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Managing for results

IFAD works continuously to improve its effectiveness in order to deliver the strongest results for the millions of poor rural men and women in developing countries we aim to reach. We judge ourselves by whether our development results are inclusive and provide benefits that are sustainable and cost-effective.

We have developed effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and knowledge management systems and tools to measure, assess and document our achievements and pinpoint areas where improvement is needed. This enables IFAD to constantly improve the way in which it designs development projects, monitors progress, and measures results and impact.

IFAD’s renewed agenda for results management is embodied in the Development Effectiveness Framework (DEF), a package of actions that comprehensively shift the culture and underlying infrastructure in this area. The DEF will enhance IFAD’s and country-level capacities to manage for results, and help us and our project partners make better informed decisions based on timely and reliable data and evidence.

Designing for results

Top-quality project design is a fundamental building block for impact in the countries where IFAD works. Bringing about effective development requires backing projects that are likely to be successful in achieving development objectives (doing the right things) and designing individual projects that are geared towards meeting intended objectives (doing things right).

Doing the right things requires a country strategy (a result-based country strategic opportunities programme or a country strategy note) that carefully assesses the rural development situation and outlines the scope for interventions that match government and IFAD priorities in promoting rural development. Doing things right requires ensuring individual projects are designed and implemented to have the highest likelihood of effectively bringing about development.

To be effective, interventions need to be designed to address a development problem. Failure to do so means that investments are not targeting a fundamental reason for underdevelopment.

Adequately addressing a development problem requires analyzing the underlying causes of that problem, and proposing a solution that provides evidence and a clear logic – a theory of change – of what has been shown to be successful in overcoming the identified constraints.

Monitoring progress

IFAD constantly monitors the progress of its investment projects against established objectives and indicators. Development effectiveness requires that data collection systems are sufficiently planned at design and implemented along with the project to ensure that information on the success and limitations of projects is adequately collected. A set of Core Indicators (CIs) have been adopted to help us more accurately assess project results.

Status and supervision reports provide data for measuring and monitoring project performance during implementation, with results at output and outcome level being measured and reported through IFAD's Results and Impact Management System (RIMS). Project completion reports self-assess performance and results at the end of a project. These are complemented by project evaluations that the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) at IFAD conducts on a sample basis. IFAD's Operational Results Management System (ORMS) supports reporting on projects' outputs and outcomes. The ORMS is a key part of the effort to streamline project cycle processes and enhance data analytics.

Upgrading country M&E capacities and systems is critical to our agenda for improved results management. The Ag-Scan is one initiative that will enable our partners to assess in-country M&E systems and capacities, and develop action plans to address identified gaps. To help governments strengthen their M&E capabilities, IFAD has partnered with the Centers for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR) to develop M&E training in rural development that will be delivered to project staff.

Identifying impact

IFAD is committed to ensuring objective and credible independent assessment and reporting of results, with the documentation of lessons and good practices.

Completed in 2016, the IFAD9 Impact Assessment Initiative (IAI) marked the first time that a development institution attempted to assess scientifically the impact not just of individual projects, but of the institution as a whole. IFAD is continuing with its IAI initiative during 2017 and beyond.

The IAI employs rigorous (experimental and non-experimental) approaches to directly assess impact, allowing for attribution of impact to IFAD investment. IFAD uses a critical mass of project-level impact assessments to determine IFADs overall corporate impact. Such an approach is unprecedented among IFIs, whose results measurement frameworks tend to monitor contribution rather than attribute impact at the corporate level. A systematic approach across the portfolio with aggregation to a corporate measure had never been undertaken. This pioneering initiative will allow us to effectively communicate our contribution to the SDGs.

Linking operations to corporate results reporting

The Report on IFAD’s Development Effectiveness (RIDE) is the Fund’s main corporate document reporting on institutional and development effectiveness. While it reports on progress against the indicators and targets in the Fund’s Results Management Framework (RMF), including impact indicators through the Impact Assessment Initiative (IAI), the main objective of the RIDE is to strengthen accountability and learning as well as identifying systemic issues that need attention for improving organizational performance and results.

The Annual Report on Results and Impact of IFAD Operations (ARRI) is issued by IFAD’s Office of Evaluation and examines IFAD's overall programme performance each year. It is IFAD's principal external accountability tools and allow us to monitor the effectiveness of our work.

Browse the Program for Rural M&E (PRiME) website

Related publications

2017 RIDE infographic

octubre 2017
This infographic illustrates the highlights of the 2017 Report on IFAD's Development Effectiveness (RIDE).

IFAD Results Series Issue 1

marzo 2017

This issue presents and analyses experiences from the following IFAD-funded projects and programmes:

Brazil: Sustainable Development Project for Agrarian Reform; Settlements in the Semi-arid North-east (Dom Hélder Câmara Project);

China: South Gansu Poverty Reduction Programme;

Ghana: Rural Enterprises Programme; Morocco: Rural Development Project in the Mountain Zones of Al-Haouz Province; 

Uganda: Vegetable Oil Development Project.


IFAD Results Series Issue 2

agosto 2017

This issue presents and analyses experiences from the following IFAD-funded projects and programmes:
Ethiopia: Pastoral Community Development Project; Nepal: Leasehold Forestry and Livestock Programme; Palestine: Participatory Natural Resource Management Programme; Peru: Project for Strengthening Assets, Markets and Rural Development in the Northern Highlands (Sierra Norte); Sierra Leone: Rehabilitation and Community-based Poverty Reduction Project


Related videos

PRiME: a global M&E training and certification framework in rural development
IFAD's Development Effectiveness Framework