Ivorian Parliamentarians have kick started the process to create a national chapter of the African Parliamentarians’ Network on Development Evaluation (APNODE) in Cote d’Ivoire.
Meeting in the National Assembly building in Abidjan on Wednesday, March 2, 2016, about ten Ivorian members of parliament together with the Director of Legislative Services of Cote d’Ivoire’s National Assembly discussed concrete steps towards the formal creation of the Ivorian national chapter of APNODE. Two officials from the secretariat of APNODE hosted by the Independent Development Evaluation (IDEV) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) were also in attendance. They updated the participants on the activities of APNODE since the first Annual General Meeting of the Network and on plans ahead of the second Annual Meeting scheduled for August 2016 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
At the pioneer Annual General Meeting of the APNODE held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in July 2015, members called for the creation of national chapters in order to enlarge the Network across Africa. Uganda is among the first countries in Africa to formalize its national chapter of the Network. Parliamentarians in other countries including Kenya and Zimbabwe are currently also working towards the creation of national chapters.
Central to last Wednesday’s meeting was a discussion on the process to be followed to create the APNODE chapter within Cote d’Ivoire’s National Assembly, which includes (a) mobilization of MPs interested in the topic; (b) equipping the MPs with the capacity needed to engage and/or act in favor of development evaluation (by organizing a training session for example); (c) formal establishment of the network through a general meeting of network members; (d) election of a Bureau/definition of tasks and responsibilities; and (e) drawing up an action plan.
Ivorian MPs intend to convene a two-day launch event at a date to be confirmed during which the APNODE chapter will be formally constituted and launched. The launch event will also be combined with training of MPs on development evaluation, its main concepts and how it is useful to the work of MPs.
Hon. Imbassou Ouattara Abbas of the Yopougon constituency and member of the Executive Committee of APNODE is coordinating activities from the Ivorian parliament alongside the Ivorian MPs who participated in the first Annual General Meeting of APNODE. Other MPs interested in the subject are also welcome to join. The ultimate objective is to establish the national Chapter before the next APNODE Annual General Meeting in August.
APNODE was created in March 2014, with the main objective of enhancing the capacity of African Parliamentarians to improve their oversight, policy making, and national decision making by ensuring it is evidence-based. The network also works to bridge the gap between evaluators (who provide impartial evidence) and parliamentarians; encourage parliamentarians to institutionalize evaluations; and support them in ensuring that evaluations conducted at country level are responsive to the needs of women and vulnerable groups.