The HarvestChoice team at IFPRI has been charged with the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities of Africa RISING. The initial M&E plan describes the program’s M&E approach and strategy, the currently understood and agreed intended outcomes and measurable indicators for tracking progress toward and achievement of those outcomes, the M&E methods to be used, and the initial assignment of M&E responsibilities.
Beyond the need to satisfying standard/conventional M&E requirement, this plan also describes activities designed under an expanded Africa RISING M&E scope. These include: (i) a structured stratification schema (by geography and household categories) and action research and control site selection process, (ii) a program-wide, spatially-enabled M&E data management and sharing platform open to program participants and stakeholders, and (iii) initial steps in embedding a farming-system modeling capacity into the program’s M&E toolkit.
The role of modeling is to better integrate and interpret monitoring data in ways that will enhance research design, evaluation and learning as well as, looking forward, research investment targeting and scaling of proven technologies and practices.
While they are highly complementary, monitoring and evaluation are separate both in their purpose and their implementation. Bearing this in mind, the current M&E plan does not describe a single combined activity, but describes each of them separately.