Managing for Development Results

Not only is Managing for Development Results (MfDR) one of the cornerstones of the Paris Agenda but learn4dev also received the concrete demand for a course on MfDR from partner countries. The expert group was created in 2009 in order to promote Results-Based Management (RBM) for Pro-Poor Growth. After the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, the expert group developed the concept of a Joint Learning Programme for MfDR. This multi donor initiative brings together those members of learn4dev willing to contribute to and jointly finance the JLP. GIZ Eschborn acts as the lead agency on behalf of the learn4dev Executive Committee on MfDR. MDF (Netherlands) has been contracted to develop the course design and course materials as well as to act as the training provider.


The objective of the JLP reads: “Participants are familiar with the concepts of MfDR and know how to apply these concepts in their personal, institutional and political context.” By achieving this objective a contribution will be made to further strengthen the MfDR approach within governments and development agencies and to thereby enhance the poverty outcomes and impacts of development initiatives.

Design and Content

A complete training is made up of two complementary parts:

  • a general Joint Learning Programme and
  • an additional High Level Event with crucial key players with extensive decision making power

The JLP itself will last 2.5-3 days (to be decided in close consultation with key stakeholders and MDF T&C). The afternoon of the third day (or the morning of the fourth day) will be used to conduct the High Level Event. Selected participants who attended the entire Joint Learning Programme will be asked to act as rapporteurs and communicate the main messages and results to the attendees of the High Level Event. The High Level Event, particularly addressing high level decision makers, has a more strategic approach and will enable that a higher level of institutionalisation is reached.

The following overview shows briefly how the MfDR issues will be approached during the three day training.

MfDR Concepts and Country Practices

  • Definitions and key features of the MfDR Agenda
  • Analysis of steps already taken and challenges ahead

MfDR Instruments

  • Formulating Development Results (Result chains)
  • Measuring and monitoring Results (Key Performance Indicators, National M(&E) Systems)
  • Evidence-based decision-making and learning (Use of national level data)

MfDR Change process

  • Analysing National MfDR capacity (CAPScan)
  • Importance of Leadership in MfDR
  • Action Planning

While this framework will be the basis for the event, tailoring to specific country circumstances/requests is possible, including incorporating 1-2 additional and specific MfDR relevant modules (P(S)IA, risk management, etc.).

The methodology is highly interactive. Concepts and tools are explained in short presentations and illustrated by the resource person with a well-recognisable case study (MfDR demonstration case). Participants will be challenged to intensively reflect, interact and practice some of the key MfDR tools during the event. With careful action planning and the High Level Event, embedding in organisational realities is emphasised.

The High Level Event will contain of a very short and crispy MfDR introduction with key examples from countries in the region which will be presented by the trainer team.

“Success story”

Since 2009, in total 17 Joint Learning Events were organised in 12 different countries in in Africa, Latin America and Asia: Benin, Bolivia, Cameroun, Ghana, Lesotho (4 events), Malawi (3 events), Mongolia, Nicaragua, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and Zambia. 592 senior staff from Governments, Development Partners and Civil Society Organisations was trained in MfDR principles as well as in practical applications of MfDR. In spring 2011 an outcome assessment of the learning programmes on MfDR has been conducted which provided clear evidence of the quality and appropriateness of the training’s design and content. The external assessment of the outcome was carried out after almost two years of implementation (covering 10 learning events in 8 countries with 344 participants).


  • The course participants have found the JLEs to be relevant and the courses well administered.
  • The JLEs have had a range of positive impacts on the work performance of the course participants.
  • A large number of course participants point to the need for management buy-in and leadership of MfDR as crucial if it is to take hold and make a difference.

Upcoming events

In the aftermath of the outcome assessment and based on provided recommendations as well as lessons learned from the trainer team, the course concept has been adjusted in order to increase the level of sustainability. The most remarkable change is the establishment of the above mentioned High Level Event. All JLPs are well documented and progress is regularly reported.

Participation: Who should be counted in?

Three stakeholder groups shall be equally represented: government representatives, civil society organisations and donor staff. The ideal 3 days course would be attended by 25-35 senior professionals and decision makers of their respective organisations. It is anticipated that this group composition provides good opportunities not only to reflect on own organisational practices (within peer groups), but also to identify linkages and to be critically questioned by the other actors in development (between peer groups). The High Level Event particularly addresses high level decision makers.

Costs and Preparation: Less than you might expect and definitively worth it

The preparation and implementation will be initiated and administrated by the in-country lead donor(s) after consultation and in close cooperation with the national government. learn4dev represented by GIZ Eschborn will cover all international costs related to the preparation, delivery and reporting of the JLE, including trainers’ fees, per diems and travel costs for the trainers. The in-country lead donor(s) will cover all other, national costs related to the event (incl. renting of venue, hiring and coordinating secretarial services, copying and binding training materials, providing technical equipment, etc.). Participants or their institutions will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs.

Invitation to nominate host countries

The members of the learn4dev network are kindly invited to nominate possible host countries for Joint Learning Programmes on Managing for Development Results. A Info Sheet (two-pager) as well as the Flyer that can be downloaded on the learn4dev webpage should facilitate the communication with colleagues in partner countries to inform about and to convince of the added value of the programme.

Interested parties are kindly asked to please indicate:

  • name of the country and name of a contact person in-country
  • ideally: possible date (month) when the event would be suitable

and send this information to Beatrix Plock.

The final decision where to conduct a JLP will be taken by the Executive Committee.

Expert group objectives and activities planned for 2014-2015

  • The group decided to document the experiences from the Lesotho MfDR process by using a case study approach. This case study is currently being written by our consulting agency MDF.
  • Joint Learning Events: Armenia in Q1/Q2 2014
  • Meetings of the expert group: the group is on a crossroad. An expert group meeting is planned for August 2014 in which the members have to take a serious decision regarding the future of the subgroup.