Collecting Data to Promote Quality and Transparency
The German Government’s development policy contributions in Afghanistan have attracted public debate in the two countries on how successful this civic engagement has actually been. At issue are the question of whether objectives are being met and the relationship between results achieved and resources employed. Politicians and the Afghan public are often insufficiently aware of the results and achievements of Afghan-German civil reconstruction work. The technical and methodological knowledge required to collect and evaluate data and communicate results strategically is frequently lacking.
By developing monitoring and evaluation expertise, the intention is to guarantee that comprehensive data on civil reconstruction can be collected and evaluated qualitatively and quantitatively. Any conclusions drawn from this shall be used to improve programme approaches and implementation strategies, thus magnifying the measures’ development results. It shall also be ensured that the latest developments are communicated to the public transparently.
Measures and results
Staff at the Ministry of Economy (MoEC) are being trained in data analysis and software so they can analyse and evaluate data on their own in the future, without the support of international experts. The same applies for results-based monitoring (RBM), based on current World Bank formats. Thanks to specialist training, MoEc employees can now devise and implement RBM systems themselves. As a basic principle, the measures being undertaken at the Afghan Ministry of Economy are geared towards cooperation in the spirit of partnership. To this end, regular steering committee meetings are held at which joint decisions are made. This increases the partners’ ownership and promotes an interest in safeguarding the joint activities’ results for the long term.
Project-specific information and results are being logged using an in-house online database known as the German Development Tracker for Afghanistan (‘DevTracker’ for short) to record the Afghan-German Cooperation’s results. The database stores quantitative data relating to the outputs of measures. Although the database does not enable any direct conclusions to be drawn regarding the overarching development results of the measures in question, it provides key support for measuring subsequent results and evaluating individual projects and the Afghanistan portfolio as a whole. Data is collected from over 50 categories relating to infrastructure and training activities. It also facilitates comprehensive, transparent and data-driven reporting to the Afghan public and the German Government.
To make the Afghan-German cooperation accessible to those interested, a large number of projects supported by the AA and BMZ are showcased on the website http://www.germancooperation-afghanistan.de/.