Oscar Damen is an M&E Specialist and trainer/facilitator with over 25 years of experience in design of rural development projects, as well as implementation support, staff training, project supervision, monitoring and evaluation. He has worked in over 15 countries in Africa, with IFAD projects featuring prominently in his work since 1992. He conducted a studyAssessment of Planning and Monitoring Capacity/Performance in IFAD-assisted Projects, IFAD, Report No. 1495, December 2003 on planning and monitoring in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, wrote divisional guidelinesGuidelines for Preparation of Annual Work Plans & Budgets and Progress Reports, IFAD East and Southern Africa Division, April 2005 for the preparation of annual work plans and progress reports, and carried out an analysisImproving Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in IFAD-financed projects, June 2020 of the reasons for poor performance on M&E in IFAD-financed projects and ways to improve project-level performance on M&E.
Setting up an M&E system is one of many challenges at project start-up. IFAD projects have specific characteristics and requirementsAccording to IFAD's General Conditions (Section 8.02.) every project must establish "an appropriate information management system", collect data needed to "monitor the progress of the implementation of the Project and the achievement of its objectives", and adequately store such data during the project implementation period and for at least ten years thereafter., including reporting on Core Indicators, which the M&E system should take into account. Developing PlaMES was an attempt to address this need: to have a ready-made system specifically for IFAD projects, that can be adapted to different projects and set up relatively quickly.
PlaMES was phased out in 2021 and is no longer available for new projects. Reasons include the increased preference for web-enabled rather than desktop applications; and the growing demand for connectivity options with other systems (financial management system, GIS, electronic data collection) which PlaMES does not offer. Support for ongoing projects that use the system continues to be available.
The projects listed below have been provided with M&E support and systems, ranging from simple Excel-based systems to more elaborate systems built around an M&E database (desktop application).
- Rural Enterprise Finance Project (REFP), Mozambique (2020)
- Ghana Agricultural Sector Investment Programme (GASIP), Ghana (2020)
- Livestock Marketing and Resilience Programme (LMRP), Sudan (2018)
- Wool and Mohair Promotion Project (WAMPP), Lesotho (2018)
- Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Programme (E-SLIP), Zambia (2018)
- Smallholder Productivity Promotion Programme (S3P), Zambia (2017)
- The Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme (CASP), Nigeria (2017)
- Rural Finance Expansion Programme (RUFEP), Zambia (2017)
- Project for the Restoration of Livelihoods in the Northern Region (PRELNOR), Uganda (2017)
- Marketing Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance Support Programme (MIVARF),
- Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), Nigeria (2016)
- Projecto de Desenvolvimento da Cadeia de Valor nos Corredores de Maputo e Limpopo (PROSUL), Mozambique (2013-14)
- Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Programme (SAPP), Zambia (2012)
- Artisanal Fisheries Support Project (ProPesca), Mozambique (2011-12)
- Rural Livelihoods and Economic Enhancement Programme (RLEEP), Malawi (2010)
- Rural Markets Promotion Programme (PROMER), Mozambique (2009-10)
- Rural Finance Programme (RFP), Zambia (2009)
- Empowerment Programme, Mauritius (2008)
- Central Kenya Dry Areas Project (CKDAP), Kenya (2004-2006)
- South Nyanza Community Development Project (SNCDP), Kenya (2004-2006)
- Mount Kenya East Pilot Project (MKEPP), Kenya (2004-2006)
- Projecto de Pesca Artesanal no Banco de Sofala (PPABAS), Mozambique (2002-03)
- Smallholder Flood Plains Development Programme (SFPDP), Malawi (2000)