Banjul — Government officials working in the development planning units of various ministerial departments of The Gambia are participating in a five-day Training of Trainers on "Managing for Development Results Through the Design of an Effective Results-Based M&E System". The training is jointly organized by the Institute of Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the United Nations Development Program and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs. This training is part of IDEP's tailor-made series which focuses on building the capacity of government officials within the various planning units, to monitor and evaluate strategies for the country's medium term development plan - the National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2021.
The training has attracted thirty-two participants from the Ministries of Finance and Economic Affairs, Agriculture, Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Health and Social Welfare, Interior, Petroleum and Energy, Fisheries and Water Resources, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Justice, Information, Communication and Infrastructure, as well as Tourism and Culture. In addition, the Police Force, Immigration Department, Office of Ombudsman, Women's Bureau and the Office of the Vice-President are in attendance.
In his opening remarks, M. Thierry H. Amoussougbo, Head of Knowledge Management and E-learning at IDEP noted that the achievements of the Gambia National Development Plan (NDP) goal which is anchored in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Agenda 2063, cannot be realised without a rigorous national M&E system implemented by all the planning units within various Ministries.
He called on participants to urgently move towards planning for development results through a comprehensive theory of change, an evidence-based planning and monitoring approach that allows management to keep an eye on expected results throughout the process and not just on the implementation of the activities or budgets.
He concluded with the expected achievements of the training, which include the enhancement of participants' knowledge on concepts, methods, and tools for monitoring national development plans, and on the relevance of an integrated national monitoring and evaluation system for measuring performance of the implementation of the NDP. Participants will also learn about the importance of electronic M&E systems, and agree on a framework for an integrated government electronic monitoring and evaluation system for The Gambia.
For his part, Mr. Alagie Fadera, Director of Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs pointed out that the mid-term evaluation of the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) and the recently-concluded Capacity Needs Assessment (CAN) indicated weaknesses in development planning capacities, especially in monitoring and evaluation. He pointed that the nurturing and strengthening of democracy calls for accountability and delivery of development results, which are hinged upon enhanced capacities in planning, monitoring and evaluation. "Many countries and institutions are re-engineering themselves to focus on delivering development results," he said and welcomed the choice of IDEP as a partner in delivering the training, which "has been informed by its status as the premier training institutions for economic development planning on the African continent."
The training is led by Francois-Corneille Kedowide a former regional evaluation and Results Based Management (RBM) advisor at the regional services center of UNDP and Zeynabou Kane of IDEP.