Indian NGOs assessing adaptation options in the livestock sector in India with support from USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific and NABARD. Photo credit: USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific
Participants of the USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific supported 12th Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN) Exchange Series broadly agreed that monitoring and evaluation is a critical component of any development projects and a way to better sustain project impacts is to allocate resources towards measuring results.
Over a two-week period (June 20, 2016 to July 4, 2016), USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific’s Dr. Peter King asked APAN community members thought-provoking questions on the topic “Ensuring Sustained Impacts of Donor-Driven Programs”. He also shared his own project’s experiences, particularly how USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific is sustaining impacts and continuing to deliver results beyond the life of the project.
Dr. King is the Adaptation Project Preparation and Finance Senior Advisor for the USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific project. He is also the Senior Policy Advisor at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Regional Centre based in Bangkok, Thailand.
In the Exchange discussion, the idea of continually engaging communities, stakeholders, and project beneficiaries resonated. In particular, Merl Hilario at the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development in the Philippines noted the need for donors to identify specific government entities who would work with communities. Hilario also added that measuring capacity building impacts is not difficult, but there needs to be funds available to do it.
Dr. Gillian Cambers at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Fiji raised an insightful and practical suggestion, urging donors to think about a two-phase approach to project funding. In that approach, the first phase of the project implements the main activities, while the second phase, using “only 10% of the total value of Phase 1”, runs the project at a smaller scale with the explicit goal of measuring impacts as a “key feature”.
Participants also noted V.S. Balasubramanian’s interesting perspective that the people and institutions that were trained by a particular project could be considered as “assets created”. He highlighted his experience at the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) in India in which the bank took ownership of several GIZ-supported technical programs.
Similarly, Patrick Jasper, also from NABARD, emphasized the need to build partnerships with training institutions to leverage their capabilities as well as to conduct training of trainers programs during the funded phase of a project. USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific has adopted a similar approach through its “Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Training Course” and the recent “Managing Project Preparation for Climate Change Adaptation Training Course”.
Full responses from the 12th APAN Exchange Series is available in the consolidated replies report accessible here: http://www.asiapacificadapt.net/exchange/12th-exchange-series.
The APAN Exchange Series is a facilitated email information exchange platform operated and generously supported by USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific since 2013. The Exchange seeks to capture, consolidate, and share tacit, experience-based knowledge from government officials and development partners within the APAN community.
If you would like to join and contribute to future APAN Exchange Series discussions, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the conversation in your inbox. To contribute, hit reply and email your response to the same email address: email@example.com.