AfDB, World Bank collaborate to enable remote monitoring, evaluation of projects –official

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of the African Development Bank (AfDB) are pictured in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, September 16, 2016. Picture taken September 16, 2016. REUTERS/Luc Gnago/File Photo - RC196B9DEF90

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has collaborated with ICT initiative, Remote Appraisal, Supervision, Monitoring and Evaluation (RASME), to enable remote monitoring and evaluation of development projects in real time.

The RASME project is a partnership of the AfDB’s IT Department (CHIS), its regional office for Central Africa, and the World Bank’s Geo-Enabling initiative for Monitoring and Supervision and KoBoToolbox teams.

Olufemi Terry of the Communication and External Relations Department AfDB, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen on Saturday, in Abuja.

He said that the AfDB collaborated with the World Bank and launched an initiative that would use real time data gathering tools to remotely compile digital data from projects in Central Africa via mobile phones and personal computers.

“ The project will enhance the collection of data in inaccessible or remote areas, including those with security and logistical challenges, a need that has been sharpened by the COVID-19 pandemic”, terry said.

Terry quoted Martine Mabiala, Advisor to Gabon’s Minister of Economy, as saying at an Oct. 28 event to launch the project: “We are delighted with the launch of this initiative in Gabon, it will certainly be of great use to the Project Implementation Units (PIU), especially in terms of the quality of data at entry and monitoring of projects.”

Similarly, at the event, Mr. Robert Masumbuko, the AfDB Gabon Country Manager, said, “This is a great initiative that I strongly support, it is absolutely necessary to take advantage of this solution, especially in the context of COVID-19. I call on all participants to adopt it for better monitoring and evaluation of our projects.”

TerrY said that RASME’s suite of tools are based on the KoBoToolbox platform, an open-source ICT solution developed by researchers affiliated with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

He said that the tools are operational, both online and offline and are thus useful in locations with limited telecommunications infrastructure, KoBoToolbox can also validate and analyse data,  which is stored on secured servers, and deployment of RASME across Africa was expected soon.

Terry said that the rollout in Gabon would serve as a pilot for use in the wider region, by March 2022, RASME is expected to have rolled out in seven countries: Gabon, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic.

As a result of the project’s deployment, bank staff, clients and development partners would be able to more effectively prepare projects, track their progress and evaluate impact on communities in Central Africa in an open and transparent manner, he added.

Dr Patrick Vinck, KoboToolbox’s co-founder, told attendees: “We are very pleased to be partnering with AfDB’s Central Africa Regional Office and the World Bank’s GEMS Initiative, in support of the AfDB development projects. We know that RASME will have a real impact on the ground, and we look forward to working with our partners on this project.”

The GEMS and KoBoToolbox teams would provide support, training materials and user engagement tools to the RASME team.

GEMS’ Nelly Bachelot-Dembélé, told project partners: “GEMS is deployed in 39 African countries; we will be delighted to share our experience and documents on our processes, and support you both on the training that will take place online, but also face-to-face as soon as sanitary conditions allow”.

Also, Annabelle Vinois, who leads GEMS in Western and Central Africa, also underscored the benefits of sharing data via KoBoToolbox for better coordination of development activities led by the two multilateral development banks and other partners.  (NAN)