About thirty socio-economists from the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) of fifteen countries are meeting in the Senegalese resort of Saly to upgrade their skills in impact evaluation.
Initiated by CORAF, the training workshop lasting five days will allow participants to better understand the criticality of impact evaluation and familiarize themselves with modern tools to conduct better impact evaluations of development projects, including those implemented by CORAF.
When you want to bring a community from point A to point B within the framework of a project, it is important to collect baseline data at the beginning of the project. This data allows you to ultimately evaluate whether the project’s objectives have been achieved and what the real impact on the community has been”says Dr. Hippolyte Affognon, the Manager of the Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education, and Development in West Africa (PAIRED).
Impact evaluators and participants at the workshop agree that it is challenging to determine if a project is succeeding or failing without baseline data.
“CORAF, as part of its core mission, implements a myriad of projects for the benefit of millions of beneficiaries across West and Central Africa. However, speaking of impact, the real change triggered by these projects on the populations is not always measured at its true value,” argues Dr. Affognon.
“Therefore, mastering the pathway to impact, and especially the best impact assessment techniques and methodologies is crucial to furthering what we know about impact assessment of CORAF projects.”
This workshop responds to this need and intends to establish the culture of impact assessment in the West and Central African region, better to appreciate the impact of its activities on the field.
Community of Practice on Impact Evaluation
The workshop that starts today in Saly is the first activity of the community of practice in impact assessment, established by CORAF.
Composed of socio-economists from NARIs from West and Central Africa, this community is a network of practitioners in the field, aiming to be a melting pot of exchange and sharing of best practices for its members.
“The idea behind the community of practice is to have a critical mass of skillful persons in impact assessment, that could be called upon by CORAF or the NARIs, to carry out studies of impact if necessary,” emphasized Dr. Affognon.
This workshop is expected to strengthen the network further and improve the skills of the members.