Tracking results in agriculture and rural development in less-than-ideal conditions

Tools and methodologies for monitoring and evaluating agriculture and rural development

Authors: B. Hall (ed); N. Okidegbe; T. Marchant; et al; Global Donor Platform for Rural Development; World Bank
Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations , 2009

While donors and development practitioners still lack a common framework of results indicators to measure the effectiveness of development assistance, this sourcebook sets out a menu of core indicators that can be used to monitor agriculture and rural development (ARD) at the project, national regional and global levels. The approaches and methodologies provided are appropriate for adaptation and application to other sectors.

The sourcebook pulls together a collection of common sense tips and recommendations based on actual practices and experiences around the world and aims to strengthen monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacity at the national and sub-national levels and to ensure a consistency of approach and methodology.

Key steps to setting up M&E strategy in agriculture and rural development include:

  • Assessment of current M&E capacity and diagnosis
  • Review of indicators using the methodology provided in the sourcebook
  • Review of current data (including quality and timelines of the data), sources, and gaps
  • Develop action plans linking together the M&E activities of all the institutions involved
  • Review resource requirements
  • Define a system to monitor the performance of the M&E plan

The authors emphasize that a fully-evolved M&E system is more than a simple tracking system to measure performance and outcomes – these activities need to part of a cyclical approach to management which includes planning, implementation and reporting results.

Annexes include a list of core indicators, country case studies and current ARD indicators used in those countries, and an M&E capacity assessment scorecard.

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