MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES
Dr KM George
Acknowledging the help received from others is a very difficult task. I was privileged by the immense help rendered by many professionals in this endeavour. I must place on record my appreciation for such a great gesture of goodwill and concern.
A few names, I must place on record, as they have walked the extra mile to facilitate this document in time.
Honourable Permanente Secretary Ms Fatina Mukarubibi,
Mr. Innocent Musabyimana- acting PS
, Mr Peter Katanisa, Mr Janvier Ntalindwa, Mr Oscar Kimanuka, Mr, Innocent Kabenga, Mr Benon Kaka, Mr Modeste Ngondo, Mr Sam Biaro, Mr Richard Niyongabo, Mr Emmanuel Kabera, Vellen Byandaga and Mr Jean Munyaregero.
I also place on record my appreciation and gratitude to all those, whom I have unkindly but unintentionally, forgotten to mention by name.
Admittedly you all did enhance the quality of my perceptions about the MINIRENA and its M&E situation.
My sincere thanks to you all.
DDP = District Development Plan
EDPRS=Economic development & Poverty Reduction Strategy
ENR= Environment & Natural Resources
ICT= Information Communication Technology
MDG=Millennium Development Goal
M&E= Monitoring& Evaluation
MINIRENA=Ministry of Natural Resources
SMART=Specific, measurable, attainable, timely
SSP= Sector Strategy Plan
– M&E Challenges
– Over View of M&E in ENR Sector
– Ground Situation
– Findings of the Survey
– Strengths of M&E
– Stakeholder Concerns
– Challenges and Opportunities
– Pre-View Reports
Executive Summary: Soul Searching!
1) The M&E Situation Analysis was undertaken as part of the TOR of the International M&E Expert. The theme was approached with desk review research, and personal discussions in early April 2015 and was scheduled to be completed by end of May 2015. Nevertheless, due to unforeseen circumstances, it was decided to put up a draft report prior to end of April 2015. Thus this draft report was prepared and submitted.
2) Monitoring is a continuous process. The very objective is to make policy makers and project implementers to judge rationally if activities are being implemented as planned as well as to bring about mid- term course corrections. Evaluation is an exercise to measure the outcomes and impacts of a given intervention. M&E is a management tool for managing impact.
3) The core issues addressed in any M&E worth its name include: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability.
4) The major problems plaguing M&E includes the weak feedback system, lack of SMART indicators, poor training imparted to M&E professionals, lack of team work, inadequate coordination, plethora of ad- hoc assignments given to M&E staff, large staff turnover and stake holder non consultations.
5) The major strength of the M&E system here in the ministry for natural resources include an increasing realisation at the policy making levels about the importance of M&E. It has got a demand driven pushed elevated status, may be on account of the information needs of the Ministry.
6) M&E is not a much sought after institution judged by its contributions to policy makers in the Ministry.
7) Stake holders have a legion of concerns about the existing M&E system. They feel that M&E is not user friendly. Indicators are not logically or rationally evolved with any semblance of field realities.
8) M&E should be a demand driven policy handmaid for the Ministry of Natural Resources.
9) A career development path plan must be drawn up for M&E professionals. And M&E must be directly reporting to the PS as it is the “eyes and ears” of top management and policy makers.
10) There is a need for attitudinal reorientation with regard to the urgency and appreciation of M&E and to establish a demand driven and user friendly M&E system in the ENR sector of the Natural Resources Ministry of Rwanda.
11) M&E should be positioned directly under the PS as a management tool. Thus the Ministry must accord unequivocal policy importance to M&E to be headed by a Director, exclusively in charge of M&E. Only “doers and innovators” are to be there in M&E like movers and shakers to give birth to a vibrant M&E, which is demand driven and user-friendly. Conscious efforts should be made to ensure that M&E in the Ministry of Natural Resources is not a “post –script but really a preamble”.
The M&E situation analysis was undertaken as part of the Terms of Reference of the international M&E expert. The theme was approached with desk top research and personal discussions. Discussions were held with many M&E officers including Mr Benon Kaka, Mr Jean Munyarugen, Mr Sam Biaro, Mr Emmanuel Kabera as well as Mr Richard Niyongabo. Questionnaires were shared with all the sub sector M&E officers to elicit their views on the current situation of M&E in MINIRENA.
The assignment was scheduled to be completed by end of May 2015. But due to certain unforeseen circumstances, it was decided to put up a draft report prior to end of April 2015. That is why this report was prepared and submitted before the anticipated time schedule.
A questionnaire was developed exclusively aimed at the M&E officers of MINIRENA and was administered to elicit their views. As it was an open-ended questionnaire they had enough leverage to express their views.
Besides an opinion schedule was developed to elicit information from all well informed leaders, who are also the users of the M&E system.
All the data collected were analysed and this report is the end result.
1.3 In common parlours situation analysis is understood as stock taking as to where we stand. It is a kind of base line or bench mark. It, among other things, provides insight into both internal and external environment. As a matter of fact, the concerns of the stake holders are to be examined to firm up with any situation analysis. Therefore, assessing the situation is very crucial to decide the future course of action and to decide on the choices.
1.4 It is a kind of situation audit of a given theme. It would address issues like the strengths and weaknesses. This would in addition show us how effective is the functioning of the M&E set up in relation to its mandate as manifested in the mission statement.
1.5 Monitoring and Evaluation:
Monitoring is an on-going self-examination through both formal and informal systems. It is a continuous process of collecting information about the progress of the programme. Information gathering is a day to day activity for any M&E system’s every objective is to make policy makers and implementers to judge if activities are being implemented as planned. This is of paramount importance for taking informed decisions about improving the management and implementation of a given programme.
Evaluation is commonly understood as to judge the worth of something. In the context of projects and programmes, it is an exercise to measure the outcomes, impact and effectiveness of a given intervention, with a view to using the lessons learned. Unlike monitoring, evaluations are done for separately scheduled activities at specific intervals like mid-term and or end of project.
As already mentioned, it is a management tool for all who are engaged to implement projects. The simple answer to the question, as to why we need M&E, is to render the project implementation dynamics in its impact as per the targets. To sum up, an ideal M&E system is a tool for managing the impact. Ultimately, any M&E worth its name has to have the following core issues to be addressed.
Relevance simply means whether the project addressed the priority problems faced by the target communities.
Effectiveness in the context of M&E means if activities, out puts and outcomes are achieved?
Efficiency means if inputs or resources are used in the best possible way to achieve out puts?
Impact means if the project intervention has been contributing to the development goals. Besides has it resulted in any unexpected consequences?
Sustainability means if the project benefits would continue to yield results once the funding is over?
2.0 M&E Challenges
The major challenges faced by any M&E system include:
2.1 Data collection methods. This means frequency of data collection, methodology, sampling size, accuracy, validity, reliability etc.
2.2 Data storage and retrieval.
2.3 Data analysis and utilisation
2.4 Human Resources-right type of people with aptitude and sensitivity.
3.0 Monitoring & Evaluation Situation in MINIRENA:
Overview of M&E in ENR Sector:
3.1 It is only logical to begin this section with the mission statement of M&E in the MINIRENA.
The basic mandate of the M&E is to monitor and evaluate the implementation of sector and sub-sector policies, strategies, and programmes through:
3.2 The setting up and implementation of appropriate mechanisms and systems for monitoring and evaluating the environment and climate change situation.
3.3 Monitoring and assessing the implementation and mainstreaming of policies that enhance the protection of environment and the rational utilisation of resources in all cross cutting sectors in the country.
3.4 Monitoring the sector performance indicators and consolidating the data from decentralised institutions.
3.5 Submitting periodically to the government including annual reports on the impact of sector polices, programmes, projects and strategies on sustainable national socio-economic development.
4.0 Ground Situation of Monitoring & Evaluation in MINIRENA
During April 2015 a draft discussion paper/ questionnaire was developed with a view to approaching the M&E situation in MINIRENA. It was circulated to all concerned M&E professionals including Director Planning, M&E, and ICT as well as all M&E officers. Again based on the feedback received from the M&E officers and other users of M&E, the same was revised incorporating their suggestions (copy attached). A tabulating sheet was prepared (copy attached) to compile the data received from all. A special M&E situation assessment opinion schedule was prepared to elicit views form knowledgeable opinion leaders who are users as well. (Copy attached).
Discussions were held with several M&E officers from the sub sectors on 16th April and 20th and 22nd April 2015. Filled in questionnaires were received and reviewed.
4.0 Results and Findings of the Survey:
M&E in Action
In Rwanda there is a national M&E system in operation. In fact all major national policy documents like Vison 2020, 7YGP, Sector Strategy Plans (SSP), MDGs, EDPRS, District Development Plans (DDPs), Integrated Development Plans, Annual Sector Action plans etc. lend credibility to the fact that M&E is acknowledged. Although the national system is working, for specific sectors like ENR, conscious efforts are required to develop and align the M&E system to the national and regional compulsions and rationale. The major felt problems of M&E, among others, include the following:
5.1 The feedback mechanism is very weak with regard to the M&E in MINIRENA.
5.2 There is no institutionalised M&E mechanism in place including quality assurance.
5.3The lack of specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (SMART) indicators is a major grey area of concern.
5.4 Lack of training imparted to the M&E professionals is another progress withholding factor to be reckoned with.
5.5 The communication system among the units is very weak resulting in poor coordination.
5.6 Ad hoc assignments given to the M&E professionals make them to derelict their core mandate.
5.7 Fire fighter roles of the M&E staff is plaguing their performance. All can be fire fighters and trouble shooters at times but not all the time! This renders M&E a bite without teeth!
5.8 Staff turnover make the M&E an ornamental organ in the organogram.
5.9 At times it was felt that there is no public reporting as to the extent to which targets are achieved or not, with causative factors explaining the reasons for the degree of variance.
5.10 Evaluations if done at all, are seldom planned with adequate consultations with the stake holders.
5.11 M&E skills appear to be weak in MINIRENA. That results in inadequate wave length between policy expectations a d delivery mechanism. As such M&E suffers hugely on account of perceptional disabilities.
6.0 Strengths of M&E in MINIRENA:
6.1 The major strength is that at the policy making and planning levels, there is an increasing realisation and awareness that M&E is a very important institutional mechanism. This very acceptance of M&E culture, in line with the national commitment would have a salutary impact on the ENR M&E system in the foreseeable future.
6.2 M&E professionals are all graduates and are open to innovative ideas to accept new challenges and embrace it as well.
6.3 M&E staff are equipped with computers and they are technology savvy and it makes them to deliver with minimum critical push if properly trained and oriented.
6.4 There are a few donor funded projects with built in M&E component offering good potential for a vibrant and dynamic M&E scenario in future in MINIRENA.
6.5 The M&E system is closely linked to the information needs of the ministry, providing M&E a demand pushed elevated status.
7.0 M&E Status in MINERENA
7.1 It is felt that the data collection mechanism in the M&E system is not systematic, robust and on-going. As such to the top management policy makers M&E is not a sought after unit in the ministry judged by its utility.
7.2 Budgetary constraints seems to be another weakness to be rectified.
7.3 Lack of integration of the M&E with sub sectors is another concern.
7.4 M&E in MINIRENA suffers from isolation complex as it is yet to be integrated with linkages.
7.5 The absence of well-articulated annual work plans and tasks is another weakness of the system particularly in the sub sectors.
7.6 Many a time, inadequate accessibility to the middle management officials, who have data and information make the M&E staff less effective as performers and frustrated.
7.7 At times the work done by M&E is less professional, may be due to budgetary constraints and time inadequacies coupled with unskilled M&E professionals without proper perspectives and the frequent “firefighting “schedules.
7.8 M&E staff are to be trained and motivated for better performance. Much depends on the professional motivation imparted to them coupled with the work environment.
7.9 As M&E is an ongoing process, the staff utilisation must be ensured. Unless it is well orchestrated the staff will tend to become non-performers and lagers.
8.0 Stake holders concerns of M&E
8.1 Stake holders are having a large number of concerns about the existing M&E. One is the poor capacity of the M&E professionals. This must be addressed on war footing.
8.2 M&E itself is weak and exists in namesake. The indicators are not logically and consistently evolved with any semblance of field realities.
8.3 It is felt that the M&E is not a user friendly system. It exists mostly in isolation. There is poor coordination between sector and sub- sectors with regard to M&E staff and as such it makes them only pen pushers (laptop key board pushers)!
9.0 What to achieve with M&E in MINIRENA?
9.1 M&E to become a user friendly system and must be demand driven policy handmaid for the entire ministry of Natural Resources.
9.2 It must develop simple tools for data collection, collation, tabulation, analysis and reporting with a view to making policy makers to take well informed intervention decisions.
9.3 It must put in place sound base lines along with challenging and achievable targets after evolving SMART indicators.
9.4 Create awareness and appreciation aimed at stake holders by organising workshops at least in different regions to bring about thematic sensitisation on M&E.
9.5 The litmus test of a successful M&E is that it must advise policy makers as the eyes and ears of the authorities– “a stich in time saves nine” goes the management philosophy.
10.0 Way Forward: Challenges & Opportunities:
After having seen the back ground, over view of M&E in the ENR sector of MINIRENA, it is only logical to arrive at the policy conclusions. It is from here the implantation strategy must evolved after consulting the stake holders. Again with advent of the RBM, it is imperative to launch a workable and laudable M&E system worth its name in the MINIRENA.
10.1 Efforts are required to spell out clear goals and targets with well-articulated SMART indicators. Some of the gaps- both perceptional and physical- are to be addressed expeditiously to make M&E delivering as per its policy mandate. The M&E professionals are to meet at least once a month to compare notes on M&E.
10.2 In a way to learn from the weakness and the challenges to stay proactively, a user friendly and demand driven M&E system for the ENR in MINIRENA is a non-negotiable demand.
10.3 Establish a system of monitoring the activities on an ongoing basis in relation to the projects and programmes to bring about course corrections.
10.4 The M&E in MINIRENA must aim to attain the status of a referral flagship unit with the state of the art technology, skills and expertise.
10.5 Key stake holders must be involved in addressing each and every M&E issue of policy relevance. The mismatch between the users and stake holders are to be addressed to find out solutions by consultations.
10.6 It seems some of the current frame works are linear, mostly focused on performance regardless of the underlying causative factors of either positive or negative variance .This must be thematically and holistically addressed. M&E reports, as and when published, must be widely circulated and put in to good use for corrective actions.
10.7 A carrier path plan must be developed for M&E professionals as they should feel both physically and emotionally committed to M&E.
10.8 The seeming disjuncture between change measures and the impact may be given time for its full gestation period to manifest results.
10.9 There is a need for an attitudinal reorientation with regard to the urgency and appreciation to establish a demand driven and user friendly M&E system in the ENR sector of MINIRENA.
10.10 M&E should be positioned directly under the PS as a management tool. Thus the Ministry must accord unequivocal policy importance to M&E to be headed by a Director, exclusively in charge of M&E. Only “doers and innovators” are to be there in M&E like movers and shakers to give birth to a vibrant M&E, which is demand driven and user-friendly. Conscious efforts should be made to ensure that M&E in the Ministry of Natural Resources is not a “post –script but really a preamble”.
2 Opinion Schedule
1st April: Situation Analysis of M&E in MINIRENA
Preparation of M&E Situation Report in MINIRENA.
Dear Workmates who are engaged with M&E as professionals,
As you may be aware, we are about to commence a new era in the realm of M&E here soon. Better days are here for us all as M&E professionals.
Prior to the start-up of the M&E situation report, we need to know more in details.
Brief Questionnaire for M&E Professionals:
(Need your inputs like suggestions/changes/additions/deletions/ etc.)
Mission Statement of MINIRENA- M&E:
1. Monitoring and evaluating the implementation of sector and sub-sectors policies, strategies and programs through:
a) Setting up and implementation of appropriate mechanisms and systems for monitoring and evaluation of environment and climate change situation in the country as well as in the region;
b) Monitoring and assessing the implementation and mainstreaming of policies and laws that enhance the protection of environment and the rational utilization of natural resources in all cross-cutting sectors in the country;
c) Monitoring the sector performance indicators and consolidating the data from decentralized institutions;
d) Submitting to the government periodic and annual reports on the impact of the sector policies, strategies, programs and projects on sustainable national social economic development.
Details 🙁 Add space or additional pages if needed?
2) Office address
4) Cell number
5) Email id
6) Duration of stay in MINIRENA-Since when?
7) Education (Degree)
8) Work experience if any, number of years
9) Trainings received if any—details—
10) Trainings you feel must be given to make you a better performer: suggestions
11) Kind of work you do as M&E officer?
12) Who coordinates the work?
13) To whom do you report professionally?
14) What kind of reporting system do you have?
15) Do you assess your work every week? (yes/No)
16) What kind of quarterly reporting do you have?
17) Whose performance is that you report and review?
18) Do you report on half yearly basis also?
19) Any annual reporting of performance done?
20) Any action taken based on your reporting and reviews?
Perceptions of M&E:
1) What is your basic perception of M&E
2) What do you understand about Monitoring?
3) What do you understand about Project Evaluation?
4) What is the mission statement of M&E in MINIRENA?
5) What do you mean by activity?
6) What is bench mark?
7) What is baseline?
8) What is meant by capacity?
9) What is meant by capacity building?
10) What is an indicator?
11) What is a work plan?
12) What are assumptions?
13) If a problem analysis is to be stated –what do you mean by it in the context of situational analysis? (As concentrating on this tool as applied to stake holder analysis is a dynamic process and over laps with the problem analysis).
This tool is used to:
1) Analyse the existing situation surrounding a given problem context.
2) Identify the major related problems and constraints associated with the development problem.
3) Visualise the cause and effect relationship.
April, 4st 2015.
Situation Analysis- VIP Questionnaire:
Please as you know we are now in the process of making a situation survey–plus assessment of M&E in MINERENA.
I need your valuable inputs as you being very knowledgeable professional in this Ministry.
Please do help with the following and graciously oblige.
1) What are the real felt problems of M&E in MINIRENA? How effective is the present M&E?
2) Our strengths in M&E, if any?
3) Our M&E weaknesses
4) What are the concerns of the stake holders of MINIRENA –M&E?
5) What should we achieve with our M&E?
6) Where to go from here?
7) What prevent us from going forward?
8) Any biophysical issues that you consider in making us better performers as M&E professionals like environment, climate, land use, geographical issues,
9) Suggestions to get over the present weaknesses and issues in M&E?
May I solicit your kind and considerate attention a bit expeditiously? If you could oblige, may I have your input latest by Monday 20th April please?
With warm Greetings and wishing you a great week end too.
Annex 3: Tabulation Plan
Tabulation Plan of
M&E Situation Analysis
Table 1: Number of years working experience as M&E staff
Other Organisations No
Total experience in years? No
Table 2 : Educational Qualifications of M&E officers
Post graduates No
Others if any No
Table 4 Trainings received as M&E Officer during 2014– 2015?
HO M&E Officer Number
Sub-sectors each Number
Table 5 Trainings suggested that would make you a better performer
Table 6: Nature of work that you do currently as M&E Officer?
Table 7 who coordinates your work who is your reporting boss? Job title or designation to be given
2 Sub sectors
Table 8: Assessment of your work if done regularly?
Monthly ( Yes/No)
Quarterly ( Yes/No)
Annually ( yes /No)
Table 9 Whose work / performance are you reviewing?
Sub sector M&Es
Table 10: Any actions taken -corrective actions taken based on your M&E reviewing so far in MINIRENA>?
Table11 Perceptions and understanding about M&E
Table 12: Perceptions about project Evaluation
Sub sector M&Es
Table 13 Mission statement of M&E
Have you understood it fully?
If yes please narrate as you understood it:
Table 14 What is an activity in the M&E context?
Table 15: What is bench mark in the e context of M&E?
Tabel16: what is your understanding of base line?
Table 17: What is capacity building in the M&E context?
Table18: Meaning of indicators
Table19: What is a work plan?
Table20) what are assumptions in M&E /Project formulation context?
What is meant by problem analysis in the context of situation analysis?
Who are the stakeholders in project /M&E context?
What are the normal cause and effect relationship chains in M&E analysis?
Greetings from UNDP compound! Thank you for sharing a comprehensive report despite the time constraint! You prove them that you can do it!! I browse quickly through the report, you capture almost every think, and it is a true picture of the situation within the MINIRENA.
La Luta continua
Good Morning George,
This looks great now. I agree with the findings. Implementation of the findings and recommendation will go a long way to improve the ENR M&E System.
3) Another Review:
I wish to express my deepest heart felt gratitude for sharing this intelligently prepared report. The latter has captured all existing problems, weaknesses and strengths in terms of M&E Systems in MINIRENA. I am really amazed that you were able to compile such well researched report within such short time as if you had ample time with all facilitation in place. But, your wise decision informed by self-respect and dignity should be a lesson to MINIRENA to recognize the importance and respect that should be accorded to competent Consultant willing and happy to contribute to the development of this country. They should also feel obliged to desist from wasting the hard earned resources. While feeling disturbed by poor handling of your case, I am at the same time glad that you have proved your competence as opposed to those who thought you are spent force. I believe it won’t be long before realizing that it was not wise to loose such an important person for no obvious reason.
In any case, I share with your decision as I believe that, it is better to die on your toes rather than live on your knees. I strongly believe that your motivation to come to Rwanda to join efforts of changing this country was not purely for money alone, but other motives played important role. However, it is a pity that you were denied the opportunity to realize your dream, but, never mind may be other opportunities shall be possible in future
May God bless you and help you in your endeavour.