Hadera Gebru Hagos

Hadera Gebru Hagos

Senior Consultant, Natural Resource Management and Livestock Specialist
Freelance Consultant

I have rich and progressive technical knowledge and expertise in: market oriented and climate smart  agriculture/livestock and natural resources management. I have dependable expertise in natural resource management and I have experience in livestock related drought risk management (increasing resilience, emergency preparedness and response). I have also knowledge on climate change impacts and events, and relevant climate change adaptation and mitigation measures as well as their coordinated implementation.

I have expertise in initiating, planning developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating national/regional livestock development programs and projects designed within the context of food security, poverty reduction and enhancing economic growth, without compromising natural resources.

I have expertise in agriculture/livestock/natural resource relevant: policy formulation and preparation of proclamation; designing of strategies; development of programs and projects; implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects. Over the years, I have successfully initiated/coordinated/led/ technically assisted in the: formulation/preparation of development policies/proclamation; designing of strategies; preparation of programs and projects; and in the implementation, supervision, monitoring and evaluation of government, EU, AfDB and FAO financed national/regional projects.

Over my professional working years, I have demonstrated technical/ leadership/managerial excellence in various livestock and natural resource management/ development works in Ethiopia, and in other Eastern Africa countries, working under different levels and capacities: from grass-root level working as junior Animal Feed Resources Development and Nutrition expert to the level of Director of Livestock in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Ethiopia, Team Leader, Natural Resources Management in the Africa Union-Inter-Africa Bureau for Animal Resources (AU/IBAR), Nairobi, Kenya, and as a senior animal production and natural resource management consultant working for regional and international organizations including FAO and  AfDB.







My contributions

    • Thank you Ibtissem for raising this interesting discussion topic.

      As external evaluator, my contribution is the following: I agree with you that “the quality of an evaluation isn’t solely shaped by the technical expertise of the independent evaluation team; and an effective evaluation management is also critical to its success”.  With the objective to ensure the validity and reliability (to mention few) of evaluation results, Independent Evaluation Offices within development agencies quite often establish evaluation frameworks that provide a structured approach to manage evaluations and assure consistency across different projects. 

      To conduct effective evaluations IEOs commission external evaluators with cleat Terms of Reference (TOR) and also assign an evaluation manager from their office with a clear mandate. Now the core issue is: how should the independent evaluation team and the evaluation manager effectively shoulder their respective roles and responsibilities during the evaluation period? This is to guarantee the evaluation results are of high standard, credible, and dependable for the way forward and decision making. 

      1.Involvementof evaluation manages: The involvement of evaluation managers across the evaluation phases, should be strategically calibrated as per their mandate/ roles and responsibilities provided by the IEOs/their office/. As such, the independence of evaluations can be preserved.  What is required from them is to effectively employ appropriate approaches to manage the evaluation process, which are indispensable for quality/high standard/credible evaluation results. In fact, it is very important that the roles and the responsibilities of the evaluation managers need to be clearly communicated with the external evaluation team from the outset, to avoid confusion (although, this communication is quite often overlooked.  In conclusion, I strongly believe that if the evaluation team and evaluation managers perform a good job as per their mandate, the evaluation results are usually of high quality. 

      2. Role of evaluation managers: As noted in the above section, I believe that the role of an evaluation manager should not encompass active participation as a team member, to any degree regardless of their relevant technical expertise. Actually, to my understanding the role and responsibility of evaluation manager is not just supervising. There are diverse approaches developed by the IEOs that the evaluation manager should effectively employ, without which the findings of the external evaluation team cannot be of high standard (reference can be made to the diverse approaches developed by IEOs to manage evaluation).  I do not see significant advantage from encompassing active participation as a team member in the role of evaluation managers. The disadvantages include: (i) there could be conflict of interest/biases, as they come from the same organization; (ii) independent evaluation may not be preserved; and (iii) their active participation can lead to lack of focus on their very mandate, which can affect the quality of the evaluation results. 

      3. Collaboration with evaluation managers: As an external evaluator my insight and experience in this regard is that there is often collaboration with evaluation managers and functions. The diverse approaches employed by the evaluation managers have been very instrumental to perform quality evaluation work. For sure, their participation has usually enhanced the relevance and utility of evidence for decision-making processes (the diverse approaches developed by IEOs to manage evaluations can be referred, which are documented in the IEOs. I strongly believed that collaboration with evaluation managers provided the managers effectively shoulder their roles and responsibilities is a must, and not a choice, for quality/credible evaluation results.

      With best regards,

      Hadera Gebru
      Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    • My contribution to the ongoing discussion:

      Thank you Yosi for raising this important and contemporary discussion topic.

      In my experience in development project evaluation and project preparation works (projects related to agriculture/animal farming and natural resource management), indicators are inbuilt in the development projects. The indicators can be direct indicators or proxy indicators.  During development project evaluation, evaluators are provided with “TOR” to evaluate the success of the project.  In doing the evaluation works, indicators inbuilt in the project document and their respective means of verification are core base for the evaluation work. The type/nature of the development project (say is the project climate smart/environment friendly) determines the level of contribution of the project to climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

      Thus at the stage of development project evaluation, I believe evaluators mainly depend on the indicators inbuilt in the project. So the question would be: was due attention given to  prepare and implement  climate smart projects,  in the face of the alarming  climate change?; and what indicators are used/can be used to measure  the  level of the projects’ contribution to climate change  mitigation and adaptation?   

      Since the last 10-15 years or so, development partners including financial institutions at all levels (national, regional and at international levels) are better aware and have better understanding of the alarming climate change. They understand climate change is real, although, it is true that the level of awareness/understanding varies. 

      To this end, I believe substantial efforts have been made by relevant development parties including FAO, among others, to identify, make available and promote/scale up climate smart agricultural/animal farming/fishing practices to mitigate and adapt climate change. These days it is becoming mandatory in most cases (when situation allows) to design and implement climate smart development projects. That is projects, which contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.  Having said so:  how can then the climate change mitigation and adaptation contribution levels of climate smart development projects be measured?   What type of indicators can be/have been used? Direct indicators or proxy indicators?

      My experience: I will mention one of the development project evaluation works I was involved in, in the evaluation of the “National Livestock Development Project implanted in Ethiopia, which was thoughtfully designed to be climate smart/environment friendly”.  Among others, this project has employed different climate smart practices with the aim to overcome/decrease animal feed shortage. The understanding during the preparation of the project was to reduce the emission of the major Greenhouse Gases (Carbon dioxide, Nitrous oxide and Methane), by employing climate smart practices, while also meeting the objective of the project. Under the animal feed improvement component of the project, the activates carried-out include:

      • Back yard forage development (perennial grass and legumes);

      Indicator(s): number of farmers growing forage in their back yard; rate (%) of adoption; yield of forage  produced;

      • Establishment  of pasture including perennial grasses and legumes: and planting fodder trees;

      Indicator(s): Size of the established pasture; yield of forage produced; and number of communities, which established pasture; rate (%) of adoption; 

      • Pasture rehabilitation by over sowing with legume plants;

      Indicator(s): area /size of pasture rehabilitated; yield of pasture produced; 

      • Under sowing crop lands with legume plants for forage use;

      Indicator (s): area/size of crop land under sowed; number of farmers that under sow their cropland; yield of forage produced from the land; rate (%) of adoption;

      • Alley cropping that is planting fodder trees within crop lands.

      Indicator(s): No of fodder trees planted; number of farmers who planted fodder trees in their crop land; rate (%) of adoption; and yield of forage produced.

      The above indicators are proxy indicators (indirect indicators), which are assumed to be related to direct impacts, in this case to the climate change mitigation and adaptation contribution levels of the animal feed improvement practices. All the animal feed improvement practices employed by the project are believed to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaption. To mentions some, they:

      • reduce emission of carbon dioxide from soils because of soil plant cover;
      • remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the process of plant photosynthesis;
      • enrich soil organic matter and are reservoir of carbon in the soil; 
      • Improve the year-round availability/ production of animal feed/forage and as such minimizes overgrazing (which fuels carbon emission). 
      • Improve soil fertility of crop lands, and hence improve crop production due to the inclusion of legume plants to the crop land. This in turn contributes to enhance food security and reduces natural resource degradation caused due to scarcity of food.





  • How are we progressing in SDG evaluation?

    • Greetings!

      Here is my contribution to the on-going discussion topic: how are we progressing in SDG evaluation?

      I appreciate and thank all who have contributed/share their experience/ to this important discussion topic. I also extend my thanks to the UN and relevant parties who have put efforts and minds together way back in 2015 to establish the SDGs (17 ambitious and inter-linked goals) for the betterment of the world people and the planet. 

      From my experience development evaluation works are often encountered with constraints such as lack/inadequate data, limited budget, time constraint and lack of appropriate evaluation techniques and etc. These constraints can also be compounded/ aggravated with natural and man-made crises (e.g. Covid- 19; War). Likewise, SDG evaluation works if/when conducted can face similar constraints.

      Let me reflect the situation in Ethiopia regarding the progress in SDG evaluation. In 2015 Ethiopia proactively mainstreamed, aligned the SDGs with the Second National Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II), which was very encouraging. In fact Ethiopia then  had good track record in some development initiatives, similar to some of the   GDGs.

      However, the encouraging momentum of development, monitoring and evaluation initiatives/works related to the achievement of the SDGs have either almost shattered/stagnated/reversed due to the natural crises/e.g Covid-19) and devastating on- going  civil war in most parts of Ethiopia. To my understanding, it has and is hard to conduct/even think about evaluating achievements of the of SDGs since the last six years. Thus, I guess the progress of evaluating SDGs in Ethiopia given the on-going devastating civil war compounded with the prior Covid-19 effect is poor. Due to the on-going civil war, let alone to achieve the SDGs, the situation is in a reversal mode. To mention few: millions of Ethiopians are internally displaced and are under poverty/ hunger; millions of students cannot attend school; millions have poor access to clean water and sanitation; there is high human right violation/particularly of women in many parts of the country.  Thus, even with the absence of evaluation work of the achievement of SDG in Ethiopia by evaluation experts, ordinary people can understand the achievement of SDG goals is generally not good, which requires attention of all relevant parties, at national, regional and international levels.

      With regards,

      Hadera Gebru
      Senior Development and Evaluation Consultant
      Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

    • I would like to thank and appreciate all the contributors to the ongoing discussion, which I find it very interesting, awareness raising and inducing rethinking of evaluation methodologies. The discussion has surfaced experiences of different intellectuals with basic research and applied research background and of development professionals.  The various experiences, I believe have deepened and widen the understanding with regard to “how mixed methods are used in programme evaluations”.

      I am development professional in the area of agriculture (livestock and fisheries and natural resource management). From my experience the “how mixed methods are used in development/program evaluations” often depends  on the type of data/information to be evaluated. Thus, depending the nature of the development program/project to be evaluated, the required data could be for example, quantitative and qualitative data.  As we are all aware quantitative data are information that can be quantified, counted or measured, and given a numerical value. While qualitative data is descriptive in nature, expressed in terms of language rather than numerical values.

      I would also like to relate this to “Logical Frame work Approach of project planning”(project which will be later evaluated during implementation). To my understanding most development programs have “Logframe” which clearly shows: program/project goals; outcomes; outputs; activities along with narrative summaries; objectively verifiable indicators; means of verification and assumptions.  Thus during evaluation, the program/project will be evaluated based to what is put in the logeframe , which would require mixed evaluation methods depending the nature of the program/project. For example, among others use of qualitative and qualitative method can help to conduct successful evaluation. Using both qualitative and qualitative methods will strengthen the evaluation.  Apart from quantitative method, qualitative methods, to mention few such as focused group discussions; in-depth interviews; case studies etc. can be used.



  • Disability inclusion in evaluation

    • Thank you very much for the well consolidate key points from the discussion, which are stepping stones for future improvement measures. Thanks to all who have contributed to the discussion. God bless you all!

      With  regards,


    • My comment to the ongoing discussion

      1: Are evaluations respecting inclusivity? 
      (Do you consider the concept of inclusive evaluation always respected during design and actual evaluations of projects and programs)?

      • I do not consider the concept of inclusive evaluation always respected during design and- actual evaluations of projects and programs. Reasons include:

      (i) Inclusivity is not mostly mainstreamed within the projects/programs to be evaluated right from their inception and preparation stage;
      (ii) Evaluation ToRs rarely include/attach importance of the need for inclusivity, due to : (a) to less understanding/awareness of the diverse group of people’s disabilities; and (b) budget and time limitation, given the often short time and budget allocated to projects/programs to be evaluated, this is regardless of the size of the project/programs.

      For example, there are cases that five and more year projects, with large geographic coverage are planned to be evaluated within say 10 days or so, with a lot of rush. This happens both for mid and end term evaluations. In such cases let alone to rightly include relevant people with disabilities (which include their care takers and or responsible organizations), even adequate participatory discussions
      and decision taking with people without disabilities are compromised.

      2: What hinders full involvement of people with disabilities in projects and program evaluations?
      Please share personal experiences.

      • Lack/inadequate care takers/ representative organizations which voice for people with disability to fully involve in evaluations;
      • Lack/inadequate tools for ease of communication with evaluators;
      • Lack/inadequate awareness of people with disabilities of their right to be involved in evaluations.

      3: How could Evaluators mitigate the risks associated with absence of inclusive evaluations specifically for people living with disabilities in our communities?

      • Improve their understanding of the importance of the inclusion of people living with disabilities in evaluations;
      • Be committed to be voice for the voice less/ the people with disabilities;
      • Sustained advocacy with this regard and sustained informed move to the designing of guidelines for the inclusion of people living with disabilities in evaluations.