RE: How to use Knowledge Management to strengthen the impact of Evaluation on smallholder agriculture development? | Eval Forward

I was involved in providing the KM support for IFAD supported project/programmes in East and Southern Africa for over 11 years. I have been involved in many designs, implementation support and evaluations. In my view IFAD started managing knowledge only after they took over from UNOPS and started to provide direct implementation support to the projects and programmes. The linking of project activities to the COSOP and focus on impact is very recent, maybe 2012 in East and Southern Africa. Each country had a  target of beneficiaries to be gotten out of poverty.

The push made the county offices to think through each project and how they would contribute to the target and tried to link this target to the country policy impact. It was extremely challenging. The issues around aggregation and attribution were key as projects were overlapping in their areas of operations. Support was provided to projects to build an online M&E platform to assist in data collection, consultants were recruited to support knowledge generation and stories from the field and systematic learning grants were provided to support learning. 

Some of the projects like Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Project in Kenya, some in Market access, Mozambique and Rural Finance Programme, Zambia, Vegetable Oil Dev Programme, Uganda did well and some were struggling on M&E and linking to impact.

The older designs we looked at lessons from past projects but the recent designs project has incorporated KM and learning as a component. This has made learning become a prominent activity in projects. We developed a framework for learning which incorporated KM in terms of information management, learning oriented M&E, internal and external communication and innovation and experimentation and all linked for learning and adaptation. 

Just my five cents....