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The following mechanism and procedures were approved by the eighth Meeting of Representatives to be the instrument for use by AFRA Field Management to monitor the implementation of AFRA activities at national and regional level; to measure any achievement attained; to get updated information on national and regional problems or constraints that hamper the smooth implementation of AFRA activities; and consequently, to decide promptly on corrective measures. Ultimately, this will reaffirm the clear recognition among all concerned that the AFRA countries, through their Field Management, have the overall management authority and responsibility over the AFRA Programme.

Practical Considerations

i) The procedures are purposely flexible enough to allow short notice evaluation of a given project without time-consuming and costly formalities and preparation.

ii) The evaluation should be carried out regularly, preferably on an annual basis, as well as in urgent cases when the smooth implementation of an AFRA activity is put at risk.

iii) The evaluation should have three major tasks: (i) to determine the effectiveness and impact of AFRA activities in the light of their objectives, with special emphasis on their relevance and socio-economic return on investment; (ii) to determine to what degree the recipient institution has fulfilled its commitments in terms of logistic and administrative support to AFRA activities and accountability of its staff, particularly the Project Coordinator; and (iii) to identify any action needed to sustain the impact of the assistance provided at national and regional levels.

iv) The findings of the evaluation should be made available to all concerned (the AFRA country, AFRA Field Management, the Project Scientific Consultant, non-governmental organisations if any, etc.) within two months after the completion of the mission.

The effective fulfilment of the above-mentioned considerations - particularly in terms of follow-up actions and monitoring - will generate additional workload for the AFRA-FMC and the Project Scientific Consultants. Strict planning of evaluation activities by both the AFRA National Coordinator and the Agency is therefore necessary.

Mechanism for Effective Monitoring and Evaluation

Evaluation and monitoring of AFRA activities are part of the duties and responsibilities of all concerned; i.e. AFRA Field Management, Project Scientific Consultants, AFRA National Coordinators and the Agency. In this particular context, however, the evaluation activities should be the primary concern and responsibility of AFRA Field Management.

At the project level, the representative of AFRA Field Management is the Project Scientific Consultant who should feel free to call upon the Agency for assistance in evaluation and could have recourse to outside specialists for evaluation if necessary. The objective, scope and modalities of the evaluation exercise should, however, be endorsed by AFRA Field Management before submission to the Agency for assistance. Distinction should be made between regular evaluation exercises and urgent ad hoc evaluations when major constraints or slippages occur during implementation which require corrective measures.

Presently, regular evaluation of AFRA projects is performed during the project coordination meetings which are held bi-annually. An evaluation at the national level is normally performed on a yearly basis by the National Coordinator. The project is finally assessed by the Agency before completion. In order to further improve the existing procedures and to ensure sustainability of AFRA achievements, the following mechanism has been approved by AFRA member states:

The Project Scientific Consultant (PSC) is expected to perform the following tasks in addition to his other duties and responsibilities:

  1. Submit to the AFRA-FMC an Annual Project Evaluation Report (APER) before 31 January of the year following the year under review. The report should describe the activities foreseen and implemented during the year under review, highlight the results achieved, the constraints encountered and the risks that might hamper the project objectives, with particular emphasis on the individual performance of Project Coordinators from both the scientific and managerial viewpoint;
  2. Undertake short missions to participating countries to help solve serious managerial, administrative or scientific problems that might hamper the project’s objectives. During these missions, the PSC should collect all necessary information about the country’s degree of commitment in terms of logistics, financial contributions and staff accountability and assess any progress made;
  3. Report to the AFRA-FMC on ad hoc basis any shortfalls or constraints that may represent a threat to the project and propose appropriate solutions;
  4. Plan and arrange for special evaluations, when needed and justified, and participate in the evaluation exercises, if required; and
  5. Monitor the implementation of recommendations made in evaluation reports and report to the AFRA-FMC.
AFRA Field Management is expected to discharge the following tasks with respect to evaluation and monitoring of AFRA activities:
  1. decide on ad hoc evaluation of AFRA projects and request Agency assistance if necessary;
  2. submit to the AFRA governments the findings and recommendations of the evaluation and draw their attention to corrective measures;
  3. take appropriate decisions regarding poor performance of individual Project Coordinators or their staff;
  4. monitor the implementation of recommendations and, where necessary, make use of regional organisations (African Union, Economic Commission for Africa) to urge AFRA countries to implement these recommendations; and
  5. liaise with the Agency’s Evaluation Section regarding evaluation of AFRA projects and of the programme as a whole.
The Agency is expected to discharge the following tasks in this respect:
  1. to arrange, as required, special evaluations at the request of AFRA Field Management;
  2. to follow-up on actions by AFRA member states and report to AFRA Field Management;
  3. to assist AFRA Field Management with draft letters to governments of AFRA countries regarding the findings of the evaluation and problems encountered; and
  4. to consider providing incidentals (five DSAs in the country of origin) to the PSC for timely preparation and submission of the APER.
Projects that are funded entirely or partially by donors should involve experts designated by the donors in the evaluation exercise.