Stocktaking of M&E and Management Information Systems - Selected agricultural and rural development projects in South Asia

A joint FAO and World Bank research effort has been developed to follow the progress of World Bank-supported agriculture and rural development (ARD) projects in South Asia. This effort covers three closely related themes: rural livelihoods programmes in India; agricultural water management (AWM) programmes in India; and monitoring, evaluation and learning (ME&L), including Management Information Systems (MIS) design and implementation in ARD projects in South Asia. A new report on the implementation and impact of MIS in selected projects in South Asia has been published on the results of stocktaking conducted by the World Bank and FAO’s Investment Centre Division, joined by other project task teams, government officials, and development partners including International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The core stocktaking team also assessed the ME&L systems used in selected ARD projects in South Asia.

Based on a total of eight case studies of ARD projects (six funded by the World Bank, two by IFAD) this stocktaking assessment served to demonstrate the effectiveness of ME&L approaches, methodologies, and challenges in achieving project objectives.

Stocktaking of the ongoing programmes in South Asia focused specifically on reducing rural poverty, enhancing the management of sustainable natural resources, and strengthening farmer groups and other community organizations. The projects also aimed to intervene and improve agricultural water management and rural infrastructure throughout the region. Through this stocktaking project, it has become apparent that more efforts in capacity development and technical support are needed to sustain projects in South Asia. With enhanced official guidance on monitoring and evaluation projects and improved availability of and access to learning materials, good practices in these regions can be expanded.