 years and we have designed the expected result for the project for 10 years. The result framework is used by the doner, by the central government, by the state government and by the non-governmental agencies who are implementing the project. There are 30 non-governmental agencies who are using the result based management. There are three result frameworks for the project, i.e. one at project level, one at state level and the third one at NGO level. We measure their achievement on the basis of their expected result which are pre-defined by the. During the 1st 5 year of the project we don’t had a RBM system, but in the next 5year we established the system. This is the 2nd phase of the project the project is doing very well. The work is appreciated by the doner as well as the government agencies. I have trained many people and non-governmental agencies on redesigning the RBM system in India. RBM is really much better than the conventional M&E system.

The accountability increased when we use the RBM. The doner is very clear what they want from the implementing agencies. The expected objectives are very clear. The non-governmental agencies are very clear what they are going to achieve and what are their objectives. Earlier the implementing agencies used to report whatever the result is, but now when they are using RBM they are reporting against the expected result and they measure their success or failure again the target. This has made them more and more accountable. Doner wants that every single penny is spent properly by using the RBM. The implementing agencies try to achieve what they have planned. The government agencies what to see their success o failure in achieving their goals. RBM has become the language of the most of the funding agencies now a days and hope this will replace the conventional monitoring and evaluation system completely. The World Bank and The Global Fund for fighting against AIDS, Tuber colossi and Malaria is implementing RBM and using the performance based funding. The fund is directly relate to their performance, if they perform they get fund otherwise the funding is stopped. This is a nice mechanism to make the implementing agencies more accountable. Now a day’s most of the government agencies also trying to follow the RBM to make their departments more accountable. The focus is very clear when RBM is followed. The funding agencies are very clear where the money is being spent and what is the result out of it. This is some kind of pre-cost benefit analysis. The implementing agencies become more and more conscious to achieve their targets which are explicitly defined in the RBM system. The overall accountability has really increased among all the partner agencies. Hope this will be the buzz work in the development sector as well as in the government agencies in near future.” – Ritu Kumar Mishra – Assam, India


Learner’s Submission: Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation System in the United Kingdom

10/01/2014

“I have to begin be saying that I cannot answer to any of the questions in relation to “my organization” since at the moment I don’t really belong to one. I am a researcher and project coordinator with ten years experience in the corporate sector (market research), committed to pursue a career in international development (Hence taking this course). The past two and a half years spent as an international volunteer reflect genuine interest in development and humanitarian action. I will try to answer based on my overall experience and understanding of development issues and development work.

The key issues are accountability, ownership and sustainability all of them strongly relying on capacity building. While in theory the RBME system addresses all of these issues the reality and the practicality of it is not a straightforward undertaking.

Leaving costs and use of other resources aside, the use of the RMBE system and the demand for RBME information depend on stakeholders’ perception and understanding of their relevance and usefulness to them. So the first step should be identifying their organizational and information needs. Then, based on the findings, a customized “offer” should be made for stakeholders at all levels – bring the system/information down to each of the levels involved. Whether you are trying to sell the system or increase the demand for M&E results information you have to show each of the parties how they can specifically benefit from it.  All these should be done in highly participatory workshops which facilitate comprehension and contribute to future ownership. It is likely that by presenting the new system/tool in comparison with the current way of doing things, giving as many concrete examples as possible, will enhance assimilation.  Presenting actual success stories taking place in a similar context can also help.

Now assuming the idea got through the efforts don’t end here. Buying the idea and putting it into practice are to different things. Even if you have your capacity building needs covered you will probably have to fight old habits, resistance to change and skepticism. Resorting to incentives as well as eliminate disincentives can aid the aide.  Whether the champions get funds for new activities or had their names mentioned in the monthly newsletter, it can only help promote the advantages of the new system/tool. One should pay just as much attention to disincentives; though you don’t buy them they may cost you more than the incentives. Identify problematic instances for champions and make sure they get management backup and support. Emphasize the non-punitive, constructive nature of the system/process, where is the case.

If the circumstances allow it run trials in a project(s)/branch(s) which are part of a bigger program/ organization. This would help setting an example as well as understanding how the RBME system can work for your organization/ program.

Success rates and effectiveness will increase the more it is (or at least feels like) a choice rather than an imposed outside condition.

All these are general statements which could apply more or less to any program or organization. On a different note I would like to mention something that I have encounter in Mozambique last year when I was there for 6 months as an international volunteer. One of the programs I came across called “Teachers of the Future” deals with training teachers for primary schools in rural areas. In the race for achieving the MDGs, “universal primary education for all” in this particular case, the government decided that one year is enough to train a primary school teacher. Consequently the NGO running this program had to squeeze the two and a half years curriculum into one year. Sometimes students enrolling in this program can hardly read or write yet in a year they will be deemed teachers.  Does this speak for the whole program? Maybe not! The point that I am trying to make is that pursuing the MDGs could be a nice excuse and in the chase for target numbers sometimes quality has to takes a fall-back position. Maybe this was a calculated risk on the government’s part. Maybe overall it pays. In monitoring terms they may be on track when it comes to reaching targets. But what about outcomes and impact? An evaluation could provide answers to this part. Maybe one was on its way; maybe corrective measure had been take base on evaluation results. Maybe, maybe …” – Alexandra-Iuliana Sandu – Sidcup, United Kingdom


Learner’s Submission: How Can Citizens Contribute to the Achievement of the “Millennium Development Goals” (MDGs) in India

06/06/2013

“Citizen participation in nation-building process can be traced as far back as Plato’s Republic. It’s nothing new to Indian society also. History tells us how the citizen participation has brought freedom to India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. The tradition continues and people of India still participating for the betterment of the nation. Below I’ve list some of my ideas how the Indian citizens can contribute to the achievement of the goals of the MDGs:

Right to Information Act,2005

I’ll say, RTI is the best gift to the people of India in the 21st century. Using this powerful tool every citizen can access the public information (except some which may be threat to our national security). Thus people can get information, analyse them, what’re the lacunas in the policy and act accordingly. Whistle-blowers also use this tool to expose the corruption!!!

Representative Democracy

India is the largest democracy in the world. In a democratic country, people hold the authority via their representative who is elected through universal adult franchise. Thus citizens can write to their representatives about the social problems.

Right to Public Service

Though this act is not implemented in every state in India, but some states enjoy the benefits. It provides time-bound delivery of services (public services) to the people. If anyone is deprived of this, she/he must approach the appellate authority. This enables the people preserve their basic rights.

Non-Governmental Organisations

Several NGOs are working towards poverty alleviation, better health care, education, women empowerment. Some of the NGOs working in India for this purpose are Sammaan Foundation, Akshaya Trust, Pratham, Deepalaya etc.

Public Awareness Events

Awareness is the enemy of sanity, for once you hear the screaming, and it never stops. Various awareness programs should be organised especially in rural areas about HIV/AIDS, women empowerment, social inequality etc. so that the educationally backward people will have some knowledge of the MDG.

Campaigns

The purpose is same, but the domain is large. It exceeds to the urban area also. One of the most famous campaigns now-a-days in India is the “I Lead India” organised by the Times of India group. It also helps in achieving the goals by some ways.” – Ansuman Mansingh – Odisha, India


Learner’s Submission: Achieving the MDGs in India

19/11/2012

“The Millennium Development Goals with their 18 global targets serve as the blueprint for the international action plan that the world is collectively striving to achieve.

As per the case study report of UN, 2010, India has contributed to large reduction in global poverty. Measured at the $ 1.25 a day poverty line, poverty rates are expected to fall from 51% in 1990 to 24% in 2015. However extreme poverty is prevailing in an India where income is very unequally distributed on average more than 30 children everyday arrive to Delhi looking for a better life. They try to escape from grinding poverty, violence, drunk parents, arranged marriage or they simply get lost in.

The Mahatma Gandhi Global Indian Foundation,  The Saalam Baalak Trust, Don Bosco for instance and many NGOs are providing  million of street children with basic health care, shelter, giving them love and care, educating them and helping find their parents. Many schools are here and there in India where due to lack of rooms, pupils are taught outside without proper teaching facilities.  Although many efforts have been made, a large number of children are driven out of school in India till now. As per the Government declaration, till today 12 crore children have been brought under the mid-day mill program.

Several NGOs and community based organizations are actively dealing with women empowerment both in urban and rural areas. Like Gender Resource Center, OKhla, of Delhi, many more Organizations are striving to achieve gender equality in India. They are providing women with training about basic IT education, how to manufacture bags, embroidery products, and all skills that will help them find suitable job.  Creation of Self Help Group (SHG) is very remarkable here.

Because of low school enrolment of girls in rural India and early marriages, girls here in India are less educated and have less chance in society. Due to dowry system, honour killing and bride burning, there is still a long way to go to reach gender equality. Even the rule of law on marriage against dowries, against foeticide, against violence inside family, against discrimination of lower caste and fostering their participation in political life are not being manifested in many parts of the country yet. Government organizations and several NGOs and trust are trying to achieve MDGs 4, 5 and 6 that is maternal care, child mortality, HIV/AIDS and other diseases but India has still a long way to go to meet MDGs.

However the active role of citizen, potentially the youths is the key for the achievement of the MDGs.The MDGs are about people, about goals that represent basic human needs and basic rights and these goals can only be achieved through global commitment. Citizen can contribute to achieve the MDGs in the following ways:

1) Contribution in everyday life: There is a direct link between little things we do every day in our daily life and the global challenges identified by the MDGs. If we would only become a little more frugal in our everyday habits without undermining our living standards, we would help the lives of million in the world.  As for example, only in Europe food production industries throw away 90 million tons of food, worth 100 billion Euros for clear market logics each year. The food thrown away in Europe and North America would be enough to feed all the hungry people in the world three times over  . What we need to do is to expose companies and governments. As consumers we can put pressure on the food retailer, food suppliers to know how much food they waste. Conscious citizen should prompt people to start asking questions to them. And thus citizen can make a difference.

2) Educating:  Rising awareness among family members , friends , colleagues about the global challenges ,inequality , poverty , the MDGs after all and the development cooperation undertaken to tackle them is a policy in itself .Citizen should practice this policy to meet MDGs.

3) Advocacy: Citizen can play a decisive role in influencing decision making and the allocation of public or private resources through advocacy policy. By this policy they can bring media to the communities to give people a say .Organizing street action, solidarity walks also are the mediums to draw the notice of the concerned authorities. The policy, advocacy aims at the implementation of rights existing under the constitution and laws which have not been enforced yet.

4) Volunteering: to make volunteering a mass movement is a great way to achieve the MDGs. Youth involvement in the collective effort plays a great role.

5) Partnership: To establish partnership is the key to the development. Partnership between donors and recipients can create a fertile ground for citizens from three continents to work together, discuss the challenges of the MDGs and find a way to tackle them on an equal footing as partner.

6) Building your own project: Citizens, especially the youth can develop project proposal to build their own project with the help of local governments and the international donors to meet the challenges.

7) Multiplication: To inspire young people to become successful multipliers in their societies using the knowledge, experience and skill s acquired during the course of the project.

8) Cultural Dialogue: To create a culturally diverse work environment and increase intercultural dialogue between the youth of various nations.

In conclusion it is said that citizen should execute their duties to their society with global commitment.” – Dr. Mahabur Rahaman Mondal – Kolkata, India


New Course in the UNPAN Online Training Centre

24/06/2011

The UNPAN Online Training Centre launched a new interactive course on “Introduction to Citizen Engagement in Public Governance for the Realization of the Millennium Development Goals”.

The course provides an overview of the ideas, issues, tools and examples of practices and methodologies of participatory public governance that can be effective in fostering the achievement of the MDGs. The objective of the training course is to enhance knowledge and capacities, and to motivate for action. It is addressed to practitioners, including community leaders, responsible for the formulation and implementation of development policies and programmes, as well as scholars and students of public administration.

All the courses available in the UNPAN Online Training Centre are free of charge and can be accessed at www.unpan.org/elearning.


Learner’s Submission: Potential users of RBME system – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

01/04/2011

“The potential users of RBME system in my organization are those who involve their task on projects and programmes (like Macro Economy Policy and Management Department, Research and Budget Department, Foreign Resource Mobilization and Management etc). Especially, the Foreign Resource Mobilization and Management Department uses the system since there are so many programmes and projects undertaken like protecting of Basic Services (PBS), Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP), GEQIP (General Education Quality Implementation), Sustainable Utilization of Natural Resources (SUN), etc.

Since the system is used to follow-up the progress of the program or project and to know the impact, the users have invaluable interest on the system and they want to know the Progress, weaknesses, quality, quantity, outcome , impact and negative effects of the projects or programmes by using the Result Based Monitoring and Evaluation System(RBME).

When they use the system of RBME, all stages are undertaken. Generally, the invaluable use of the system (to understand the progress, weaknesses, expected out put and impact of the project or programme) forces the organization to use the system.

The online learning of such like courses by UNPAN and other organizations develop the knowledge of the experts and managers who undertake the responsibility of executing and managing the activities of the projects and programmes and the ultimate objective of the project or program will achieved. So such courses are very necessary especially for developing countries to fulfill the ultimate objective of MDG.” – Migbaru Alamirew Workeneh – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


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