Cities and Infrastructure for Growth (CIG) was a £165m demand-led, adaptive technical assistance (TA) programme that aimed to create jobs and reduce poverty by supporting inclusive economic growth in Uganda, Zambia and Myanmar.
It set out to do this through TA projects that would improve opportunities to mobilise public sector funding and private sector investment in the countries’ urban development, energy and infrastructure sectors.
Through an outcome of improving public sector planning and management of inclusive and climate resilient urban development, infrastructure and energy sectors, CIG intended to provide the three countries with strengthened inclusive economic growth that would create jobs and reduce poverty.
Starting in 2018, we carried out the results management and learning (RML) role for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) covering the CIG programmes implemented in Myanmar, Uganda and Zambia.
Part of our task was to provide assurance to FCDO on the results delivered across the whole CIG programme by setting up a robust monitoring, evaluation & learning (MEL) framework at the programme level. We also had to support implementing partners with their MEL strategies at the country level and through systematic verification of reported results.
The other element of our work was to plan and oversee a coordinated and cohesive approach to learning across the programme in the three countries and/or regions and for wider policy-makers working in energy, urban development and infrastructure sectors.
Our MEL framework consisted of three primary elements:
1. Results framework with theory of change and logframe
This provided FCDO and Implementing Partners (IPs) with a high-level, coherent strategic framework to guide the direction of the CIG portfolio as a whole while accommodating diverse, context-specific programming. A comprehensive Results Measurement Handbook provided clear methodological guidance on the measurement and reporting requirements for 12 common Logframe indicators (and relevant ICF KPIs) that IPs were required to report against.
2. Results and risk reporting framework
This included a Monitoring Plan for: six-monthly Results Verifications of the credibility and plausibility of the reported results against Logframe indicator milestones based on the available evidence in a sample of projects. This provided FCDO with the assurance that CIG country programmes and the CIG portfolio as a whole was on track to deliver its results and targets. It also included annual Data Quality Assessments to assure FCDO that the quality of the data (and data systems) and evidence are sufficient to support credible reporting by IPs, to support effective decision-making by IPs and the FCDO and to help IPs learn and improve their data quality over time. The Extranet we developed and managed provided FCDO with an integrated pipeline view across all CIG projects and country programmes and visualised the reported results and risks including analytical graphs – and was used on a daily basis our FCDO partners to keep track of progress. This was all underpinned with technical MEL support to implementing partners, six-monthly country MEL Framework reviews and an annual overall CIG MEL Framework review.
3. CIG portfolio learning strategy
Our strategy facilitated learning between the three CIG country programmes and with wider stakeholders. This included setting up the very successful MEL Thematic Learning Group; facilitating webinars sharing learning; portfolio infographics; producing the CIGNet Newsletter; and producing innovative learnings template to capture Strategic Added Value and for capturing IPs’ Impact Statements.
“[There are] a number of areas where RML support has built a strong foundation for MEL that Implementing Partners have been able to build upon and will continue to do so in the future. Tetra Tech’s support has provided robust monitoring over the CIG portfolio and gave us assurance that we had a strong MEL framework in place.”
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
Uganda, Zambia, Myanmar & regional
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK