ETHEL [user:field_middlename] SIBANDA


Principal Consultant- Agriculture and Food Security
United Kingdom

More about me

Ethel Sibanda is a Principal Consultant at Itad. She has over 15 years’ experience working in M&E in the fields of agriculture, vulnerability monitoring and food & nutrition security.
She has worked with clients such as IFAD, DFID, USAID, BMZ, Rockefeller and BMGF and spent over eight years working with FAO in close collaboration with UNICEF and WFP. Her experience ranges from research and strategy evaluations to national-level food security and vulnerability assessments, crop surveys, household quasi- experimental surveys to multi-country MEL in agriculture. Her MEL expertise includes Theory of Change development, process and impact evaluations, policy and advocacy evaluation, and capacity building in results-based management.

    • Thanks a lot Tim. Very interesting exchanges. I do think there is a lot that can be done with existing data sets and secondary data, but much depends on their quality as well. A few thoughts come to mind

      1. I realize from experience that quite often evaluators collect a lot more data than is required, so the current Covid- 19 situation forces us to streamline approaches and collect only very necessary data. We need to be more aligned to utility. For instance, ask ourselves, what information is required by decision makers therefore what is the minimum data required to address that at the time it is required? What data can be collected remotely and what can be supplemented through existing data?
      2. Where good quality data exists, particularly with unique identifiers, efforts can be made to match data with light touch remote primary data collection, possibly using mobile technology, given travel restriction posed by Covid-19.
      3. I do think more that ever before, enhanced quality measures at all levels are increasingly important. While we lose all the benefits that come with  face to face interaction in data collection, there is still much that can be done to enhance quality of outcomes- For instance, more needs to be done to engage people with the right technical expertise to mine existing data and understand trends; use existing data for modelling what the future situation might look like in view of Covid-19; and use qualitative approaches such as direct observation of crop quality and food availability in markets, where applicable to mention a few examples.