This case study is part of the AIP-Rural Learning Series

Using monitoring data to improve interventions is harder than it seems. Decision-makers are often busy implementing activities, unclear about their roles in data collection and analysis, and uncertain what data matters most or when. PRISMA, an AUD77 million agricultural Market Systems Development (MSD) programme funded by DFAT Australia, has encountered these challenges. With the programme completing its first five-year phase, this case study shares ten key lessons divided into three sections: shaping the culture, developing systems, and top management decisions. These lessons aim to help program, sector and intervention managers make better use of monitoring data to improve interventions.

After five years, 320,833 farming households have increased their income due to PRISMA interventions; out of the total population benefited, 42% of these farmers are women. Goetz Ebbecke, PRISMA’s Team Leader, attributes this success in part to the program’s use of data for decision-making: “Data has been an important factor. With data, I understand better how we are performing in different areas and take better decisions. Not all my senior managers instinctively use data as their basis for decision-making, so we reinforce this behaviour with systems. Another way I challenge them to use data is by using data myself.”

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