FAO builds a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system for Caribbean food security


 St. John’s, Antigua – Recognizing the importance of monitoring and evaluating (M&E) the impact of the water-energy-food nexus (WEF) interventions on food security and resource use in agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) signed a Letter of Agreement with the Dutch institution, Free University Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) to build an M&E framework tailored to the unique context of the Caribbean.

To ensure its practical implementation, representatives from Free University Amsterdam (VU) conducted a series of one-day trainings with beneficiary farmers, extension staff and technical officers of the Ministries of Agriculture in each of the participating countries of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

Delivered by Dr Lia van Wesenbeeck and Dr Ben Sonneveld, Director, and Deputy Director of the Amsterdam Centre for World Food Studies, respectively, the training guided participants through the framework in the context of increasing resilience to climate change.

Dr Ben Sonneveld leads the Monitoring and Evaluation training in Antigua.

Participants acquired the fundamental concepts of monitoring and evaluation, gaining an in-depth understanding of the Theory of Change, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and rubrics. This information allowed attendees to be equipped with the skills to evaluate WEF interventions and business cases. The workshops served as a valuable platform for the sharing of feedback by farmers and Ministry staff, ensuring that the M&E tool continually evolves and improves in alignment with the countries’ needs.

National Project Coordinator at FAO Auriel Horsford-Hunte stated “Having the training in both Antigua and Barbuda allowed us to share this important information with all our beneficiaries. In our own evaluation of the training, attendees indicated that the information would be valuable to them in the immediate future. We look forward to using the framework to continue to document the good work being completed under the project.”

Ministry of Agriculture Agricultural Officer Antigua Ridge Taylor indicated “The most valuable factor that I got out from this workshop is the idea of setting up the rubrics in connection with the theory of change and the KPI so that you can evaluate your results and the impacts of the project.”

Ministry of Agriculture Senior Agricultural Officer Barbuda supported this view commenting “It showed the importance of having technical personnel from the Council’s side to assist with better data collection, not just for the council, but for farmers as well. It provides an example for farmers to emulate for their farming business. The tool is also needed by the Council to create better assessments of future projects.”

The “Mexico – CARICOM – FAO Initiative Cooperation for Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change in the Caribbean” or ‘Resilient Caribbean Initiative’ aims at improving the resilience and adaptation to climate change of agriculture, food systems and vulnerable communities in Caribbean countries.  The initiative advances water resource management to increase agricultural productivity. The project will also address the challenge of the low productivity of small-scale farming by providing technological innovation to agricultural producers.

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