Measuring results of Afghan-German development cooperation and communicating successes

Project description

Title: Monitoring, evaluation and communication
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), German Federal Foreign Office (AA)
Country: Afghanistan
Lead executing agency: Afghan Ministry of Finance
Overall term: 2013 to 2018

Context

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.

Objective

The public and political decision-makers in Afghanistan and Germany are informed about civil reconstruction efforts. The Afghan Government is able to independently monitor, evaluate and communicate these activities..

Approach

The project is making information available to the Afghan media to reach and address the population and inform 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 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 monitoring, evaluation and communication skills within the Afghan Government.

The Afghan 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 in civil reconstruction work. The project is providing training and ongoing advisory services to ensure that the Ministry of Finance’s strategic public relations activities are 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.

Results

A new website has been set up at www.gc-afg.de containing facts, stories and photos relating to civil reconstruction. The site illustrates the achievements of Afghan-German cooperation. Brochures and maps of the provinces provide information about the extensive activities being carried out in Afghanistan. Promotional films are being shown at public events and are also available online. Fact sheets on all Afghan-German development cooperation programmes have been published in four languages (Dari, Pashto, English and German). Success stories highlight individual measures and their specific impact on the Afghan population. As part of the ongoing media and communications work, the Afghan media are regularly provided with information, news and data by telephone, e-mail and social media. Members of the press meet representatives of German development cooperation, Afghan ministries and the civilian population on a regular basis to conduct open discussions on issues relating to development cooperation and to promote debate.

As a result of the measures in the Afghan Ministry of Finance and Ministry of 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. Now that staff at the Afghan Ministry of Economy have been trained in data analysis and software, they will be able to carry out data analyses and evaluations themselves in future without the need for support from international experts. The same applies to results-based monitoring (RBM), based on the usual World Bank formats. As a result of in-service specialist training, experts at the Ministry of Economy are now able to develop and implement RBM systems themselves. Additional training measures in the field of communication enable the experts to share the progress made in their work effectively with partners, political and business players and, most importantly, the Afghan public.

The project is also supporting the Afghan Administrative Office of the President (AOP) in developing monitoring capacity. The aim is to monitor development projects on the basis of data and to measure success in order to optimise future projects. Results are to be made readily available to the Afghan public.