The Community of Practice in Managing for Development Results (CoP MfDR) Community of Practice in Managing for Development Results (CoP MfDR) held its 2008 annual meeting from November 11-14 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, bringing together participants from 15 Asian countries, as well as from donor agencies and the private sector. The workshop was organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Plan Implementation. The CoP MfDR is a virtual learning network that promotes learning and knowledge exchange among international development policymakers and practitioners on how to manage better for development results. MfDR has in recent times become a hot topic in international development, for it is part of a broader global movement that aims to enhance the effectiveness of the development aid delivered to recipient countries. Managing for development results (MfDR) is a strategy that uses performance information on development projects (such as outputs, outcomes, key performance indicators) to improve decision-making, monitor progress, evaluate outcomes, and thus promote sustainable development.
Synergy’s CEO, Mr. Ashot Hovanesian was invited to attend the CoP-MfDR workshop, where he presented a paper entitled “Aid Management Systems: Tools for Measuring Development Results.” Mr. Hovanesian shared with the other participants Synergy’s cutting-edge work on Managing for Development Results through its flagship product, the Development Assistance Database (DAD). Further, Mr. Hovanesian highlighted the fact that given its unmatched scope in the field of aid information management, the DAD has accumulated extensive experience that has helped it evolve (along with the changing needs of developing countries) from a system tracking basic financial indicators into a system monitoring sophisticated output indicators, milestones, and key performance indicators (KPIs). In the last several years, Synergy has developed a state-of-the art Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) application that tracks Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) so as to monitor project level progress toward clearly defined targets and goals. In addition to KPIs, the DAD’s M&E module measures Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Paris Declaration Indicators, and even indicators associated with national development strategies such as Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). This module has been implemented, or is being implemented, in a wide array of countries, including Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Indonesia, Iraq, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka.
During the workshop, Mr. Hovanesian emphasized that Synergy is now actively working to further refine its M&E module by effectively linking these key sets of indicators with measurable and meaningful outcome indicators. As Synergy’s paper notes, “By establishing sustainable database systems that can effectively track key project, financial, output and outcome data, governments can position themselves well for moving to the next level: linking this information with national social and economic indicators so as to measure outcome.”