Please provide some background on UN Women Burundi, as well as your role in the organization.
UN Women began its work in January 2011, which is around the time all country offices opened their doors – including in Burundi. I am in charge of planning, monitoring, and evaluation; my main role is to define the organizations objectives and expected outputs, as well as the list of activities, indicators, and budget necessary to achieve those.
What documents and formats did you previously use for monitoring and evaluation?
Annual work plans, up until we started working with di Monitoring, have been developed and shared on Word documents. Since each member of our team is responsible for one of four main development objectives, it was hard to standardize the format and share information. A web tool is necessary.
How did you first come across DevInfo and di Monitoring?
I was introduced to DevInfo last year in Kigali during a UN Women mission on di Monitoring organized by the DevInfo Support Group. The trainer emphasized how easy and efficient creating a di Monitoring framework was in terms of standardizing format, entering data, and creating reports. The mission coincided with UN Women Burundis difficulties with its current tracking system, as well as the end of the year – which convinced us to adopt the system.
Your vision for implementation of di Monitoring extends well beyond the UN Women Burundi office. Would you mind sharing your plans?
I would like di Monitoring to be a platform for all relevant focal points to access so they can enter gender statistics. Many different ministries were present during the training – each of them are responsible for a set of specific indicators (for instance, the Ministry of Education tracks net enrollment rates for girls), and di Monitoring enables them to enter that information without making us track it down. One of my favorite aspects of di Monitoring is that it forces all parties involved to see whether they are on track or not in regards to their objectives. It leads to better decision-making.
What other added values do you believe di Monitoring brings to the table?
First off, di Monitoring is a visual tool that will allow us and Ministries to quickly visualize progress and create reports. More importantly, it allows us to know whether UN Women Burundi is contributing to the Millennium Development Goals indicators – have we reached regional and global objectives? It is an unprecedented opportunity to legitimize our work and emphasize the importance of reliable data in development plans.
What is your overall feedback on the training? Do you believe that participants managed to understand di Monitoring?
Absolutely. While UN Women Burundi is the organization implementing the tool, all of our national partners are responsible for indicators and have annual work plans that could benefit from di Monitoring. Every participant was able to create his/her own framework – everyone left convinced by how easy the tool was to navigate, and all were enthusiastic about a future implementation.
Speaking of implementation, what are some of the next steps planned?
The next step will be to customize and refine our indicators, as well as to implement di Monitoring to be able to use it at the beginning of next year. We are also looking forward to an advanced training to be able to answer any questions that key national or regional partners may have about the tool.
Data making a difference.
For more information, please contact Arthemon Gihimbare, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, UN Women Burundi, at firstname.lastname@example.org