7 years of EUTF – reflecting on achievements and learning in the Horn of Africa

NEWS | 16 November 2022

From November 9 – 11, a technical meeting in Nairobi brought together about 20 participants from EU Delegations and the Trust Fund Team in Brussels to take stock of the many achievements under the Trust Fund since its creation in 2015.

The meeting offered the opportunity to share and discuss good practices, challenges and lessons learnt in capturing EUTF achievements. The occasion also presented itself to reflect jointly on Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) initiatives to be undertaken until the end of the Trust Fund.

 

Fostering Learning at the heart of the EUTF

Since the launch of the EUTF, the Horn of Africa (HOA) window concluded more than 400 contracts for a budget of EUR 1805.5 million. With 150 projects currently in implementation, the EUTF remains a significant instrument in the region, achieving tangible results each year for millions of people.

From the start, a strong focus has been placed on monitoring, evaluation and learning activities as emphasized by Didier Versé, Head of Unit for Central and Eastern Africa at DG INTPA, “We have launched innovative initiatives such as the set up of the Monitoring and Learning System; the launch of a close collaboration with researchers across the whole region notably via the Research and Evidence Facility (REF); and the innovative approaches EUTF is experimenting with to measure its higher-level results, especially on the economic development projects, through approaches such as outcome harvesting and counterfactual impact evaluations”.

With the final date of implementation of the Trust Fund approaching on 31 December 2025, Didier Versé underlined that in the current phase of the EUTF’s lifecycle, the focus on results and learning is to be intensified: This is of key importance for our accountability to our beneficiaries, our partner countries and EU citizens as well as for the quality and impact of our interventions.”

 

Reflection sessions to discuss lessons learned and good practices © European Commission
Reflection sessions to discuss lessons learned and good practices © European Commission

 

Adoption of a MEL roadmap

A participatory stock-taking exercise was conducted between August and October 2022, involving operational managers who provided data and qualitative feed-back on the state of monitoring and evaluation of their portfolio.

During the meeting, 14 sessions provided the opportunity to share insights from the last MEL stocktaking exercise; to discuss the different tools and services at the disposal of the programme managers to support their MEL work; to explore different evaluation approaches with a view to having higher quality evaluation products; but also to address specific topics such as going beyond output indicators to identify the changes effected by the EUTF projects.

Delegations from the HOA region showcased particularly innovative and successful projects such as the SAGAL project in Somalia, which provides social protection to vulnerable Somalis: “SAGAL is a good example on how EUTF projects can contribute to operationalise the Triple nexus approach. On the Humanitarian side, ECHO funds with unconditional emergency short term cash transfers; on the Development side, we found 4 types of long term transfers to lactating mothers, vulnerable youth, elderly and people with disability; on the peace side by reinforcing the social contract and supporting unemployed groups SAGAL contributes to erode support to non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and to make their potential targets less vulnerable to their influence.” said Anders Djurfeldt from the EU Delegation to Somalia.

The discussions held around these 2.5 days have helped build a common vision on Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning initiatives to be undertaken until the end of the EUTF. Enrique De Loma, Trust Fund Manager of the HOA Window welcomed that “a preliminary roadmap had been defined to better capture EUTF achievements and enhance their visibility towards relevant stakeholders." "As part of the next steps, we will focus on three 3 components: 1) support better project implementation so we capture more learning over the course of the project; 2) increase our efforts on analysis and evaluation to learn more from successes and failures and, last but not least; 3) improve our communication and show better the achievements of the EUTF”, he concluded.

 

 

© European Commission
HOA Technical meeting in Nairobi © European Commission

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