You need to know where you’ve been and where you are if you want to know where you are going. That’s one of the fundamental tenets of good monitoring and reporting (M&R) and having been involved in the design and implementation of the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR) M&R system over the last three years, I thought I’d share some of the reflections and takeaways from my exciting journey.
First things first – why do we need M&R in the first place, and particularly in the climate change context? There’s a number of reasons including increasing knowledge on climate impacts and vulnerabilities as a basis for planning and decision making, ensuring effective accountability to domestic and international stakeholders and promoting evidence-based learning.
It’s crucial though that the process is country-led not top-down. For the PPCR, multi-stakeholder engagement and consultation is an essential part of M&R. It has always been central to the development of countries’ Strategic Plans for Climate Resilience (SPCR), particularly the identification of priority actions to increase resilient development. So it makes sense that the PPCR Programmatic M&R System design is rooted in the desire to maintain the programmatic and inclusive thrust of the SPCR during implementation through projects and programs.
It aims to engage key stakeholder groups, including government institutions at national, sub-national and local levels, as well as civil society, indigenous peoples groups and the private sector, and academic institutions, in charting implementation progress using the agreed PPCR five core indicators.
Four Principles of PPCR M&R
- Country ownership
- Stakeholder engagement
- Use of mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative)
- Learning by doing.
These principles have guided country-driven results reporting, and have become part of the PPCR intervention itself over the last three years. As a result, some lessons have been learned, successes achieved and some challenges identified.
- The PPCR programmatic M&R has been successful in keeping the programmatic nature of the PPCR alive from SPCR development to projects and programs implementation. It has provided a practical framework to countries to continuously discuss relevance, synergy, and complementarity among the different projects of the investment plan (SPCR) (e.g. Haiti)
- The simplified set of 5 core resilience indicators for PPCR monitoring and reporting is seen as a practical and viable framework and several countries are beginning to see the benefits of tracking overall national progress towards resilient development (e.g. Nepal, Mozambique).
- The PPCR programmatic M&R system has positively influenced a number of PPCR countries in the development of their own Climate Change M&E systems. For example, the Nepal Climate Change Program Results Management Framework (RMF) is country owned - developed through a national consultative process and track progress on PPCR and non-PPCR (NAPA) projects. Mozambique has developed a National M&E system with PPCR at its core. And extensive stakeholder engagement is shaping Samoa’s National M&R Framework.
- The Inclusive, participatory, and targeted multi-stakeholder consultative and country driven processes to track annual progress of the five core indicators, against self-defined baselines are successfully providing a platform for national consultation, dialogue and action for resilience. It has also increased national, local and individual ownership of the SPCR as well as built capacity to improve performance of the program (e.g. Zambia, Nepal, Niger, St. Lucia, and Haiti).
- Ensuring the participation of all key stakeholders, especially non state actors (e.g. CSO, private sector, local communities) in the M&R process has been one of the main challenges so far.
- Low level M&R capacity and high staff turnover in some PPCR countries has sometimes impeded the full implementation of this process.
Anchored in its core principle of Learning by Doing, the PPCR programmatic M&R system has been designed as a living, breathing system which evolves and adapts over time. The system recognizes that monitoring and reporting is an iterative and learning process. Therefore, it is expected that as the system is applied and lessons around its use generated, the system is continuously reviewed and improved each step of the way.
In the first semester of 2017, the CIF in coordination with MDB partners, donor countries and pilot countries will carry out a stocktaking exercise to provide an in-depth assessment of the usefulness, feasibility, and sustainability of this system. Lessons learned during this exercise will inform further development of the system as well as the broader climate resilience community’s quest for an effective M&R system to better track climate adaptation interventions. Stay tuned for more on this.