Remarks by Facilitators and Participants During a Monitoring and Evaluation Training in Peace Support Operations (PSOs) for AMISOM Senior Officers Supported by UNSOS
Mogadishu - Senior officials across the military, police, and civilian components of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), attended a five-day training programme curated on Monitoring Evaluation and Learning for Peace Support Operations (PSOs) in Africa (MELPAC) by trainers from the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC). The training was supported by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS).
A facilitator and lead trainer from the AU Political Affairs, Peace & Security Department, Ken Abotsi, noted that the effective utilisation of resources is a key performance indicator in the implementation of any mission, in light of increasing funding cuts.
“The essence of this training is also to ensure that AMISOM and the personnel we are training are more effective in the use of resources that have been given to us,” said Abotsi.
It is expected that the participants will apply the principles of results-based M&E in mandating, preparing, deploying, and drawing down of AMISOM troops; develop effective MEL systems with appropriate indicators for AMISOM’s programmes and projects, as well as develop robust mechanisms for learning to improve the quality and impact of AMISOM.
Kwaku Frimpong, a facilitator from UNOAU, said they intend to follow through on the training to see if the participants are transferring the training onto their jobs.
“We intend to conduct a Level Three evaluation to find out how they are utilising the knowledge gained in mainstreaming M&E into their normal work,” said Frimpong adding that the skills acquired will come in handy even as the Mission transitions.
The lead facilitator from KAIPTC, Colonel Wellington Attipoe-Dumashie, said the participants had demonstrated a thorough understanding of the course content which will help them as AMISOM transitions.
“As they (AMISOM) are hoping to transit into another stage of the Mission, it will help them to evaluate where they are now and refocus their direction into the future,” said Col. Attipoe-Dumashie.
Other facilitators at the training included Dr. Charles Amoatey, and Dr. Patrick Tandoh-Ofin, who said they were satisfied with the participants’ contribution during the training.
AMISOM Human Rights Officer Kahbila Mbuton, a participant, said she found the training very useful and would come in handy when developing the Mission Implementation Plan.
“Through this, we are able to understand how we can transfer the various tools for M&E into our planning processes in AMISOM,” said Mbuton. “Going forward, in developing the AMISOM Mission Implementation Plan, we will be able to transfer the knowledge and skills we have gained.”
Major Warren Kanyanga noted that the training has enabled him to have a broader understanding of how the other components of AMISOM work.
“The course has been very informative in the sense that it has brought together the three components of AMISOM: civilian, police and military, and we have been able to identify the gaps in the Mission in the sense of monitoring and evaluation,” Maj. Kanyanga explained.
AMISOM Police Chief-of-Staff, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Rex Dundun, feels the course has been an eye-opener and has set the Mission on the right track.
“It is an eye-opener. We now know the importance of actually having a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning cell at the Mission Headquarters to actually monitor most of what we do in terms of projects and programmes; to evaluate at the end of the day because the essentials of these projects is to ensure that we satisfy the Somalis,” DCP Dundun explained.
He called upon the African Union and partners like UNSOS to organise more MEL training events so that the knowledge can cascade across the various AMISOM departments and smaller units.
The UNSOS Chief Training Officer, Mr. Patrick Duah on his part noted the importance of MEL training in a PSO environment. He also said “ Capacity Building is a key component of UNSOS’ logistical support package to AMISOM, and that UNSOS will work closely with the AU, AMISOM and UNOAU to ensure that follow up activities are conducted in a timely manner.”
At the end of the training, there was shared consensus and optimism about the outcome of the training.