RE: Making more use of local institutions in evaluation | Eval Forward

Hi John,

Thanks for bringing on this topic.

Indeed, I agree with you that one of the positives of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it allows for increased participation of local consultants in evaluation given travel restrictions on international consultants. The use of local consultants is without a doubt less financially costly. The increased opportunity for local consultants contributes to strengthening local capacity in evaluation. 

In my case, in The Gambia, the project completion mission on the IFAD-funded National Agricultural Land and Water Management Development Project (locally called Nema Chosso) was held with a combination of both local and international consultants, where the latter carried out the onsite fieldwork and direct consultations with project beneficiaries, staff, and stakeholders, whilst the international consultants (with the exception of a couple from Dakar (Senegal) carried out their assignments (mainly desk review and virtual exchanges with the project team and local consultants). The arrangement provided consultancy opportunities for at least three local experts who would not have had the opportunity, otherwise. The quality of the outputs was considered very good, enriched by the mix of local and international expertise. I must hasten to add that the opportunity contributed greatly to enrich the capacity/skills of the local consultants through a friendly feedback mechanism which was put in place by the Team Leader. This was evident in the rather numerous comments/observations made on some of the reports prepared by the local consultants.

The IFAD Country Director and team directly managed the assignment through the Consultants' Team Leader, who, fortunately, was based in Dakar like the IFAD Team for The Gambia. The Country Director reviewed agreed milestones of the assignment and recommended to the project when payments were due. Payments were done locally through the project's Special Account through Bank Cheques (for local consultants) and Transfers (for the international consultants).