The Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System for Southern Africa (Re-SAKSS-SA), facilitated by the Southern Africa Office of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI-SA), in collaboration with the Zambia Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Policy and Planning Department (MAL DDP) hosted a one and half day’s workshop in Lusaka, Zambia, on December 17 – 18, 2013. The workshop was aimed at (i) launching the M&E Data collection tool which was developed by ReSAKSS-SA team in consultation with relevant stakeholders in Zambia, (ii) present Capacity Needs Assessment for SAKSS report developed by RuralNet and (iii) present a draft of the Annual Trends and Outlook Report of Ag-sector performance in Zambia from 2000 – 2012, which was presented by Mr Auckland Kuteya of Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute.
Other specific objectives for the workshop were to:
- Provide the Ministry of Agriculture M&E team and all the provincial planners with the opportunity to review the final M&E questionnaire for country wide data collection leading to the preparation of the 2014 M&E Annual Trends and Outlook report for Zambia Agriculture sector
- Train the provincial Planners with regard to the administering of the tool
- Provide the Ministry of Agriculture and M&E team and Provincial Planners with the opportunity to review and validate the Capacity Needs Assessment report for SAKSS readiness in Zambia
Launching/Presenting the M&E data collection tool, Mr Sibusiso Nhlengethwa, Research Officer –Statistics – IWMI (ReSAKSS-SA) said this tool is imperative as it will provide scientific evidence for investment plans, policy analysis, and Knowledge management within the agriculture sector in Zambia. He said it is not adequate to make such critical decisions based on assumptions; we need scientific evidence.
The M&E data collection tool will be used at national, provincial and district levels. The workshop was participatory and interactive in nature to allow stakeholders to engage and interrogate every topic that was presented. As the M&E data collection tool was presented, stakeholders made inputs and recommendations which ReSAKSS-SA team was tasked to incorporate into the document and send to relevant stakeholders in Zambia during the first week of January 2014.
All stakeholders who attended the workshop took a break and posed for a group photo
As part of the way forward and ensuring that the data collection process is well-coordinated, Stakeholders from national and provincial level were assigned roles and timelines for the production of the 2014 Trends and Outlook Report for the Zambia Agricultural Sector. Mr Chikwenya appealed to all stakeholders who were allocated responsibilities to take this exercise very seriously as the data collected will inform policy, decision making for resource allocation and budget preparation.
Ms Doris Musonda- RuralNet Consultant presented a Capacity Needs Assessment (CNA) report which emerged as the result of the Capacity needs assessment exercise that was conducted in Zambia to establish the country’s readiness to establish SAKSS node, the excise identified areas of capacity building/strengthening in Zambia. Musonda’s presentation allowed stakeholders to dissect and provide constructive feedback to the report.
Responding to the CNA report, Ms Bethel Nakaponda - National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) and Mr Nicholas Chikwenya, Deputy Director, M&E, Policy and Planning said they were grateful for the report in that it is an attempt to summarize the otherwise complex issues of capacity in the agricultural sector. The report will now be improved to account for other details and issues that emerged at the validation workshop, whose details are available in that meeting’s minutes, but in general stress the need for a detailed focus at the level of the MAL in terms of capacities at the levels of Strategic analysis, Knowledge management and Capacity building.
From left to right: Mr Derreck Sikombe – Chief Economist (PPD) MAL, Mr Nicholas Chikwenya – Deputy Director, M&E, (PPD), MAL and Mr Sibusiso Nhlengethwa – Research Officer, Statistics, IWMI (ReSAKSS-SA)
Closing the workshop, Mr Chikwenya said during the workshop very concrete next steps with key responsibilities for the national and provincial level stakeholders were agreed upon. “I appealed to those assigned with responsibilities to take this as very serious exercise as the data collected will inform policy, decision making for resource allocation and budget preparation. We should all take note of deadlines and apply ourselves diligently,” he emphasized.
This article is prepared by Thokozani Dlamini, Communications Officer, International Water Management Institute SA Office (IWMISA).