I’m Emile N. HOUNGBO (PhD), a Benin citizen, Agricultural Economist Engineer (1996), with a PhD of the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin) in socio-economics, environment and sustainable development (2008). I’m an Associate Professor at the National University of Agriculture in Benin, where I’m charged of the courses of Rural Economics, Methodology of Scientific Research, Macroeconomics and Project Management. My main research areas are sustainable agriculture, rural socioeconomics, food security, natural resources management, poverty analysis, and climate change. I’m an expert in strategic planning, the development and monitoring-evaluation of agricultural projects and poverty analysis. I has been charged of the monitoring and evaluation of several projects, such as the Fruit Flies West African Project (FF Project, 2014-2016) and the Blast Project (Pyriculariose Project, 2012-2016) both funded by the West and Central Council for Agricultural research and Development (WECARD) and the Project of Local Interventions for Food Security (PILSA, 1997, 2018) funded by the Government of Benin Republic.
How to define and identify lessons learned?Discussion
Neutrality-impartiality-independence. At which stage of the evaluation is each concept important?Discussion
How can evaluation help improve data quality and policies on food security during Covid-19 pandemic?Discussion
Recurring errors in public policies and major projects: contributions and solutions from evaluationDiscussion
For this purpose, I analysed the process of primary data collection and the food security indicators produced in my country, Benin. As we all know, the quality of statistics depends on the accuracy of primary data, as primary data ultimately condition all subsequent analyses and policies. My research clearly showed some weaknesses in the official statistics. Based on a literature review of the periodic statistics published by the INSAE, the public structure in charge of national statistics in Benin, and on interviews with some data collection agents used for surveys carried out from 2011 to 2018, I found two main
Is this really an output? Addressing terminology differences between evaluators and project managersDiscussion
The issues facing global agricultureDiscussion
Gender and evaluation of food securityDiscussion
Emile Nounagnon HOUNGBOAgricultural Economist, Associate Professor, Director of the School of Agribusiness and Agricultural Policy National University of Agriculture
I am very interested in the subject under discussion: "lessons learned". I would like to clarify that the notion of lessons learned has a much more scientific and didactic connotation. It is not about findings or recommendations. They are strong inferences that emerge as lessons that can be retained and applied in other contexts. The lessons are drawn for application beyond the current study context. Indeed, monitoring and evaluation is carried out in a given context. However, the in-depth analysis of the results obtained and the facts observed makes it possible to draw lessons that go beyond this context; lessons that are like formulas applicable in other circumstances. The lessons learned are therefore meant to shape our knowledge, know-how and behaviour in other professional situations. They are lessons that can be used in a decontextualized way, i.e. without necessarily referring to the circumstances in which they were generated. Recommendations should be formulated taking into account these lessons learned. The same applies to the method of conducting future similar studies. The strongest and most stable lessons learned are those that are methodologically rigorous and exist as accepted formulae. Examples are the Pythagorean theorem (a² + b² = c²), the law of diminishing returns (Turgot), demand is a decreasing function of price (Neoclassics), etc. The lessons learned are in line with the logic of knowledge accumulation as a continuous and cumulative process in social sciences. The lessons learned are thus miniature contributions to the improvement of scientific and technical knowledge in project monitoring and evaluation.
Dr Ir. Emile N. HOUNGBO, Senior Lecturer, Agroeconomist, Director of the School of Agribusiness and Agricultural Policy, National University of Agriculture of Porto-Novo.
[translated from French]