Measuring the results of Afghan-German development cooperation and communicating successes
Title: Monitoring, evaluation and communication
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Lead executing agency: Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF)
Overall term: 2013 to 2020
News reports on the security situation and the refugee problem in Afghanistan shape the public’s perception of the country. The results of civil reconstruction and development cooperation, particularly the efforts being made by the Afghan partner and the population, have so far not been addressed or appreciated to the same extent in the media. Public relations work on Afghan-German development cooperation not only presents the wide variety of activities being carried out, but also promotes transparency in Afghanistan and Germany. Moreover, there is often a lack of the expertise and methodological knowledge required to collect and assess quantitative data and to communicate results in a strategic manner. Appropriate structures still need to be developed in Afghanistan to systematically record and communicate the progress that the country is making. Only in this way will it be possible to inspire greater trust in the state among the population.
Public perception of Afghanistan has been shaped by reports on the security and refugee situation. The reports have failed to address the results of civil reconstruction and development cooperation to the same extent, however, particularly the efforts of Afghan partners and the population. There is also often a lack of specialist and methodological expertise in Afghanistan to collect and evaluate data, and strategically communicate the results achieved.
Public relations work on Afghan-German development cooperation aims to demonstrate its multifaceted activities and thus promote transparency in both countries. However, Afghan institutions first need to develop appropriate structures to systematically record and communicate the country’s progress. This is the only way that they can strengthen the population’s trust in the state.
The general public and political decision-makers in Afghanistan and Germany are kept informed about civil reconstruction efforts. The Afghan Government is able to independently monitor, evaluate and communicate progress on projects that have been implemented.
The project makes information available to the Afghan media to communicate the successes of Afghan-German cooperation to the Afghan public. A multi-project database called a Development Tracker ensures the long-term provision of quantitative data on Afghan-German development cooperation. The system records all contributions made by the German Government to reconstruction and development in Afghanistan since 2009.
The aim of strengthening the Afghan Government’s monitoring, evaluation and communication capacities in particular, is being pursued in cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Economy (MoEc). The Ministry is working on the country’s socio-economic development and is responsible for the evaluation and reporting of progress on the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework (ANPDF) and National Priority Programs (NPPs), as well as achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a result of capacity development measures, the Ministry is able to collect and evaluate the latest development data, and use it for political communications. It thus is able to fulfil its mandate for monitoring national development projects. In addition, the programme supports its positioning within the institutional framework through funding networking events and expert meetings.
The project has developed a website with facts, stories and images on civil reconstruction. Brochures and maps of the provinces provide information on the extensive activities in Afghanistan, and fact sheets on all Afghan-German cooperation development programmes are available in four languages (Dari, Pashto, German and English). Success stories illustrate individual measures and their impact on the Afghan population. As part of the ongoing media and communication work, it regularly provides the Afghan media with information, news and data.
The project enhances the monitoring and evaluation skills of MoEc employees through practical training. For example, training in data analysis and software enables them to carry out analysis and evaluations independently, without support from international experts. The same applies to results-based monitoring (RBM) based on conventional World Bank formats. Thanks to specialist training, experts from the MoEc are able to develop and implement RBM systems themselves and key requirements are being created for transparency and accountability as a result of these measures.
In previous training and advisory services, representatives from the Afghan Ministry of Finance (MoF) learned to provide information on the use of public funds for civil reconstruction with the help of strategic communication.