The African Water Facility (AWF), jointly with the Government of Malawi, organized a two-day international workshop on monitoring and information management with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB). Held in Lilongwe from 30th September to 1st October 2013, the event aimed at fostering peer learning among specialists and providing participants with tools and knowledge to better keep track of results achieved in the African water and sanitation sector.
The training welcomed over 56 participants from Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Senegal, Togo, and Tunisia, as well as representatives of nine regional economic communities and transboundary basin organisations, many representing 15 project supported by the AWF.
In his opening remarks, Brown Mpinganjira, Malawi’s Minister of Irrigation and Water Development, recognized the layers of difficulties involved in managing water projects and the sector as a whole.
Referring to the results of the 2007 Joint Country Programme Review, Mpinganjira pointed to the urgent need for Malawi and other countries to implement a proper information system, as the lack of it was directly precluding the effective planning, implementation and management of water projects.
Speaking on behalf of the AWF, Andrew Mwaba, Resident Representative of AfDB for Malawi, noted that the workshop was designed to reinforce and strengthen the existing monitoring and information management mechanisms at local, national, and regional levels.
“In fact, the AWF specifically intended to offer a training that could build countries’ capacity to overcome their main monitoring and evaluation challenges, especially in the area of data collection, analysis, evaluation and reporting” he said.
He also explained how the workshop was intended to launch a monitoring and evaluation community of practice where critical knowledge and information could flow and be exchanged - an idea welcomed by all participants.
“The workshop has been inspiring and has helped all participants share solutions and ideas on how we monitor projects and handle information for better planning” said Khaled Abu Zeid , the Coordinator of Monitoring and Evaluation for Water in North Africa (MEWINA).
Participants generally praised the focus on best practices and problem solving and have encouraged the AWF to increase and mainstream these knowledge sharing events.
The workshop was part of a commitment made by the AWF to African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) to support African countries in reducing the information gap on progress made towards the achievement of national development targets and of water and sanitation, as well as the targets set by the African Water Vision 2025 and Millennium Development Goals.
In Malawi, the AfDB is supporting several multifaceted water projects and remains one of strategic partners to the host country in the water sector. Promoting improved monitoring and evaluation of the water sector is also one the Bank’s priorities.