Nasser Samih Qadous

Nasser Samih Qadous

Palestinian Evaluation Association

Agricultural development expert working in Palestine  since 1993.  Currently working as Agricultural program director for ANERA, managing  humanitarian and  diverse mix of developmental projects.  The most recent in the large scale reuse of reclaimed wastewater in Jenin. Worked as university teacher for 6 years. As consultant he participated and lead many evaluations  and base line survey studies  with local and international firms. Conducted development  researches,   delivered long list of trainings in  the field of project management and prepared manuals and training materials. He got master degree in plant protection from University of Jordan, certified trainer in project management by InWent/ Germany, and in November 2017 finished a one year training course in consultancy for change offered by INTRAC/ London .  Naser has special interest in knowledge sharing after conducting two- years research in this field. Volunteering as  chairperson of Palestinian Evaluation Association.

My contributions

    • Dears

      In my opinion any evaluation not considering the  context in general, not only cultural, will not be an evaluation in essence. 

      From our experience in women empowerment interventions timing of any data collection event should be agreed with women otherwise no one shows up. We invite more people than needed to achieve the target of participants. in the latest experience we recruited external evaluation expert for the Women Empowerment project. He thought of the livelihood assessment tool, where there are questions like: how many days did you sleep without food? When was the last time you ate meat? ...etc. He could not fill any of the questionnaires, therefore we decided to cancel this section.  Why? As they are poor this was very sensitive for them. 

      Another story: Trying to understand a success story a PR officer visited and interviewed a beneficiary, the second day she thought of a photo at specific time, so she called the beneficiary and said "Please can you ask one of your kids to take a photo for...", But the lady/ beneficiary was old single with no family but supporting the extended family. This also might happen if you ask about a father or a mother or husband to an orphan or widow. 

      So  to respect culture, values :  

      1-  Design tool

      2- Test the tool    

      3- Use local staff who know the context

      4- Explain to the evaluation team any sensitive issues related to specific communities or specific people

      5- Collect as much data as possible before interviewing people.


      Naser Qadous


    • Dear EvalForward team,

      Yes, reconstruction of the theory of change is the first step we follow in designing an evaluation. I did it in all evaluations I participated in the last 5 years. The review and reconstruction is participatory with the program/ project team. Usually many projects have issues in their design of intervention logic. The preparation of evaluation tools and agreeing on questions needs agreeing with the implementation team and later minimizing any misunderstanding or lack of information. The new Theory of change is presented in the inception report as well as in the final report.


      Naser Qadous
      Palestinian Evaluation Association 

    • Dears,

      Thank you for this important issue. I think that the Public sector is far from Evaluation. The M&E system is something good to have if it is a full system in its broad definition, not only a written protocol and procedure of "how" and "musts", which is the case in our region (in ministries). Our experience is that you cannot get any data from existing systems. What is needed is an Evaluation Culture and lobbying for evaluation. VOPES should have a role in this, but without support, their impact will be limited especially as most VOPES in the region are too young and working on Voluntary basis. VOPES can act as mobilizer or facilitator to bring stakeholders together to enhance the evaluation culture through actions on land. To give an example of actions: select common national   indicators or even SDG related to agriculture and try to systematize the process of collecting data about it at country level. VOPES in different countries can work jointly and even form a consortium.

      I hope my idea is clear enough


      Naser Qadous


    • Youth in Agriculture is an important issue to discuss. We witness this in Palestine. Farmers are even suffering from the lack of work power  in farming. Agriculture schools are also suffering from low number of students despite offering scholarships. This forced universities to go down with average scores for admission to the University, which is unfortunately reflected on the quality of fresh graduated agronomists. 

      This ignorance of agriculture and deviation will for sure affect the agricultural production if governments do not work on solving such problem. The ultimate solution is to increase profitability of agribusiness and agriculture as a whole. Other means to achieve this could be:

      1- Direction of School students at early stages to like agriculture and think of it as a high class activity not a low level career. Curricula could be the entrance, Drama could be also a good tool.

      2- Give incentives for agriculture entrepreneurs  to make agriculture  more  rewarding. Incentives such as long term free of interest loans.

      3-  UN should do something on the national level like announcing a year as the "international Year of Agriculture" Thou there was family farming year, Quinoa  year, but agriculture explicitly have another impact. This should be also followed by actions on the ground like supporting initiatives.

      4- Technology should be more simplified for use at the small scale family farming level. 

      5- Agriculture as another source of income  for low level income could help also keep the agricultural activities. 

      6- Research on the root causes of this phenomena on country level will help in identifying strategies to bring youth back to agreiculture.

      And the story is long, but should be dealt with the soonest and to the highest level possible.


      Naser Qadous


    • Dears

      I am trying to link a best practice close to what is mentioned in Chitra’s comment (targeting rural poor). The practice I am sharing might help in engaging poor in development in general. 

      The Practice is as follows: years ago (2012) we conducted two farmer conferences as one of the knowledge sharing methods we were testing as part of a knowledge sharing research. The project was funded by IFAD through IDRC. It proved to be the best method among 5 other methods. In the two conferences with 6 months time gap, farmers were the heroes of the podium, where they shared their experience and success through various ways: short videos, presentations and even singing (Zajal in Arabic).

      Farmer conferences are very rare, only Syria did it long time ago.

      Farmer conferences proved to be a great method and welcomed by both farmer and agricultural experts who attended the event.




    • Dears,

      Thanks for sharing such important issue to discuss. 

      I am to tell about my personal experience in this regard: 

      Capacity building of evaluand: I think every evaluation helps in developing capacities if it follows the best practices along the journey, working with clients hand by hand to climb the mountain starting from the ridge (uptake of the mission), and mutually understand the evaluation objectives (ToR), then taking the client team to the summit where they feel the need and the importance of evaluation and contribute to tools development and data collection (in other words create the "buy-in"), and later going down the slope with analyzing the results, formulating recommendations and conclusions down to utilizing results, where the evaluators accompany clients to ensure achieving the change.

      Actually this is the mountain model (INTRAC/ C4C-Consultants for Change) which I fully respect and appreciate as a typical one. But the reality is different; as a consultant for sure my blame goes to clients who usually do not walk the mountain with you claiming they are busy, and rather put you on the start point, give you some food for thought (documents and guidance) and wait for you on the ridge on the other side of the mountain and rarely even you receive a phone call from them during the journey. They get the report and say bye bye. However, coming back to the issue of learning, it occurs but not to the best it could be. For example restructuring the ToC with a client is a capacity building activity, it is a chance to direct the client on better formulating the ToC. Another thing, giving feedback on the ToR is another opportunity to educate clients.

      Participatory evaluation role in capacity building: I think it is the same as in the previous point if we follow the best practices and the client is willing to contribute effectively in the mission, then the whole process is a capacity building. Myself the first time I learned about evaluation (15 years ago) it was when I was asked to act as a contact person on behalf of my employer organization to coordinate for the company conducting the evaluation of a 3 year program. This task was repeated again for another program. So giving me the chance to read the ToR, connect the evaluators to communities, participate  in some data collection activities and later reviewing report, were my first capacity building opportunities in evaluation.

      Evaluating Capacity building component: This does not happen actually in all evaluations I participated in so far.

      This are my quick thoughts of the issue.

      Good Luck

      Naser Qadous

    • Dear Samuel, 

      Thank you for your feedback. What you raise is correct and I appreciate.

      However, is there a way we can measure the contribution of a good M&E system in informing better agricultural production, productivity, food security and service delivery?  What are those parameters that should be considered and how should they be measured so that one knows the impact or change the M&E system has contributed?

      In other words, how can one determine what would have been missed due to an absence of an M&E systems - leaving out its contribution? or how to we carry out contribution analysis of an M&E system towards better agricultural production, productivity, food security and service delivery?


      Abubakar Muhammad Moki

    • Dear AbuBakr,

      Once I read your Email I felt I have to respond soon. It is a very interesting and very advanced topic "The impact of M&E, and Indicators for this Impact". I think it is much related to utility/ use of the outputs of M&E. Now in most cases sharing of the results of M&E is questionable even at the organizational level with exceptions of some very advanced learning organizations who make their reports available for the public. Again I think that our role in informing policy as consultants is having a good output of our work following the best consulting practices and working  with clients not for them bearing in mind the learning objective of M&E. The M&E people do not have direct authority on policy. This is what evaluation voluntary organizations (VOPEs) are trying to do through awareness and lobbying with Parliamentarians and I think they succeeded in some countries.

      For evaluating the role of M&E I think it would not be easy to measure the contribution at the impact level, but going down to outcome and output level would be easier.

      To give example of indicators:

      • # the number of downloads of an evaluation report or # the number of reaches/ views
      • % of M&E reports shared on websites of related organizations

      Many others can be mentioned.

      For agriculture, the research results in general not only evaluation need to be adapted to the field and be applied research not only scientific. The research in developing countries is weak and needs to be adapted to meet local needs and employed in the field.

      At the end I say nothing is impossible and can be done even the Impact evaluation of Evaluations or a systematic Review.

      The discussion could be very long


      Naser Qadous

      Palestinian Evaluation Association
      Agriculture/ Evaluation Expert

  • Challenges of evaluation

    • Dear Colleagues,

      Good morning from Palestine.

      The evaluation challenges in rural development/ food security or agriculture are not much different from what is related to other sectors and even evaluation of policies.

      I agree with what colleagues mentioned earlier. From my experience in evaluating agricultural projects in Palestine I found one major issue complicating the evaluation which is the design of projects. Even with the international organizations, results frameworks of programs/ projects are not well defined. Indicators are not well adopted or formulated. The whole theory of change is not clear. This is reflected on the evaluability of the program. For examples, baselines studies when present, are not related to indicators. 

      Another major issue: clients of the evaluation (implementers) do not have clear understanding of the evaluation process and methodological approaches. Therefore, the ToR would not be clear, the expectations from the evaluation become not realistic, and as earlier stated, the program design does not allow good monitoring. 

      To end up with, a good evaluation implementer should start planning M&E at the first phase of the program cycle, have enough resources, do right things at the right time, especially monitoring. 

      Clients of evaluation should understand evaluation practices and know that no M&E can be done without working together with the evaluation team. And they should give enough time for evaluation, not leave it to the last month of the project.

      The discussion on this issue never ends. I think evaluation networks (like EvalMENA) should reach clear set of recommendations to enhance evaluation culture and reach common understanding of the M&E on both supply and demand sides.

      Good luck

      Naser Qadous

      Palestinian Evaluation Association