Resilient Food Systems Ethiopia launches web-based information management system for ecosystem services monitoring

Monitoring and evaluation is an essential component of each Resilient Food Systems country project. Using high-quality data, analytical methods and information-sharing protocols, RFS country teams consistently monitor their project’s impact on ecosystem services and food security in order to assess progress and enable informed decision-making through the project lifespan. 

In line with a programme-wide commitment to meaningful monitoring and evaluation, the RFS Ethiopia project team, led by UNDP in collaboration with the Ethiopian Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC), has been developing an Integrated Web-Based and GIS Embedded Information Management System (IMS). The IMS provides accurate and timely information about RFS project activities and monitors their impact on key ecosystems services.  

The system was officially Launched on 10 November 2019 at the EFCCC Hall in Addis Ababa. The Commissioner of the EFCCC, Professor Fikadu Beyene, officially opened the launching ceremony, which was attended by representatives from key stakeholder organizations and project beneficiary regions and districts. In his opening comments, Dr Beyene remarked on the importance of the IMS for achieving the objectives of the RFS Ethiopia project and, more broadly, the objectives of the national Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) initiative: 

“The system is one of the major components of the project for ensuring project stakeholders understand the nature and extent of impacts being achieved as a result of project interventions, that lessons from these interventions are learned and shared in appropriate policy fora…It will also build the capacity of the commission and regional bureaus and woredas in web-based information management system for a better communication and management and decision-making process.” 

Professor Fikadu Beyene
Commissioner of the EFCCC

The IMS facilitates an easy exchange of data between users and provides policymakers and practitioners with useful information to support evidence-based decision-making.  The system uses WoredaNet, which is a government-owned and run internet network system, to source data from the project sites. This information will be supplemented by additional, satellite-based data on a quarterly basis to show the changes in land use, land cover, degradation level, soil fertility and underground water level. The IMS ensures that project stakeholders understand the nature and extent of project impacts and that lessons from project interventions are captured and shared in appropriate policy fora. 

The development and operationalization of the IMS will also contribute significantly toward capacity development efforts in monitoring and evaluation at the national, regional, and local level. The monitoring database will be based at the EFCCC and six regional environment bureaus with a data collection and submission centre at district level. At the national level, the EFCCC will be training in utilizing the web-based system for a better communication, management and decision-making. At the local level, project coordinators and development agents will be trained in entering up-to-date data into the database online, either using the internet or by sending an SMS.  The data captured at every project site will form an essential input at every level of the project for decision-making, planning, implementing, monitoring and controlling.  
 

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