AgriProFocus is an international network with Dutch roots that promotes agri-entrepreneurship in 12 low- and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia.
AgriProFocus offices were unclear as to the effectiveness of their contributions in changing relations between farmers and entrepreneurs, for example in increased volume of contracts and improved supply chains. They wanted to strengthen and consolidate country offices in their M&E systems for accountability, informed decision making and learning. Harmonisation on data to be provided (key-indicators) and reporting formats would enable the head office to make a consolidated annual report reflecting the outputs (for example, number of people visiting agricultural fairs) and outcomes (changes in the market between farmers and other entrepreneurs) of the entire network. MDF Training & Consultancy discovered that terminology was used and interpreted differently by different offices, providing confusion in reporting.
The most urgent issue, results-based reporting, was addressed by the Outcome Harvesting method for data collection via local consultants This resulted in an overview of country specific cases which were used in the annual report. We then proposed an adapted Result Chain terminology based on AgriProFocus practices, discussed key indicators, developed the data collection and process flow and proposed a new reporting format. MDF Training & Consultancy developed an entire Monitoring &Evaluation manual capturing the process from planning (key indicators for main AgriProFous areas) via information flow (data collection methods) to the use of M&E data. It also incorporated tips and hints for effective monitoring. A schedule aligning key country-based monitoring periods with corporate reporting needs was also developed. In recognising the relevance of an aligned, network-wide Monitoring & Evaluation system, AgriProFocus was keen to build on the process by recruiting a new staff member as dedicated M&E officer.
AgriProFocus staff appreciated seeing the link between their services and changes between farmers and other market players made explicit. The network now has a consolidated M&E system serving accountability (reporting), decision-making and learning, with the learning function now playing a larger role in the system.