For the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), understanding the tangible results of its funding is essential to learning and accountability. It has been no small task to make monitoring and reporting (M&R) a reality across the four programs and 48 countries that comprise the CIF. But this year, 2014, all CIF pilot countries will report on results and annually thereafter.
Lead-up to this point has required tremendous effort and collaboration among partners in pilot countries, MDBs, and the CIF Administrative Unit (where I find myself) to revise and simplify results frameworks, develop M&R toolkits, and create training and networking opportunities.
For me, one of the most valuable preparatory activities was field testing the M&R toolkit for the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) in Niger, a PPCR pilot country that has made good progress in advancing projects under its $110 million strategic program for climate resilience. In true CIF fashion, we learned by doing!
Over the course of one week, 30 participants drawn from the Nigerien government, civil society organizations, private sector, universities, and research institutes worked together in workshops and project site visits to consider the five core indicators for measuring PPCR results and how to collect and validate this data on the ground so that they can be compiled and aggregated at the national level.
In addition to completing the reporting documents specified in the M&R toolkit, the exercise helped solidify the scoring process and provided three key lessons on ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in CIF monitoring and reporting:
1. First, we saw that the PPCR M&R toolkit is self-explanatory and easy to use. However, we realized that it is helpful to those using it to have some monitoring and evaluation experience in order to be more effective. Based on feedback from Niger, we have been able to make the toolkit’s scorecard even easier to use. We are also better equipped to guide other pilot countries on how to use the toolkit.
2. The PPCR country focal point needs to take an active leadership role to drive the M&R process. Familiarity with the country and community context is paramount. In Niger, for example, the PPCR focal point speaks multiple local languages and makes regular visits to communities, ensuring a solid connection that makes it easy to monitor and gather results.
3. Finally, we learned that it is important to identify and include relevant stakeholders with deep knowledge of the climate change conditions in the country as they are able to provide scores for some of the indicators. Related to this is the importance of including civil society and private sector representatives in the scoring and quality assurance process because they can enrich the outcomes. A representative from Young Volunteers for the Environment, an official observer group of the CIF based in Niger but covering all of West Africa, actively participated in our workshop and brought the civil society perspective to our discussion.
As monitoring and reporting begins in earnest this year across all 48 CIF pilot countries worldwide, Niger’s early field testing stands as a model of good practice. I’m truly grateful to the Niger PPCR team and all the participants for their engagement and contributions. This was a very exciting journey, and it leaves me convinced that field testing—learning by doing—is a very worthwhile and inspiring undertaking.