INTERATIONAL SOCIETY FOR POVERTY ELIMINATION ECONOMIC ALLIANCE GROUP
Briefing # 4: AAAA and SDG – Build Bridge between Lessons Learning and Lessons Forgetting Now?
Global Call to World Leaders, Representatives of 193 UN Member States, 9 Major Groups, other CSOs’ and other Stakeholders.
By Lanre Rotimi and Peter Orawgu. 24 August 2015
As we race to the 70th UN General Assembly in September 2015 when the Final Draft SDG agreed on 1 August 2015 after 7th and 8th Intergovernmental Negotiations, is to be adopted, there is a need to pause, reflect on answer to hard questions: Is the latest outcome document, “Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, despite significant improvement in language and text, the Best our World can produce? Can this outcome document deliver optimum Development Impact and Development Results, given identified gaps and disconnect, particularly the fact improvements where it matters the most - answer to HOW questions is still missing?
If enough Individuals, Institutions and Governments who feel strongly that "negotiators would extend the negotiations rather than rushing to agree on the issues that will really matter for people in our world, only to make avoidable mistakes because of this rush" actually raised their Voices, and mobilize Global Collective Action to persuade and if necessary Pressure co-Facilitators, 193 Member States and other concerned Stakeholders to DO the Needful, to produce a revised and reinvigorated AAAA (Addis Ababa Action Agenda) and SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) that is Masterplan with ACTION providing real solutions to real problems facing real people; to replace the current AAAA and SDG that is Vision and Words without ACTION not providing real solutions to real problems facing real people; there is no reason why the 70th UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) cannot wait till November or December 2015 to adopt AAAA and SDG that has filled identified gaps and linked identified disconnect. And there is precedent - Synthesis Report was to be released on 17 September 2014 at 69th UNGA but the release was delayed until 4 December 2014.
In Briefings #1, #2 and #3, we focused on need to answer HOW Questions now, in the Finance for Development, FfD and Post 2015 Processes. Let us consider what Building Bridge between Lessons Learning and Lessons Forgetting now, can make towards increasing convergence between AAAA and SDG Vision Intention and Reality:
The abduction of Chibok Girls on 14 April 2014 is a scare on the conscience of Nigerian and World Leaders. As we race to 500 Days of their captivity, we remember Chibok Girls and their Families as well as Victims and Families of Terror Attacks; Civil Wars and Inter State Wars across our World.
It is pertinent to note that Bringing back Chibok Girls has Physical and Spiritual Dimensions. The Physical Dimension has Joint Military and Non Military Solutions. There is a need to Stop seeking Spiritual Solutions to Physical Problems and Stop seeking Physical Solutions to Spiritual Problems. We need to Start seeking Spiritual Solutions to Spiritual Problems and Start seeking Physical Solutions to Physical Problems. We need the help of all relevant State Actors and Non State Actors within and outside Nigeria to Refocus BringBackOurGirls Campaign for success on sustainable basis that is an Integral Part of Domesticating AAAA and SDG in each of the 193 UN Member States.
It is pertinent to note further that the Sultan has been travelling across Nigeria and the World delivering Papers on Caliphate Leadership Principles, CLP. The latest being at the National Security Summit, Abuja Nigeria 17 August 2015. Had the Sultan led the way in the full implementation with effective monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of CLP with the support of the 3 Arms of the 3 Tiers of Government in Nigeria; other Traditional Rulers – Emirs, Obas and Obis etc; Religious Leaders and other relevant Stakeholders there will be No Boko Haram. Stakeholders need to Demand that Sultan shift focus from CLP that is Vision and Words without Action to CLP that is Vision and Words with Action.
We urge World Leaders to recognize that the full implementation with effective monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of:-
1. Realigned National Development Plans and Visions
2. Domesticated Revised AAAA and SDG
3. Refocused entire National Reform Program
4. Refocused entire International Reform Program
in each of the 193 UN Member States can help End Hunger, Poverty, Terrorism, Conflict, Injustice and Corruption and related problems Worldwide.
The time to end Bring Back Our Girls Campaign that is simply noise – calling on Nigerian Government to ensure release of the Girls is Now. The time to start Refocused Bring Back Our Girls Campaign that is Potent Force Driving Transformation Society in Nigeria and Worldwide in Now.
It is this type of Refocused Bring Back Our Girls Campaign that can help ensure Chibok Girls and their Families Blood and Tears have not been shed in Vain and that what Terrorists have meant for evil has been Transformed for the Good of Nigeria and World Society.
International Year of Evaluation 2015
UNEG (United Nations Evaluation Group), is excited that Evaluation is integrated in the follow up and review section of the current SDG document, with specific provision for country led evaluations and data as well as calls for strengthening national evaluation capacity. We encourage and congratulate all who have contributed to achieve this "feat". However care must be taken not to over celebrate because the "feat" was achieved by UNEG - the entire Evaluation Group of the United Nations and not a small Network of Evaluation Professionals.
Where were IDEAS (International Development Evaluation Association) and IOCE (International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation) the Global Evaluation Platforms? Where were the Regional Evaluation Platforms such as EEA (European Evaluation Association), AfREA (African Evaluation Association) etc? Where were the Major National Evaluation Platforms such as UKES (UK Evaluation Society), AEA (American Evaluation Association), CES (Canadian Evaluation Society)? - particularly in 2015 the International Year of Evaluation!!!
Yes "Giant Strides" have been made but much more remains to be done. This is because there are many gaps that need to be filled and disconnects that need to be linked in AAAA and SDG. These Global, Regional and National Evaluation Platforms (which all need to be strengthened and where no Regional / National Evaluation Platforms exist – to be properly established; to in turn strengthen National Evaluation Capacity in each of the 193 UN Member States) have Central Role to Play in correcting these flaws and failures and on time before the Documents are adopted by UNGA, even if adoption has to be delayed till November or December 2015 to fill gaps and link disconnect thus putting Our World in better position to achieve AAAA and SDG Vision Ambitions rather than go ahead to adopt the AAAA and SDG with its flaws and failures in September 2015 with high probability of many Countries failing to achieve AAAA and SDG Vision Ambitions in 2030, just as many Countries have been unable to achieve MDG Vision Ambitions in 2015. Clearly Evaluation has Central Role to play if AAAA and SDG Vision Ambitions are to be achieved and on schedule dates. Current AAAA and SDG documents which are essentially Vision and Words without ACTION avoid or evade these issues.
It is in filling gaps and linking disconnect that AAAA and SDG can become Vision and Words with Action. As long as this is not done, celebrating the inclusion of Evaluation, Country Led Evaluation and Data and Strengthening National Evaluation Capacity in SDG (while being silent on Evaluation Component of AAAA) is meaningless, if Stakeholders continue with Business as Usual instead of adopting One Worldwide Approach to Evaluation and moving forward with Business Unusual Driven by Universal Evaluation - Evaluation Innovation, Evaluation Politics, Evaluation Promotion and Evaluation Protection as One from Village to Global levels in both AAAA and SDG.
These Global, Regional and National Platforms need to do better, participating in the implementation as well as the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of realigned National Development Plans that is integral part of domestication of AAAA and SDG at Country level in each of the 193 UN Member States.
It is in the interest of the over 2 billion World Poor - Children, Youth, Women, Men and Elders on both Developed and Developing Countries sides that Evaluation Professionals claim to serve that these Global, Regional and National Platforms do not shriek their responsibility. The Bright Prospects of success implementing Evaluation and Non Evaluation Components of AAAA and SDG should not be squandered.
What we absolutely need now is a comprehensive evaluation framework that allows for continuous country-owned, equity-focused evaluation, providing information for mid-course corrections, so that we don’t wait another fifteen years to find out how we haven’t achieved our goals. This calls for answer to AAAA and SDG How questions.
Re-establishing existing Professional Bodies and Establishing New Professional Bodies
The UK Government poor experience creating Evaluation Cadre in DFID is similar to the Nigeria Government poor experience creating Procurement Cadre in its Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The weakness in UK Universities with respect to New Disciplines such as Public Policy and Public Administration is worse in many Developed and Developing Countries Universities. Also these New Disciplines do not have structured Professional Bodies and Statutory Regulatory Institutions as exist in Disciplines such as Medicine, Accountancy etc.
If National and International Development Cooperation Goals and Targets are to be met and on time, there is a need to establish New Discipline Cadres in Public Service and Civil Service in Developed Countries and Developing Countries as well as in International Institutions; establish Professional Bodies supporting New Discipline Professionals from Neighborhood to Global levels and establish Statutory Regulatory Institutions guiding the activities of these Professionals from Neighborhood to Global levels. To help in this regard ISPE / EAG is promoting the establishment of Multidisciplinary Professionals Community of Practice on Poverty Elimination and Environmental Sustainability, MPCOP-PE&ES, present in all 193 UN Member Countries and with Members speaking 6 UN Official languages; for Grassroots Professionals and Technical Professionals in the following Disciplines:-
1 1. Knowledge and Communication
2 2. Analytics
3 3. Entrepreneurship
4 4. Citizenship
5 5. Cooperation
6 6. Public Policy
7 7. Public Administration
8 8. Development
9 9. Diplomacy
1 10. Defense and Security
1 11. Democracy and Elections
1 12. Service Delivery
1 14. Risk Management
1 15. Agriculture Sociology
1 16. Agriculture Extension
17. Agriculture Chemistry
18. Agriculture Biology
1 19. Agriculture Engineering
2 20. Food Technology
2 21. Value Chain Development
2 22. Development Communication – COMBI / CABS (Communication for Development Impact / Changing Attitude and Behavior at Scale)
2 23. Research Utilization
2 24. Development Impact
2 25. Conflict Resolution
2 26. Anti Corruption
2 27. Procurement
2 28. Monitoring and Evaluation
2 29. Human Rights - PESCR (Political, Economic, Social, Cultural and Religious)
3 30. Data Management
There is a need to create 30 Professional Cadres, 30 Professional Bodies, 30 Statutory Regulatory Institutions and 23 University Departments in each of these Disciplines in all Developed Countries, Developing Countries and International Institutions. There is a need to develop curriculum for the 30 Disciplines in all Universities focused on Teaching, Research and Community Service, in each of the 193 UN Member States that would better equip Professionals in each Discipline to face real World situations on the ground today in Communities, Countries, Regions where these Universities are located.
There is a need to further to update curriculum for all remaining Disciplines in all Universities that would similarly equip Professionals in these Disciplines. These call for re-establishing existing Professional Bodies and establishing new Professional Bodies if these Professions are to help achieve increasing convergence between revised AAAA and SDG Vision Intention and Reality.
From “Development Evaluation Learning” to “Development Implementation Doing”
1 1. Development Cooperation Policies, Programmes and Projects (3Ps) in 193 UN Member States, whether co-financed by International Development Co-operation Organizations/Departments/Agencies or not, should always support poor people in Developed / Developing Countries to improve their standard of living. They should, employing a somewhat more technical language, always (that is without exception!) serve to create Sustainable Benefits for their Target Groups (SBTG).
2 2. SBTG should thus be the Objective all of the 3Ps Actors (Political Leaders, Organizations involved, the Target Groups themselves, Planners, Implementers, Monitors and Evaluators, as well as all other supportive stakeholders in international institutions; developing and developed countries alike) should unite to realize.
3 3. Development Evaluation, it has been said, is for (a) Accountability and (b) for Learning. That is true as far as it goes. But there is a third element missing without which (a) and (b) above will be entirely useless: (c) Improved 3Ps effectiveness. That goes without saying? Alas! It doesn’t! There is a Gulf between Learning and Doing. Why?
3 4. Evaluations of Development Interventions (the 3Ps) are One-Off Affaires: They concern, in general, a concrete case among the 3Ps: a given Development Policy, Program or Project. Widening this case-by-case perspective, they can also pertain to countries, regions, themes, sectors or instruments. But they are always restricted to the specific development intervention(s) or topic(s) under review. They serve to improve, each time, that specific development effort and they are conceived and timed accordingly. What they fail to do, by their very nature, is to serve the accumulation of Development Evaluation Learning: in each specific instance, the evaluation may have served to improve the effectiveness of the case under review, after which that learning tends to be forgotten again.
5. As a consequence, the Terms of Reference for each specific P (for its Identification, its Planning, its Implementation/Monitoring and for all of its Evaluations) tend to be conceived “ab ovo”: each time again, from scratch. And even if some of the actors mentioned in point 2 above may fall back on previous experience or remember a case similar to the one they are dealing with, their work cannot possibly profit from the accumulated Evaluation Learning that has been and continues to be produced by Development Evaluators around the world. And how could this be otherwise, as Lesson Forgetting follows “pari passu” Lesson Learning, thus preventing Lesson Learning Accumulation and its use in Operational Development Work Practice to occur in the first place? Such accumulation/use simply isn’t part of the system in the past and present.
6. The “Master Assessment Framework” (“MAF”), complete with its Data-Base (still to be developed!), is the tool designed to make such “accumulation/use” an integral part of the system. It is a tool in the making, still to be reviewed and improved systematically by professional wisdom around the world. It is attached in its present form.
7. We therefore invite International Institutions/Government Entities/Governing Councils/Executive Boards concerned etc..., as part of Building Sustainable Solutions to AAAA and SDG from Village to Global levels in each of the 193 UN Member States to (a) have a critical look at the substance of the MAF, improve it further and, if they have confidence in its creative potential, to (b) devise the ways and means to introduce it into their “internal” as well as “external” Development Work Practice worldwide.
AAAA and SDG Sustainable Solutions
The ongoing UNGA Solutions Summit Process is a very commendable initiative aimed at finding innovative and creative solutions to AAAA and SDG problems on the ground in each Community in each of the 193 UN Member States. It is being designed and delivered to mark the beginning of a longer term grassroots effort to lift up exceptional innovators – technologists, engineers, scientists, who are developing solutions that address one or more of the 17 / 21 SDGs’. While the focus is on the 3 specific categories of innovators, a 4th category for “Others” that is yet to be clarified has been created.
Our Study finding is that “Others” should include all Innovative Thinkers, Creative Designers, Development Change Champions and Anti Poverty Campaigners on State Actors and Non State Actors sides in each of the 193 UN Member States.
“Others” should be a gateway to include anyone who could demonstrate he / she is an Innovator / Creator and has something of value to offer to help enrich AAAA and SDG Implementation Processes within specific Action Agenda Item in a specific location – sub-national, national, sub-regional, regional or global; that is “others” should include Innovators / Creators from Traditional backgrounds on Non Science side - Artists, Actors / Actresses, Musicians, Designers, Filmmakers, Painters, Sculptors, other Artistic Professionals as well as Innovators / Creators from Fields conventional wisdom wouldn't typically label "Creative" - such as Business, Education, Geodesign, Risk Management, Policy Reform, Development Evaluation / Public Evaluation etc, that is, anyone who takes a creative approach to his / her work - solving problems, thinking up new ways of doing things and new ideas and making them happen - that transforms whatever he / she is doing into Creative Enterprise. Therefore AAAA and SDG Sustainable Solutions in each Action Agenda Item in each of the 17 / 21 SDGs’ should be about identifying, empowering, promoting and protecting Creative Enterprise in each Community in each Local Government in each of the 193 UN Member States.
Our Study finding is that:-
1. Availability of Creative Enterprises that have minimum certain levels of Hard Competences - Learning and Skills and Soft Competences - Character, Courage and Mindset required to support Stakeholders in a Community / Country implement Realigned National Development Plans and Visions that is Integral Part of Domesticated AAAA and SDG Strategy; is One of the Master Keys to achieving increasing convergence between AAAA and SDG Vision Intention and Reality in each of the 193 UN Member States
2. The idea of AAAA and SDG Sustainable Solutions, expanding on the UNGA Solutions Summit as conceived, if fully supported by all entities within UN Family Organization particularly World Bank Group, IMF, UNDESA, UNNGLS, FfD Office, ECOSOC Office, EOSG, OPGA, UN Security Council and UNGA can indeed make positive difference in the work towards achieving AAAA and SDG Vision Ambitions in each of the 193 UN Member States, each Sub-region, each Region and Worldwide and on schedule dates and
3. Specific Creative Enterprise Themes (we have identified 21) need to be aligned with Specific SDG Goals / Targets and Specific Location – Village to Global.
It is true that Giant Strides have been made to produce the current SDG Final Draft that is set for adoption at 70th UNGA in September 2015. It is also true that the current SDG and AAAA have gaps that need to be filled and disconnect that need to be linked. The reality is that what we have at the moment is AAAA and SDG that is Vision and Words without Action but what is needed, is AAAA and SDG that is Vision and Words with Action. It is AAAA and SDG Sustainable Solutions that can help achieve revised AAAA and SDG that is Vision and Words with Action.
The current AAAA and SDG is Vision and Words without Action largely because of weak conflict resolution, unequal negotiation, promotion of partisan agenda delivering disproportional benefits etc. To present revised AAAA and SDG that is Vision and Words with Action to UNGA for adoption will require JOINT Stakeholders renewed commitment towards: breaking down Stakeholder silos and walls; eliminating resistance between Business and CSOs'; improving connection between NY and Communities in each of the 193 UN Member States'; Aligning Innovative and Broad Range of Creative Enterprise Solutions as applicable to each Action Agenda Item in AAAA and SDG for specific location - Village to Global etc within AAAA and SDG Sustainable Solutions that address all fundamental issues UNGA Solutions Summit has been designed to tackle alongside addressing also 8 Fundamental Issues and as soon as possible:-
1. Intellectual Property
2. Competences Framework - Hard Competences: Learning and Skills and Soft Competences - Character, Courage and Mindset
3. Commissioning Framework
4. 3C - Coordination, Collaboration and Cooperation Platforms
5. Strategic Change Management of Complex Processes
6. Reforming Institutions - National and International
7. Reinventing Government - 3 Arms: Legislature, Executive and Judiciary in each Tier of Government in each of the 193 Member States
8. One Worldwide Approach to Implementing AAAA and SDG Action Agenda Items.
To achieve these, Village to Global AAAA and SDG Stakeholders within and outside the UNGA Solutions Summit Initiative need to shift focus away from problems and talking and shift focus towards solutions and ACTION in the JOINT work towards achieving increasing convergence between AAAA and SDG Vision Intention and Reality.
Village to Global AAAA and SDG Stakeholders in each of the 193 Member States need to also recognize that they need support from Internal Consultants and External Consultants who themselves have minimum certain levels of competences, if AAAA and SDG Vision Ambitions are to be achieved on successful and sustainable basis in each of the 193 UN Member States.
It is pertinent to note that failure to achieve AAAA and SDG Vision Ambitions could have catastrophic consequences for Stakeholders in our Fragile Planet. This underlines the importance of the Noble Work UN Family Organization is doing in the design and delivery of AAAA and SDG Visions, as well as the urgent need for relevant authorities in each of the 193 UN Member States, and relevant authorities in each of the 193 UN Member States Partners, to effectively and JOINTLY address all issues we raise in this and earlier Policy Briefings and as soon as possible.
We call on Global Citizens in each of the 193 UN Member States to Vow that Chibok Girls and their Families Blood and Tears shall not be shed in vain; that Chibok Girls sacrifice would on the occasion of Day 500 of their abduction, inspire Refocusing Campaign to Bring Back Chibok Girls Dead or Alive towards helping to design and deliver World Sustainable Development Strategy that works to End Hunger, Poverty, Terrorism, Conflicts, Injustice and Corruption Worldwide.
We call on Women holding High Office: Serving or Retired – Heads of Government Executive Arm; Heads of Government Legislative Arm; Heads of Government Judiciary Arm and Heads of International Institutions to raise their Voices in support of 193 UN Member States and Regions across the World domesticating revised AAAA and SDG as viable Instrument for Ending Hunger, Poverty, Terrorism, Conflicts, Injustice and Corruption Worldwide. Can Liberian President be the first to pick up the gauntlet at the International level? Can the first Female Nigeria Chief Justice of the Federation be the first to pick up the gauntlet at the National level?
We call on Women that are Wives of High Office Holders: Serving or Retired – Heads of Government Executive Arm; Heads of Government Legislative Arm; Heads of Government Judiciary Arm and Heads of International Institutions to raise their Voices in support of 193 UN Member States and Regions across the World domesticating revised AAAA and SDG as viable Instrument for Ending Hunger, Poverty, Terrorism, Conflicts, Injustice and Corruption Worldwide. Can US First Lady, Mrs Obama be the first to pick up the gauntlet at the International level? Can Mrs Buhari, Wife of the Nigeria President be the first to pick up the gauntlet at the National level?
We call on the General Public in each of the 193 UN Member States to raise their Voices: to demand for the filling of all identified gaps and linking of all identified disconnect in current AAAA and SDG; in support of full implementation with effective monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of revised AAAA and SDG that is truly Transformative Action Agenda Worldwide and that help End Hunger, Poverty, Terrorism, Conflicts, Injustice and Corruption Worldwide; to demand for haste to be made slowly in the adoption of AAAA and SDG to avoid mistake even if adoption of revised AAAA and SDG by 70th UN General Assembly has to wait till November or December 2015.
The 70th UN General Assembly is opportunity to review the past 70 years of UN work towards building Global Collective Action for Political Stability, identify areas of successes and how it could be improved as well as areas of flaws and failures and how it could be corrected.
At present Lessons are not being Learnt from Lessons Learnt so UN Family Organization, 193 Member States and their Partners continue to repeat the mistake of history. Systems and Infrastructure are so decayed in many Developed and Developing Countries that hope for survival of our fragile Planet lies in achieving increasing convergence between revised and reinvigorated AAAA and 17 / 21 SDG Vision Intention and Reality.
The gaps and disconnect in AAAA and SDG due to flaws and failures in FfD and Post 2015 Processes can still be corrected before AAAA and SDG are adopted by UNGA, even if this adoption has to wait till November or December 2015. What is there to gain in rushing to adopt AAAA and SDG in September 2015, thus putting the cart before the horse and making avoidable mistake? - when a little bit more of give and take; of seeking to understand rather than to be understood; of seeking to love rather than to be loved, can be in the enlightened self interest of those who think that they are the Big Winners in the AAAA and SDG as is; because in reality the probability is high they may end up as Big Loses in the longer term.
If UN Executives and Staff as well as Developed Countries Leaders and Bureaucrats continue to over celebrate the successes of FfD and Post 2015 Processes thus far while Developing Countries Leaders and Bureaucrats and CSO – particularly NGOs’ and CBOs’ Executives and Staff continue to bemoan or overlook their disappointments, the probability is that Village to Global Stakeholders will continue with Business as Usual while taking chance that World problems will fizzle out or accept our lot should catastrophe occur – starting with Global Recession that could make that of 1930s’ Child’s play.
If UN Executives and Staff as well as Developed Countries Leaders and Bureaucrats decide to put the horse before the cart and change to Business Unusual as recommended in the Synthesis Report, the probability is high that bright prospects of success implementing AAAA and SDG that has all is’ doted and all t’s crossed would become reality unleashing unprecedented Prosperity on successful and sustainable basis in our World.
UN Executive and Staff; Developed Countries Leaders and Bureaucrats; Developing Countries Leaders and Bureaucrats and CSO Executives and Staff have a choice to make from the above options. No choice is a choice.
Our Suggestion: UN Executives and Staff can help 193 Member States; CSOs’ and other Stakeholders make the Right Choice if UNDESA, FfD Office, ECOSOC Office, EOSG and OPGA accept to jointly nudge all remaining Stakeholders to address all issues raised in this Policy Briefings and on time. The Time to raise Voices is NOW. Delay is Dangerous.
God Bless UN.
God Bless our World.
International Society for Poverty Elimination /
Economic Alliance Group
Akure – Nigeria, West Africa.
“Master Assessment Framework”
MAF is for Researchers, Planners, Statisticians, Implementers, Monitors, Evaluators and Assessors. Work on the Evaluation side – Monitors, Evaluators and Assessors has been done. Work on Implementation side – Implementers and Planning side – Researchers, Planners and Statisticians would be done as part of MAF testing.
MAF is a Master Toolbox – Single Agenda Implementation Framework (SAIF). MAF consists of a set of Interlinked, Interconnected and Interdependent Frameworks within 3PCM (Policy, Program, Project Cycle Management) Approach. MAF is the 4th Instrument / Tool in 3PCM. The Instruments in SAIF are:-
1. Standard Budget Framework, SBF
2. Standard Changing Attitude and Behavior at Scale Framework, SCABS
3. Standard Commissioning Framework, SCmF
4. Standard Competencies Framework, SCpF
5. Standard Knowledge and Communications Framework, SKCF
6. Standard Lessons Learning Framework, SLLF
7. Standard Marketing Communications Framework, SMCF
8. Standard Measures of Success Framework, SMSF
Work on SBF, SCABS, SCmF, SCpF, SKCF, SLLF, SMCF and SMSF would also be done as part of MAF Testing.
This MAF is built upon 3PCM Benefits Focused Approach to Trade / Development; Monitoring, Evaluation and Assessment; Service Delivery / Performance Management; Elections and Democracy; Diplomacy; Defense / Security; Procurement; Human Rights in all its Ramifications – Political, Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, HR-PESCR; Environment / Climate Change; Management; Governance; Corruption, Capacity Building; Competencies Assessment / Testing and Hunger and Poverty etc
This MAF assumes a Community of Practice (COP) whose members are Professionals genuinely committed to deploying the Art and Science of Practice of a known Approach, such as 3PCM in their daily work. The COP will have responsibility for Professional Regulation and Control, Professional Ethics and Sanctions Enforcement, Continuing Professional Education and related matters. For Professionals on both Service Users and Service Providers sides adopting MAF built upon 3PCM Approach, the COP is MPCOP-PE&ES (Multidisciplinary Professionals Community of Practice on Poverty Elimination and Environmental Sustainability) with Several Professional Societies: Trade / Development; Monitoring, Evaluation and Assessment; Service Delivery / Performance Management; HR-PESCR, Management etc. When fully operational MPCOP-PE&ES would be present in 8 Regions Worldwide – US, Canada and Western Europe; West and central Africa, Eastern and Southern Africa, North Africa and Middle East; Latin America and Caribbean; South Asia, East Asia and Pacific; Central and Eastern Europe and CIS and speak 6 Official Languages – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
MAF is generic. It could be adapted to suit the unique and specific needs of any Developed Country; Developing Country or International Institution.
Preamble (extract from Paris Declaration, 2005):
“We reaffirm the commitments made at Rome to harmonize and align aid delivery. We are encouraged that many donors and partner countries are making aid effectiveness a high priority, and we reaffirm our commitment to accelerate progress in implementation, especially in the following areas:
i. Strengthening partner countries’ national development strategies and associated operational frameworks (e.g. planning, budget and performance assessment frameworks);
ii. Increasing alignment of aid with partner countries’ priorities, systems and procedures and helping to strengthen their capacities;
iii. Enhancing donors’ and partner countries’ respective accountability to their citizens and parliaments for their development policies, strategies and performance;
iv. Eliminating duplication of efforts and rationalizing donor activities to make them as cost-effective as possible.
v. Reforming and simplifying donor policies and procedures to encourage collaborative behavior and progressive alignment with partner countries’ priorities, systems and procedures…
Indicator 11: Results-oriented frameworks – Number of countries with transparent and monitorable performance assessment frameworks to assess progress against (a) the national development strategies and (b) sector programs.”
PART A: Introduction
1. The “Paris Declaration” (PD) underlines the need for the establishment, by developing countries, of “Assessment Frameworks” (AFs) designed to guide and structure their involvement in International Development Cooperation. However, the PD does not define the nature of such AFs, a fact that must be considered a serious gap. The present proposal is designed to contribute to fill in this gap.
2. Traditionally, an “Assessment”, in International Development Cooperation, is the analysis of a Development Intervention (Policy, Program or Project) Proposal. It is designed to judge the quality of that proposal in terms of its completeness and its justification. In judging the proposal, donor priorities and procedures have sometimes weighed too heavily in negotiations between partners, negotiations which should lead to a version of the proposal mutually acceptable. The present draft of a “Master Assessment Framework” (MAF) is designed to be acceptable to ALL actors concerned and to facilitate such negotiations in an atmosphere of mutual respect among equal partners.
3. The MAF agreed among all partners and used to guide and structure the establishment of any proposal for any development intervention within any developing country, could go a long way to render the above mentioned negotiations superfluous or, at least, to seriously limit their length and importance. The probability of rapidly arriving at an agreement between the partners will, indeed, be greatly enhanced if the partners have arrived, prior to the establishment of a country specific “Assessment Framework” or “National Assessment Framework” (NAF), as advocated by the Paris Declaration, at a common understanding of the nature of any Assessment Framework (AF). Such understanding can thus be greatly facilitated by the establishment, in common agreement among ALL partners involved in International Development Cooperation, of such “Master Assessment Framework” (MAF) incorporating the essential features of any AF. What can be said about those “essential features”?
4. First of all, there is one common aspect ALL development interventions worthy of that name have to present, without any exception: they should improve the living conditions of the people at whom they are directed on successful and sustainable basis. In other words and employing a somewhat more technical language: In a democratic setting (regardless of the form of government – capitalist, socialist or communist), all public development interventions: Policies, Programs and Projects, are / should be designed to realize sustainable benefits for their target groups. The design of all Public Development Interventions, ODA co-financed or not, must be conceived on the basis of this principle. All of the MAF design elements considered below, have to serve this objective.
5. The MAF will serve as the basis for the establishment of all National Assessment Frameworks (NAFs). The NAFs, in turn, can be adapted (i. e. subdivided or “categorized”) to suit more closely any regional/sector/theme specifics. Ultimately, thus, the MAF/NAFs will guide the establishment of the Terms of Reference (ToR) that structure all of the standard documents established along the 3P Cycle, for Planning as well as for Evaluation, of any specific Development Intervention: Policy, Program or Project (“3P”) anywhere. Each of these Interventions will thus (a) conserve its unique individuality while (b) incorporating the common wisdom as enshrined in the MAF/NAFs. The above mentioned standard documents will comprise: “3P Idea” documents, pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, implementation and monitoring reports, evaluation reports and assessment reports. If thus applied in operational practice, the MAF will help development partners to assess the extent to which development interventions have contributed to poverty alleviation, wealth creation, reduction of inequalities, capacity building, governance, all of which will culminate in sustainable benefits for target groups.
6. If applied according to points 4. And 5 above, the MAF will also be extremely useful in coping with some of the great challenges facing the International Development Community today: It will facilitate the review of progress made by development partners in:
(a) achieving the “Sustainable Development Goals” (MDGs);
(b) achieving the “Addis Ababa Action Agenda” (AAAA);
(c) respecting commitments undertaken according to the “Paris Declaration” (PD) and the “Accra Agenda for Action” (AAA), as well as other international / national development cooperation commitments.
7. The fact that, thus, planning, implementation, evaluation and assessment should be conceived along the same lines of reasoning will not be obvious without justification. Evaluators often give the impression that they want to stay aloof from action, thus keeping their independence, and conceiving “ad hoc” and for each 3P anew, their own terms of reference for their evaluations. This stance ignores a vital fact: Evaluators, like planners, should agree to promote, together and above anything else, the creation of conditions leading to the realization of sustainable benefits for the target groups of development interventions. What else could be the purpose of evaluations? Other than that there’s none: “Benefit focused Planning” should thus be echoed by ”Benefits focused Implementation” and “Benefit focused Evaluation”.
8. The ToR for each 3P, as traced by the MAF/NAFs and then their progressive adaptations to sectors/themes/regions/countries down to the last specific concrete, unique project, should thus be identical for planners and for implementers and evaluators. There is just ONE fundamental difference between the application of these identical ToR by planning on the one hand and implementation / evaluation on the other: Planning is affirmative and looks forward, while Evaluation is inquisitive and looks backwards, and Implementation is constructive and looks at the moment. Planning is intention driven and considers future possibilities/probabilities, while evaluation looks exclusively at existing facts and Implementation is action driven and looks at getting results. But the questions asked in the three cases are on the same subject, point by point, as contained in the common ToR. Please notice that Planners, when trying to avoid the errors they committed “last time”, are engaged in “evaluation”, while evaluators, when making recommendations for future development interventions, are engaged in “planning”, and implementers in seeking to get tasks done are engaged in both “planning” and “evaluation” and so they should be: Planners’, Implementers’ and Evaluators’ minds and imaginations are ever free to travel between the realms of past and future. It is only these two realms that are never allowed to touch, forever divided, as they are, by the fleeting NOW.
9. Some evaluators may be scandalized by and violently opposed to such parallel structuring of the ToR, fearing for what they cherish most of all: their independence. Don’t despair, dear colleagues! Note that the MAF and ALL its “derivatives”, down to the last specific ToR for the smallest “Project” in country C, province P, will obligatorily contain one point that can never be “adapted away”, and that is the point: “Other Aspects”. That will give you the possibility to argue your case: you can say that the idea of identical ToR for planning and evaluation is all nonsense, and WHY. You can invent, under that point, your own ToR and restart the entire evaluation exercise accordingly. There’s ONLY ONE thing that is NOT permitted by the MAF: ignoring the ToR planners have used: You MUST use them, “inter alia”, as well! If you do and if planners have made a serious effort to apply MAF inspired ToR, then chances are that you will find them sufficient. If not, there’s always (remember!) the point: “Other Aspects”...
10.Evaluators may find that the ToR used by planners are insufficient, erroneous or, worst of all, virtually absent. Then they will have to reconstruct what they think might have been planners’ ToR and judge them in the light of the MAF/NAF.
11.Evaluators may also find that the Objective of the development intervention, even if it is expressed in terms of the realization of sustainable benefits for the intervention’s target group (that’s a condition sine qua non, remember!), are not convincing. Then they will propose a different objective (still expressed in terms of sustainable benefits for the target group). This case will be rare, though. In general one can expect that the objective of a development intervention, if conceived by planners within a democratic setting (that’s an important point contained in the MAF), will also be acceptable to evaluators.
12.Summing up, the advantages of the parallel structuring of ToR for (forward-looking) “Benefit focused Planning”, (current action) “Benefits focused Implementation” and (backward-looking) “Benefit focused Evaluation”, in the light of the MAF, appear convincing: This “amalgamated system” will:
(a) make planners, implementers and evaluators of all partners agree and concentrate on the ONE topic that matters in the end: the realization of sustainable benefits for the target groups of development interventions; this being the way, impact should be expressed;
(b) make evaluation “Learning” and “Operational Feed-back” (that remain two important but unresolved problems today) part of an integrated system and therefore, as the term implies, “systematic”, that’s to say automatic;
(c) accumulate lessons from experience while simultaneously encouraging the necessary attention to the specifics of each individual development policy, program and project;
(d) keep lessons learned “up to date”, as new insights contributed by evaluations will be routinely incorporated into the MAF/NAF system which will thus acquire and maintain its “dynamic nature”;
(e) allow the development of a detailed “Data Base”, containing ample comments on each important aspect presented in the MAF/NAFs, at the disposal of planners and evaluators, of implementers and monitors, of target groups and other stakeholders and the interested public (with its parliamentary representatives) in general: the volume of such data bank may turn out to be considerable, as the MAF is adapted to country/regional/sector/thematic NAFs and as these are used as the basis for specific policies, programs and projects;
(f) be easy to use (in spite of the considerable volume of the “Data Base”) as the most important elements will always appear “up-front” in a highly concentrated form on a minimum of pages, thus allowing all actors to descend just to the level of information detail they need to make sure they don’t miss any element, as taught by experience, that they consider important for the specific “P” of the 3P they are involved with;
(g) in that way, quite naturally, simplify the exchange of information, experience and lessons learned among all actors concerned and spread a “common development language” among stakeholders everywhere. Such common language might evolve, eventually, into a true “Communication Strategy” pursued by actors/stakeholders concerned as they learn together and act accordingly.
PART B: Master Assessment Framework (Evaluation side)
2.1. Government/sectoral and Donor policies, coherence and complementarity, Democracy and Human Rights, Good governance
2.2. Features of the sector(s) in the given country (or international) context
2.3. Problems and opportunities to be addressed (Relevance)
2.4. Beneficiaries and the other stakeholders (interests, role in the intervention)
2.5. Other related interventions, cooperation/harmonization with other donors/actors, past best practice
2.6. Documents and data available
2.7. Project/program/policy history, including (a) the process of its advocacy and preparation, (b) application of 3PCM and (c) evaluation lessons learned/applied
3. Intervention (intended and unintended results): Logic Model and Theory of Change (including indicators)
3.1.Objectives/Goals: Realization of sustainable benefits for target groups; contributions to these benefits on the (a) Project, (b) Program and (c) Policy levels (Impact)
3.2.Intervention Outcome/Purpose: Introduction of necessary conditions contributing to the realization of sustainable benefits for target groups (e.g. improved governance, better access to basic services, new knowledge and skills applied, changed attitudes and behavior) (Effectiveness)
3.3. Outputs - tangible and intangible results needed for achieving the purpose of the intervention: capital goods, products, knowledge (e.g. infrastructure, equipment installed, new capacities and skills acquired) (Efficiency)
3.4.Inputs and activities (Economy)
3.5. Flexibility mechanisms allowing the Intervention’s periodic adaption
3.6. Alternative solutions
4.1.Assumptions at different intervention levels
4.2. Risks and risk management
5.1. Physical and non physical means
5.2. Organization: roles and responsibilities, systems, procedures/alignment, transparency, ethics
5.4. Cost estimate and cost-effectiveness (including non-monetary costs), financing plan
5.5. Special conditions: accompanying measures taken by Government and/or other development actors, reliability and predictability of funding, mutual accountability
6. Quality and Feasibility Factors ensuring Viability/Sustainability
6.1. Economic and financial viability
6.2. Policy support
6.3. Appropriate technology and “soft” implementation techniques
6.4. Environmental aspects
6.5 Socio-cultural aspects (including intercultural dialogue): gender issues, inclusion/participation, empowerment, ownership
6.6. Institutional and management capacity, strengthening and use of local structures (public, voluntary and private), cross-sector cooperation among actors involved, decentralization of responsibilities: subsidiarity
7. Monitoring and Evaluation
8.1. Monitoring and reporting system, milestones
8.2. Reviews/evaluations (lessons learned and recommendations)
9. Other Aspects
10. Conclusions and proposals