This document outlines a complete framework for designing a PRSP and MDG information monitoring and evaluation tracking system. Monitoring and evaluation are two indispensable yet complementary management tools used in identifying and gauging the performance of projects, programmes or policies through: i) evaluation and adjustment of strategies and activities; ii) accountability to stakeholders, clients, taxpayers, public opinion, etc.; iii) identification and sharing of best practices and lessons learnt and iv) programming of new actions and strategies.

They are two distinct yet complementary approaches driven by timely production as well as by consistent and organized collection and analysis of statistical information. The structured approach to information systems emerges as a new methodological challenge in statistical production.

PRSP and MDG information monitoring and evaluation tracking systems are central to AFRISTAT activities. The target is to address ever-increasing requests from the member states in respect of developing operational information monitoring and evaluation tracking systems for poverty reduction strategies in sub-Saharan African countries.

It is in this context that the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and UNDP, in collaboration with AFRISTAT, launched a PRSP and Millennium Development Indicator monitoring support programme for the purpose of developing appropriate, coherent, comparative and efficient information systems in beneficiary States. To achieve this objective, AFRISTAT has designed a Reference Framework and common minimum methodological guidelines for designing PRSP and MDG information tracking systems.

The proposed Reference Framework and Common Minimum Methodological Guidelines (REFCOMG) for designing PRSP and MDG information tracking systems were prepared after a long brainstorming process.

The proposals contained in this document were presented and validated during a workshop gathering representatives from a score of sub-Saharan African countries, UNDESA, UNDP, PARIS21, PARSEP and AFRISTAT experts. The AFRISTAT Scientific Board also made invaluable contributions to these proposals.

The Management of AFRISTAT would like to express gratitude to all those who contributed to the finalization of this document. Special appreciation goes to UNDESA, UNDP, and DIAL for the quality of their contributions on information systems. Management would also like to thank Jacques Loup, former deputy director of the UNDP Africa Regional Office who employed his experience to improve and organize this document.

The Director General of AFRISTAT