As early as 2005, Water sector M&E has been considered the weakest link in progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Africa as it faces several challenges at the national and regional levels. Accordingly, Capacity building among African States to cope with the challenges of data collection, analysis, monitoring, evaluation and reporting became one of the major areas of investment for the African Water Facility (AWF) over the following years.
The objective of the Monitoring and Evaluation for Water in North Africa-MEWINA is to increase the N-AMCOW countries capacity in Water Sector Monitoring & Evaluation, through setting up a Water Sector Monitoring & Evaluation mechanism that allows N-AMCOW to annually report on the status of the water sector within North Africa, using harmonized and comparable information. This is foreseen through the assessment of existing M&E systems for each country and for four transboundary water organizations within the region; the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), Organization for the Senegal River (OMVS), the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer System (NSAS), and the North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS). This assessment will mainly use the M&E Rapid Assessment Methodology and Template developed by the AWF.
One key objective of the assignment at hand is to conduct training for National Coordinators, National M&E Experts, and relevant stakeholders on how to ultimately produce a periodic (and hopefully unified) Monitoring & Evaluation "State of the Water" report which reports on the status of water resources availability, water uses, and water services, and which measures the progress towards achieving goals of National Water Resources Management and National Water Supply and Sanitation Targets, in addition to measuring progress towards achieving International Commitments in both fields.
Ultimately, and among other outputs, six N-AMCOW countries Rapid Assessment Reports (RAR) and four Transboundary Assessment Reports (TAR) will be prepared. These will indicate the following:
- Existing water institutions, their missions and mandates, service deficiencies and their geographical coverage, institutional gaps and financial constraints;
- Progress in IWRM plans and associated institutional arrangement;
- Existing data statistics units, standards and indicators used in M&E, information dissemination and reporting systems;
- Existing national budgets and financial sustainability of water sector;
- Existing planning processes and their linkages with global initiatives.
- Status of transboundary M&E system, information sharing, and basin level IWRM
The Launching Training Workshop, which will be held in November 2012, lays the foundation for the above outputs. The workshop is designed to explain, discuss, and train attendees on the process and methodology of producing the above mentioned assessment reports. One key objective of the assignment at hand is to conduct training for Project National Coordinators, National M&E Specialists, and relevant stakeholders on:
- Basic requirements and Mechanism for producing an M&E report
- Fulfilling the requirements of the MEWINA Template
- Quantifying the proposed AMCOW Pan African Indices for M&E
- Mechanism for production and verification of indices describing the national status of water resources and the progress in Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS)
In due course of fulfilling this objective, the workshop shall tackle institutional structure, governance, financial administration, data collection for monitoring and evaluation (M&E), data compilation and processing, key indicators and their relation to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Africa 2020 Goals, and Sharm El-Sheikh Goals. All elements of Water Resources Management (WRM) and Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) will be addressed.
The workshop format will include presentations and interactive discussions of all aspects of M&E, governance, financing, flow of information, and reporting. The workshop will also describe the institutional arrangements necessary for efficient implementation and sustainable operation and maintenance of the proposed M&E reporting methodology.
Among the key instruments of the training are the Preliminary (short list) questionnaires compiled prior to the workshop as well as the country presentations which will be conducted by national coordinators during the workshop.
The preliminary (short list) questionnaires need to be compiled and thoroughly reviewed prior to attending the workshop. The first addresses information required to produce the national RAR. For example, as part of assessment of the water sector governance structure, you will identify the lead organization which is responsible for: (i) Water Resources Management (IWRM), and (ii) Water Supply and Sanitation. Next, you are requested to provide a recent organogram (organizational chart showing different departments and there interactions, and the department responsible for M&E within the organization) for each organization. You will also conduct a stakeholder analysis to identify subsidiary organizations who are involved with both aspects (for example Health institutes, Meteorological bureau, District authorities, Environmental agency, NGO,….etc). Similarly, other parts of the questionnaire will address water quality, finance, data collection, processing and sharing, and existing M&E system.
The second questionnaire will address the monitoring and evaluation of shared water resources (National Transboudary assessment). This part will convey the point of view and existing situation within each country. A separate assessment will be conducted at the tranboundary
organization level (for example the Project National Coordinator and National M&E Specialist of Libya will provide the national transboundary assessment of Libya while the Transboundary Assessment Report (TAR) of the Nubian Sand Stone Aquifer will be produced after a separate assessment of the NSAS Joint Authority).
Bearing in mind the amount of efforts required (both technical and administrative) and the very short time span available (less than ten weeks) to carry out the Rapid Assessment assignment, preparing the questionnaires properly and early will pave the road towards a smooth and efficient implementation of the project. Each Project National Coordinator will be delivering two PowerPoint presentations (on both questionnaires' contents) during the first day of the workshop.
The project team will work closely with each country representatives during the workshop to discuss, analyze, adjust, identify gaps, and finalize the draft M&E country information. By the end of the workshop, the team will be able to arrange and agree on the schedule of visits and work plan for each country, identify requirements to interview stakeholders, identify missing information and sources of data.
Finally, we sincerely hope to present an output that will be of benefit to our institutions and our people.