The purpose of this monitoring and evaluation (M&E) plan is to inform and guide the project team and project stakeholders in collecting and managing high-quality performance information and using it for project management and communication of results.
This plan covers Year 2 of the Burundi Policy Reform Program, from October 2008 through September 2009. In Year 2, as required by Change Order 0001 and finalized in modification 3 to the task order, the program will address Congressional earmarks on water, women’s leadership, women in development, and victims of torture (VOT), as well as activities related to anti-corruption and electoral policy reform. Although the policy topics will change from those addressed in Year 1, the project will continue to serve as a facilitator for “building constructive relationships between the executive, civil society, and the media through support for participatory policy processes.”
Year 2 work is organized according to four components as follows:
- 5.1: Water Resources Management
- 5.2: Women’s Leadership and Development
- 5.3: Victims of Torture
- 5.4: Elections and Political Processes
The Chief of Party will lead the elections and political processes component and will be supported by technical leads for other components. Specifically, our water policy lead will be Albert Mbonerane, women in development/leadership lead will be Juliette Kavabuha, and victims of torture lead will be Gaudence Kabuyenge. Gerard Nzohaboha will have responsibility for victims of torture Tasks 5.3.3 and 5.3.4 as well as cross cutting communications support. The M&E and reporting tasks will be handled by the M&E specialist, Jeremie Nkunzimana, with oversight by the Training, Reporting, Administration, and Grants Manager, Karen Ottoni.
Approach to Monitoring, Evaluation, Analysis, and Communication
Monitoring and evaluation will play a critical role in understanding, demonstrating, and communicating the results of the Burundi Policy Reform Program and in guiding the management of the contract. The project is a high profile project for USAID Burundi and we fully appreciate the need to show visible results in Year 2. In order to ensure successful outcomes, we will use our M&E system as a management tool to monitor the progress of our planned activities and to serve as an early warning system to alert our team of activities that are not progressing as planned or that are not having the intended result. In this way, our team will be using analysis of M&E data to strategically guide project decision-making and resource allocation.
Accordingly, our approach to M&E is guided by the following principles:
Clear connection between tasks, expected results, and indicators. During the year, we will be carrying out three to five tasks under each component, as required by the Year 2 scope of work. Each of these tasks is linked to an expected result. In developing the M&E plan, we and USAID have worked collaboratively to agree on indicators to match each expected result. Thus, there is a clear connection between the task, the result of the task, and how we will measure accomplishment of those results.
Participatory. Performance management is most effective when it involves the entire project team and relevant stakeholders. Technical staff members will be involved in data collection, interpretation, and in using M&E information. Since they will be in direct contact with our beneficiaries and data sources, they are well placed to efficiently collect and verify M&E data. It is also important to get our sub-awardees’ buy-in to the anticipated project results and relevant indicators, and include them as partners in collecting and disseminating information about project results. This also serves the purpose of strengthening their capacity in performance monitoring after the project has ended.
Efficient and effective. Our experience from Year 1 has been useful to streamline our systems of measurement so that we are collecting and reporting on the information that is most directly useful for performance management and that meets USAID’s reporting needs. We have sought to decrease the management burden and cost while meeting our information needs, by standardizing our data collection forms, and will be attentive in other ways to do so.
Communications—both with USAID and external to the project—are vital in performance management. In communicating the project’s results we will seek to share information in a transparent manner that will advance learning and accurately demonstrate results. We will communicate project results as jointly achieved by USAID, the government, and organizations that we’ll be working with, and share performance information with local partners. We will also be careful to communicate limitations in data quality, if they exist, and communicate achievements and attribute results honestly.