CLEAR-FA Visits Brazzaville to Mobilize Partners for Implementation of Joint Roadmap to Strengthen Congo’s National M&E System
In mid-May 2023, a delegation from the Centers for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Francophone Africa (CLEAR-FA), led by Dr. Edoé Djimitri Agbodjan, Director, CLEAR-FA, along with Mr. Amos Menard, Deputy Director, and Mr. Abdoulaye Gounou, Associate Expert, conducted a mission to Brazzaville, Congo. CLEAR-FA is a GEI Implementing Partner.
During this mission, CLEAR-FA staff held a series of meetings with high-ranking government officials and key national monitoring and evaluation (M&E) stakeholders. The purpose of this mission was to enhance advocacy efforts for the development of a national M&E system. Additionally, it aimed to establish long-term collaborative relationships with national stakeholders and the country's technical and financial partners for the implementation of a joint roadmap to strengthen the national M&E system in Congo.
The mission took place in two (2) phases. The first phase involved discussions with the MCRE (Ministère délégué auprès du Premier Ministre, en charge de la réforme de l’Etat, a Ministry attached to the Prime Minister). These discussions included meetings with the Minister for State Reform, Mr. Jean Luc OKIO, members of his cabinet, and the Director General of State Modernization, who also serves as the Acting Director General of Reform Evaluation at the MCRE.
The second phase involved institutional meetings with key state institutions responsible for M&E policies, programs, and projects in the country. These institutions included the Ministry of Planning (CNEEPIP), the Cabinet of the Ministry of Planning, the National School of Administration and the Judiciary, the National Assembly (specifically those representatives responsible for the economy, finance, and planning, as well as special advisors and members of the President of the National Assembly's cabinet), the Cour des Comptes et des disciplines budgétaires, the Conseil de Concertation des ONG de Développement, and the Association Congolaise d'Evaluation. The delegation also met with technical and financial partners operating in the country, including UNDP, World Bank, and UNICEF.
Discussions with technical and donor institutions centered on challenges such as data provision and the capacity gaps in M&E within the public administration and the projects they fund. There was also a focus on the need for coordinated action among various structures responsible for evaluating public policies within the public administration. UNICEF expressed strong interest in supporting Congo's national M&E system through the joint roadmap supported by the MCRE. The World Bank affirmed its alignment with the objectives of the Integrated Public Sector Reform Project (PRISP) and pledged to support the process by facilitating further meetings internally and with government structures, to identify and further develop opportunities and modalities for its support to the implementation of the joint roadmap. The UNDP noted the alignment of the initiative with its good governance program signed with the Congolese government through the Ministry of Planning.
Discussions during the mission highlighted the timeliness of the initiative, especially considering the country's commitment to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process, which requires Congo to develop evaluation capacities and equip itself with the necessary tools. The Minister of Planning emphasized the need for CLEAR-FA to support the MCRE in mobilizing partners and the necessary technical and financial resources to realize the goals outlined in the adopted roadmap. He designated the Director General of CNEEPIP as the focal point for implementation of the joint roadmap.
The National Assembly expressed its need for CLEAR-FA's support on M&E training for members of parliament and parliamentary staff, as well as tools to enable them to legislate based on evidence. They also shared their plan to join the African Parliamentary Network for Development Evaluation (APNODE) and establish an office for Central Africa. A focal point within the President's office was appointed to ensure that these matters are addressed at the highest level of the institution with appropriate follow-up.
CLEAR-FA’s work in Congo began when it agreed to support the development of a joint roadmap aimed at diagnosing the national M&E system and developing a functional framework for monitoring and evaluating the strategic plan for the reforms of the State of Congo. To formalize this support, a framework partnership agreement was signed in 2022 between MCRE, CLEAR CESAG and the Association Congolaise d'Evaluation (ACE).