The New Alliance ICT Extension Challenge Fund

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IBTCI has been contracted by USAID as the Monitoring and Learning contractor for the New Alliance ICT Extension Challenge Fund (a multi-donor fund managed by USAID, that receives financial support from USAID, UK DFID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and IFAD to improve agricultural productivity among targeted food crops by smallholder farmers in 6 selected countries in Africa, through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) applied to agricultural extension services). IBTCI’s objectives for the New Alliance ICT Extension Challenge Fund project are to: contribute to the increase in impact and cost effectiveness of the six Grantee by tracking their progress (monitoring) and facilitating their learning and adaptation through establishment of a learning network, and to enable other stakeholders including Ministries, donors, the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership (SSTP), and other USAID Mission teams.
To date, the project’s major accomplishments have including the formation of the learning network through the use of virtual learning events, the establishment of learning products and topics of interest to the Grantees, as well as our most recent Learning Workshop. IBTCI, along with the six Grantees in the target countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, and Tanzania, gathered in Addis Ababa for the 1st IBTCI-sponsored 3-day Learning Workshop from August 3-5, 2016. The workshop also included representatives from both USAID and well as the Scaling Seeds and Technologies Partnership. IBTCI’s 3-day learning workshop was held on topics such as M&E, data collection, Knowledge Management, and other relevant breakout topics including Gender. 
The project has also been working with Grantees on the Monitoring side  to develop a standardized set of six indicators incorporating country context into the formation of the corresponding Performance Indicator Reference Sheets (PIRS). These PIRS have required a great deal of coordination and communication with Grantees including the review of Grantee M&E plans, and are set to be completed in September 2016. IBTCI has also been responsible for the refinement of the corresponding Results Framework, also to be completed in September 2016. In addition, IBTCI will be working with all six Country Grantees in September and October this year to collect, collate, and analyze data from all six countries and reporting to USAID on the lessons learned from the data analysis.