Monitoring, evaluation and communication
Title: Monitoring, evaluation and communication
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Afghan Ministry of Finance; Afghan Ministry of Economy
Overall term: 2013 to 2017
The achievements of Afghan-German development cooperation are not sufficiently recognised. News reports on Afghanistan focus on terrorism and war. Behind the headlines, however, a lively public debate about the countries’ common development policy is taking place in both Afghanistan and Germany. There is public pressure in both nations. Questions are being asked about whether the goals set to promote the country’s development are being achieved, and whether resources are being put to good use in this respect. Appropriate structures still need to be developed in Afghanistan to systematically record and communicate the progress that the country is making. This will inspire greater trust among the population that the state is providing them with services.
The public and political decision-makers in both Afghanistan and Germany are informed about civil reconstruction efforts. The Afghan Government is able to independently monitor, evaluate and communicate these activities.
The project is making information available to the Afghan media to facilitate and foster awareness among the Afghan public about the successes of Afghan-German cooperation. A database (Development Tracker) is collecting information on different projects, thereby ensuring that quantitative data on Afghan-German cooperation is constantly available. The system records all the contributions that the German Federal Government has made to reconstruction and development in Afghanistan since 2009.
The project is cooperating with the Afghan Ministry of Finance and the Afghan Ministry of Economy to pursue the goal of enhancing skills in monitoring, evaluation and communication within the Afghan Government.
The Ministry of Finance administers international aid funds and is required to report to the population, the Afghan National Assembly and the media on how public funds are being managed and used, especially with regard to civil reconstruction. The project is providing training and ongoing consultancy to ensure that the Ministry of Finance’s strategic public relations activities are being constantly improved. The Department of Media and Communications is being trained in how to cooperate with the press. Support is also given to the Ministry of Finance in its annual drive to ensure greater public transparency in connection with the adoption of the national budget.
Capacity development measures are enabling the Ministry of Economy to collect and evaluate up-to-date development data, and to make use of this data in its political communications.
A new website with facts, stories and photos relating to civil reconstruction has been set up. The site clearly illustrates the achievements of Afghan-German cooperation. A 10-minute promotional film and eight short video clips have been produced. These are shown at public events and are also available online. In addition, fact sheets on all Afghan-German cooperation programmes have been published in four languages (Dari, Pashto, English and German) so that interested parties can access more detailed information about project work. As part of the ongoing media and communications activities, the Afghan media are regularly provided with information, news and data. Members of the press have met with representatives from German cooperation organisations, Afghan ministries and the civilian population at a total of seven press club events, with the aim of conducting open discussions on issues relating to development cooperation and stimulating debate.
The Development Tracker offers a new online instrument for continuously and systematically collecting and analysing data. In addition, the Ministry of Finance has been supplied with data from more than 250 Afghan-German cooperation projects, and this has now been incorporated into the development aid database. The programme has also compiled relevant data for evaluating the country strategy of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
As a result of these measures in the Afghan Ministries of Finance and Economy, staff are now able to carry out standard procedures for strategic communication in their departments. This lays the foundations for transparency, participation, accountability and inclusion. In the Ministry of Economy, dialogue processes between national offices and state offices at provincial level have been put in place. Existing databases have been adapted to current requirements as a result of IT development measures. The monitoring and evaluation guidelines have been revised, condensed and translated for easier use.