EX-Ante Carbon Balance Tool (EX-ACT) Virtual Training
03 June 2020
The RFS Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) process tracks country project, Regional Hub and programme-wide impact. At the programmatic level, RFS tracks progress towards Global Environmental Benefits (GEBs), environmental and biophysical targets, and food security and household resilience indicators. M&E data is used to regularly assess progress and enable informed decision-making within country projects.
When resources are allocated to development projects and programmes in the agriculture, natural resources, and environment sectors, it is essential to know if the project or programme has achieved its intended impacts and reached targeted beneficiaries. M&E systems help RFS country projects, and the programme as while, track progress and performance against indicators related to household income, natural resource management, climate change mitigation, biodiversity and food security.
M&E systems are often challenged by poor design and implementation stemming from a number of challenges. A lack of reliable baseline data gathered early in project lifecycle often prevents projects and programme from accurately gauging impact. Even well-designed M&E systems are challenged by poor operationalisation, often due to a lack of capacity, resources, or technology to implement over-ambitious data collection and analysis requirements. The lack of integration of M&E systems into day-to-day programme management, and broader policymaking and decision-making processes, often results in M&E systems that fail to operate as meaningful decision support tools or adapt to changing contexts.
Well designed and executed M&E systems can lead to effective programmatic learning and adaptation. As one of the three GEF Integrated Approach Pilots (IAPs), RFS is developing and applying innovative approaches for implementing M&E processes, integrating data and showcasing accurate progress across a large integrated project. Ongoing M&E activities support RFS teams in tailoring and regularly adapting project activities to achieve the desire impact. The RFS M&E system is expected to evolve as the programme evolves, adapting to challenges as they arise and capitalising on new opportunities to improve project and programme performance.
In order to develop an adaptive and effective system that reflects the needs of all relevant sectors, RFS has promoted the use of multi-stakeholder processes for developing country project and programme-wide M&E systems. Including stakeholders from all relevant sectors in the development of M&E systems also ensures that M&E data will be integrated into the decision-making and policymaking processes of agriculture, environment, and natural resource ministries even after the project is completed. To further ensure sustainability of M&E outcomes, capacity development in the collection and analysis of data, as well as the use of innovative monitoring tools, has been a critical feature within each RFS project.
The Regional Hub is responsible for establishing a programme-wide M&E framework for tracking global environmental benefits and other outcomes of the programme. The Regional Hub has also played a central role in introducing country teams to innovative monitoring tools and solutions and building capacity within national institutions to apply appropriate tools and methodologies for their own project-level monitoring and evaluation.
In Ethiopia, the RFS country team has developed and is now utilising a web-based information management system for multi-scale monitoring of ecosystem services and global environmental benefits. In Kenya and Eswatini, country project teams are using IFAD’s Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT) to carry out baseline household surveys on human wellbeing and water and land-use practices in project sites. In Nigeria, Conservation International’s Vital Signs initiative has trained local Monitoring and Evaluation Officers in the use of landscape monitoring tools to assess project sites and analyse geospatial data.
Explore the RFS Country Projects to see more examples of how RFS countries are implementing Monitoring & Evaluation activities.
Stories from the Field
Explore our stories from the field to learn more about how RFS country project teams are implementing activities related to the programmatic theme of Monitoring & Evaluation.
We have a growing library of reports, briefs, case studies, media, tools and guidelines. Explore all resources related to Monitoring & Evaluation to get greater insight into our programme activities.
This briefing note focuses on the Multidimensional Poverty Assessment Tool (MPAT) and its use by the Resilient Food Systems (RFS) projects in Kenya and Eswatini in conducting baseline surveys focusing primarily on socio-economic data. The MPAT survey collects information on 1) rural assets, exposure, and equality; and 2) fundamental needs, such as food and nutrition security, education, and healthcare. Additional questions on soil and water conservation practices were added to the survey conducted in Kenya. This tool is relatively easy to use, requires few resources to implement, and provides users with a reliable and comprehensive picture of a community’s poverty situation.
The Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis (RIMA), developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is a quantitative approach that enables a rigorous analysis of resilience to food security. When looking at how households cope with shocks and stressors, comparisons can be made between different types of households in a given country or area, such as male-headed versus female-headed households or urban versus rural. Resilience analysis using RIMA provides the necessary evidence to more effectively design, deliver, monitor and evaluate assistance to vulnerable populations, based on what they need most.
The PDF accessible from the link is the second iteration of the tool, RIMA II, which uses both direct and indirect measures of resilience. RIMA II is not being used in the IAP projects.
Vital Signs collects and integrates data on agriculture, ecosystems and human well-being across several African countries. This aims to provide near real-time data and diagnostic tools to better inform agricultural decisions and monitor outcomes. These measurements are made at all scales that are relevant to agricultural decision making – from household and farm-level to global. The indicators that Vital Signs measure include sustainable agricultural production, water availability and quality, soil health, biodiversity, carbon stocks, climate resilience, household income, nutrition and market access. Decision-support tools are available for governments, the private sector and non-profits.
The Knowledge Centre is a central platform for sharing resources and information generated by the 12 Resilient Food Systems country projects and Regional Hub.
Within the Knowledge Centre, you can find helpful resources, tools, case studies, and news stories related to the different countries and themes of the Resilient Food Systems programme.