Rwanda has embraced a tool that enhances project-related data collection in remote areas; being the first country in East Africa to do so and the seventh overall in the continent.
The Remote Appraisal, Supervision, Monitoring and Evaluation (RASME) initiative enables Bank staff, including task and sector managers, country and regional programme officers and government officials, to compile project information directly from the field, using a smartphone, tablet or laptop, drones and satellites.
The data is gathered in various formats, including text, video, graphics and even survey responses.
The initiative is a partnership of the African Development Bank’s IT department (CHIS), the World Bank’s geo-enabling initiative for monitoring and supervision (GEMS), and KoBoToolbox Foundation, a non-governmental organisation affiliated with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
Rwanda’s approval was cemented during a special ceremony held in the country’s capital city Kigali on 17 May 2022.
The ceremony was attended by government representatives, project implementation units and several units and departments of the African Development Bank and the World Bank.
Welcoming the new initiative, Gerald Mugabe, acting director for external finance in the Rwandan government believes RASME will “contribute to strengthening effectiveness as it will simplify project implementation, especially in terms of the quality and monitoring of projects.”
Francis Kohoue, IT coordinator for the Bank’s East Africa regional office, identified the benefits of the tool within two realms of application: “In the context of Covid-19 where travels, missions and visits on project sites are limited; and also when visiting projects located in remote geographic areas where accessibility is either impossible, difficult or limited due to conflicts, lack of security, dangerous terrain or logistical constraints.”
Aissa Sarr Touré, the African Development Bank’s country manager for Rwanda, praised the government for supporting the introduction of the tool. She urged participants to fully engage with the Bank’s implementing team so that the initiative can fully deliver effective monitoring and evaluation of projects.
The African Development Bank is currently rolling out RASME across its country and regional offices to enable Bank stakeholders to prepare projects more effectively, track their progress and evaluate project impact on beneficiary communities.
RASME is currently being implemented in Gabon, Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic and Mozambique.