The Independent Science Partnership Council (ISPC) of CGIAR held a Monitoring Evaluation, Learning, and Impact Assessment (MELIA) meeting last week (November 5-7, 2018) at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome. This was the first meeting the Council held that brought the MEL and the IA communities of practice (CoPs) together.
One of the main aims of the meeting was to discuss ways to bridge the gap between the two CoPs and identify how the two can work together. One major discussion at the meeting revolved around the importance of the data collected by the MEL team to the IA team, and therefore the need to be systematic in not only collecting the routine monitoring data but also documenting and archiving them.
Two key areas in which the MEL data is valuable to the IA team are: i) during the design of ex-post impact assessment studies (especially in sampling project beneficiaries), and ii) the interpretation of the results/findings of such studies. The second major discussion was around how to measure and report the results of CGIAR work, focusing specifically on projected number of individuals/people and hectares of land benefiting from such work. The first part of this composite indicator, that is, the number of people benefiting, is a result the SPHI has been tracking for the last two years now, as part of the indicator on number of households reached. On the reporting of the results of the CGIAR, the meeting discussed the current efforts by the Council to develop a dashboard which will visualize major summarized data, and the frequency with which the dashboard data can updated.
The two-and-half-day ISPC meeting was preceded by a half-day meeting of the Roots Tubers and Bananas (RTB) CGIAR Research Program (CRP) MEL CoP meeting that brought together the MEL team from CIAT, World Fish, IITA, ICARDA, CIP and CIRAD. The meeting was convened to: i) update each other on the progress made by the various CGIAR centers in developing own MEL systems and discuss the measurement and reporting of the common indicators RTB reports on to the Systems Office. Julius Okello made presentations in the two meetings. The presentation he made at the ISPC meeting focused on how SPHI has been able to standardize the collection of data on beneficiary households and individuals reached. It particularly discussed the MLE manual SPHI developed to harmonize indicator/progress data collection across projects and countries under the SPHI platform.
About the Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC)
The Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) is a part of the CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to achieving a world free of poverty, hunger and environmental degradation.
The ISPC provides independent advice to the CGIAR System Council which is comprised of funders and representatives of developing countries, and which is tasked with reviewing the strategy, mission, impact and continued relevancy of the CGIAR System in the rapidly changing landscape of agricultural research for development.
The mission of the ISPC is to help strengthen the quality, relevance, and impact of CGIAR research by enhancing the System Council’s capacity to make evidence-based decisions in support of effective agricultural research programs for sustainable development.