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New initiative will enable remote monitoring and evaluation

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Development projects in rural Africa can now be monitored and evaluated remotely in real time. Image credit: Joshua Gaunt

New initiative will enable remote monitoring and evaluation

The African Development Bank’s collaborative ICT initiative RASME, will enable remote monitoring and evaluation of development projects in real time.

The African Development Bank, in collaboration with the World Bank, has launched an initiative that will use real time data gathering tools to remotely compile digital data from projects in Central Africa via mobile phones and personal computers.

The Remote Appraisal, Supervision, Monitoring and Evaluation (RASME) project is a partnership of the African Development Bank’s IT Department (CHIS), its regional office for Central Africa on one hand and the World Bank’s Geo-Enabling initiative for Monitoring and Supervision and KoBoToolbox teams.

The project will enhance the collection of data in inaccessible or remote areas, including those with security and logistical challenges, a need that has been sharpened by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Martine Mabiala, Advisor to Gabon’s Minister of Economy, RASME will enhance the quality of data gathered and the monitoring of projects during implementation. Mabiala spoke at an event held in Gabon on 28 October 2021.

Robert Masumbuko, the African Development Bank’s Gabon Country Manager, called on all stakeholders to adopt RASME for better monitoring and evaluation of the bank’s development projects.

RASME’s suite of tools are based on the KoBoToolbox platform, an open-source ICT solution developed by researchers affiliated with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. The tools are operational both online and offline and are thus useful in locations with limited telecommunications infrastructure. KoBoToolbox can also validate and analyse data, which is stored on secured servers. Deployment of RASME is expected to be subsequently rolled out across Africa.

According to Dr. Patrick Vinck, KoboToolbox’s co-founder, RASME will have a real impact on the ground. “The GEMS and KoBoToolbox teams will provide support, training materials and user engagement tools to the RASME team,” said Vinck.

Rollout in Gabon will serve as a pilot for use in the wider region. By March 2022, RASME is expected to have rolled out in seven countries: Gabon, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic. As a result of the project’s deployment, bank staff, clients and development partners will be able to prepare projects, track their progress and evaluate impact on communities in Central Africa in an effective, open, and transparent manner.

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