Between July and August 2020, LuxDev Regional Office in Vientiane Laos, jointly with the Support Programme for Legal Teaching and Training and to the Promotion of the Rule of Law Concept in Laos, LAO/031 and the Strengthening the Effectiveness of Official Development Assistance (ODA) Management in LAO PDR programme, LAO /033, conducted a set of Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) workshops for the Department of International Cooperation (DIC), Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ). These governmental agencies are the key national partners for the above-mentioned projects.
Group work on the results chain quiz of project LAO/033, © LuxDev
The workshop focused on:
- basic understanding of Monitoring and Evaluation (concepts and the relationship);
- Monitoring and Evaluation within LuxDev (including guides and result-based reporting).
The workshop was chaired by the Vice Minister of Justice and attended by Director Generals, Deputy Director Generals, representatives from line departments, divisions, cabinet office, District Justice Office and Provincial Justice Department in Bolikhamxay and Khammouan provinces.
Participant’s reflection after the workshop, © LuxDev
During and after the workshop we spoke with Mr. Sysomphorn Phetdaoheuang, Deputy Director General of DIC/MPI and Ms. Saikit Visisomebath, Deputy Director General of DIC/MoJ:
Question: Why does this M&E workshop matter for your departments?
"We are really keen to understand and learn the basic and principles of M&E for results. We, as a key coordinating agency on behalf of the government in mobilizing Official Development Assistance (ODA), should know what are we focusing on and what we aim to deliver. What exactly are we trying to achieve? The most important thing is how we will tell whether our support is working.
Lack of monitoring tools and reliable data are ongoing challenges in our legal sector and so is ODA, when it comes to annual reviews and reporting to the government and the National Assembly.
As you might know, our country has signed up for many international treaties and development agendas, including the 2030 Agenda and more importantly, the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC). As a part of our international commitment, having proper monitoring tools help us to systematically track progress and demonstrate the impact of our activities.
This M&E workshop allows us to gain some basic understanding and answers to the above-mentioned questions. Furthermore, while in the past we have read many project design documents, terms of reference of project evaluations, we did not fully know what to look for in those documents and how to provide good advice to our senior managers and constructive feedback to our development partners.
Question: Could you tell us three things that you’ve learned from this workshop?
The three key take away from this M&E workshop are:
- understanding what is the result chain or intervention logic;
- understanding what is M&E and its relationship; and
- understanding the concept of indicators in terms of what we should consider as a good project indicator.
Question: Could you tell us one specific tool or strategy that you will use right away after the workshop when you come back to your office?
The specific tool that I will use right after this workshop is the result chain concept which I think is particularly important for the project planning. If we understand it well and get the logic right, it would be easy for us to monitor the progress and meaningfully assess to what extent we are moving towards our project objectives.
The workshop facilitator elaborates the results chain concept, © LuxDev
Ms. Saikit Visisomebath, Deputy Director General, Department of International Cooperation, MoJ explains the different stages of the project LAO/031 results chain, © LuxDev
Participants from Department of International Cooperation, Department of Inspection-MPI, Department of International Organisation - Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Lao Securities Commission Office, © LuxDev
M&E is increasingly perceived as important for key line ministries who are responsible for Official Development Assistance projects in Laos, as the country has signed up for many international treaties and development agendas, including Global Partnership for Effectiveness Development Co-operation and the Sustainable Development Goals. Lao PDR was among the earliest countries to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and integrate them into its Eighth National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) in 2016, with around 60 % of the 160 NSEDP indicators linked to the SDGs.↑ To the top