Monitoring and Evaluation Summary Training Report

by Zephania Nyirenda, Policy Analyst, NAPAS: Malawi

A Monitoring and Evaluation Training was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development (MoAIWD), with technical and financial support from the New Alliance Policy Acceleration Support (NAPAS: Malawi) project, that is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), at Linde Motel from 3rd to 6th October 2017.

Photo: Athur Mabiso, former IFPRI policy analyst, stressing a point during the M&E training at Linde Motel-Lilongwe (photo by Paida Mpaso)

''

The aim of the training was to provide participants with knowledge on development of a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and learning system for the agriculture sector. The training attracted 22 participants, which were drawn from government, civil society organizations as well as development partners. The much anticipated training also gave participants hands-on-experience in developing the 2016–17 Agriculture Sector Performance Report. As a result of this and previous trainings, the Ministry was able to deliver the first AU-CAADP-Malabo Biennal Report and the 2017 Agriculture Sector Performance Report.

The first day of the training started with presentations from NAPAS: Malawi Staff on concepts of M&E and the process of developing a systematic, and automatic monitoring, evaluation and learning system for the sector. Two presentations were made by NAPAS:Malawi team (Agriculture Sector Monitoring, Evaluation
& Learning (Ag-MEaL) by Athur Mabiso, PhD; and by Zephania Nyirenda). At the end of the two presentations, participants made the following contributions on what the sector monitoring, evaluation and learning system should embody. 

    • Development of the agriculture integrated M&E system should encompass all the indicators and data used in all sector specific reports such as the AU-CAADP Malabo Biannual Report and Joint Sector Report among others.
    • There is a need to migrate from manual to electronic data recording.
    • Data gaps appearing in the food balance sheet need to be filled.
    • Indicators for all reports need to be consolidated and a template for data collection should be developed.
    • Non-state actors need to contribute to the development as well as utilization of the integrated system. The involvement of non-state actors will help to ensure that relevant information held by them is timely submitted and updated in the system.
    • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) needs to be developed for proper coordination with non-state actors with regards to the integrated system.
    • In the process of developing the integrated system, it is important to learn how other Ministries such as the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development as well as other countries have developed their integrated systems.
    • The statistics unit in MoAIWD will be conducting a study on Post-Harvest Losses (PHL) with support from FAO. They will use a new methodology on a number of crops with focus on time of harvesting, transportation and storage. These indicators need to be part of the system.
    • There is a need for sustainability plans for all projects in the Ministry, as previously non-coordinated projects have not helped strengthen the M&E system. 
    • Staff from the agriculture sector needs to have relevant capacity to manage the integrated system. Refresher training courses would be important to ensure sustainability of the system.

These contributions from stakeholders have formed the basis for the development of a new system (The National Agriculture Management Information System (NAMIS)). The NAPAS: Malawi project will continue to work closely with the MoAIWD by providing technical and financial support in the development of a sector wide M&E and Learning system.