Transparency & Accountability in Development Programmes: Government to Strengthen Impact Evaluation Through Partnership

Yesterday at a ceremony in Kabul, the Afghan Ministry of Economy (MoEc) and the Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme Monitoring, Evaluation and Communication (MEC) signed a Cooperation Agreement for 2021. The cooperation aims to strengthen MoEc’s capacities for monitoring and evaluating Afghan national development projects. Monitoring and evaluation measures ensure that projects are beneficial to Afghan citizens in the long term. At the ceremony were representatives from MoEc including Minister Dr Karima Hamed Faryabi and Deputy Minister of Policy and Technical Affairs Mr Mohammad Nabi Sroosh as well as representatives from the Afghan-German Cooperation. The budget for the 2021 cooperation amounts to almost AFN 20 million.

H.E Dr Karima Hamed Faryabi said, ‘Through well-structured, results-based monitoring and evaluation we can identify the economic impact of all development projects in our country. This will help us in future decision-making.’

MoEc is responsible for tracking and monitoring the progress and results of national development projects and National Priority Programs (NPPs). In 2021, MoEc and MEC will focus on improving and maintaining the Central and Provincial Monitoring and Reporting System (CMRS/PMRS), which was set up by the two parties in 2018. Before the CMRS/PMRS, national development projects were monitored on paper. With a digital database, monitoring is more efficient and accurate. The cooperation will also focus on conducting impact evaluations of National Priority Programs (NPPs) and national development projects.

The CMRS/PMRS measures the results of implemented programmes. By analysing these results and the results of the impact evaluations, MoEc can make informed decisions on the potential impact of future projects. They can then plan and design more effective development projects to better benefit Afghan citizens.

Mr Joachim Prey, Country Director for the Afghan-German Cooperation said, ‘Institutionalisation and localisation of monitoring and evaluation is really an important measure for this joint cooperation. We must use this common platform for effectiveness and efficiency.’

MoEc and MEC will develop a transition plan to ensure the sustainable handover of the CMRS/PMRS to the Management Information Systems Department at MoEc. The handover will likely take place at the end of 2021 or early 2022 and will give MoEc full responsibility over the CMRS/PMRS.

MEC has been supporting MoEc since 2015 in developing evaluation policies for programmes and continues its support in conducting impact evaluations. The findings of these evaluations are presented to the cabinet, ministers’ councils, implementing agencies and other relevant institutions.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the programme Monitoring, Evaluation and Communication (MEC) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Foreign Office (AA). The programme collects and processes data on measures and results of the German Cooperation with Afghanistan and informs the general public and decision makers based on sound, gender-specific data. It aims to improve the monitoring and evaluation skills of the Afghan Ministry of Economy (MoEc), so it can independently document, assess and report on national development projects. Since 2013, 350 MoEc employees have participated in courses on monitoring and evaluation systems and 1,400 Afghan journalists have attended press events on the German Cooperation with Afghanistan.