Association of African Universities (AAU) / Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) - Provision of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Automated Systems
To enhance the quality of higher education in Africa and strengthen its impact through networking, collaboration, and experience sharing, The Association of African Universities (AAU) with funding from SIDA, sought the need for a digitized information management system.
The objective of the AAU was to improve project management and data collection and management to provide information and knowledge for decision making and attracting justifiable investments. Though the AAU had a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) System, it was at its infancy stage and performed limited functions.
The MEL officers faced difficulties in synthesizing reports from various programs and projects due to their inefficient methods of data and information storage using manual means. This made the provision of information on the achievement of overall strategic objectives and the impact of activities of the AAU, inaccessible to key stakeholders. However, as the facilitator of various higher education projects, the AAU needed to have data from the individual universities, analysis of the data, and data aggregation for reporting to the development partners.
With digital monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems, the AAU amined to strengthen monitoring and learning within its network through sharing knowledge, information, and data with the universities in the continent.
The design and development of the AAU monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) automated system were contracted to Bewsys by the AAU secretariat. In satisfying the requirements of the MEL management information system, the consulting team audited the AAUs existing management information system, program indicators, and methods of data and information storage and retrieval. Through this, the consulting team developed the user and systems requirements which informed the design and development of AAU’s MEL management information system.
The system was tailored based on the monitoring and evaluation, report generation, and the document library modules of the Bewsys Regulatory MIS. The online-based management information system was created to feature access to AAU Core Programs, program and project indicators, and evaluation reports. Also, web-based reporting was considered in the design and development of the system to improve monitoring of the implementation of project milestones by the universities. In collaboration with the Director of ICT Services and Knowledge Management of the AAU secretariat, the MEL management information system was piloted to ensure usability and feasibility before full scale-up and handover to the programmatic team.
With the aid of a functional digitized MEL management information system, the AAU’s capacity to enhance the quality and relevance of higher education in Africa has improved. Through empowering the AAU members to address developmental challenges at national and continental levels, the stakeholders of higher education are encouraged to strengthen the contribution to Africa’s development.
Using technology as a transformative tool, the AAU can strengthen accountability and knowledge sharing for improved education management decisions in tertiary institutions across Africa while partnering for the attainment of the sustainable development goals particularly SDG 4 - quality education.