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The Digital Agency for International Development

ATA Nigeria - M&E

A monitoring and evaluation application that measures the progress of Nigeria's Agricultural Transformation Agenda.

Dec 2014 to Mar 2015



The Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) is an initiative of the Nigerian Government's Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop the role of agriculture in Nigeria's economy.

The application is a functional prototype that demonstrates how the ATA's progress can be measured in the context of a specially developed monitoring and evaluation framework.



This has been a very collaborative project for us. We worked directly with agricultural measurement learning and evaluation experts from the ALINe initiative, and data visualisation experts from LiveStories, and adding our own expertise in building effective, accessible web tools for international development. The team worked with government officers at Federal and State-level in Nigeria, and local policy and development experts.

The application will be used to demonstrate to Federal and State-level officers the potential to understand the impact of ATA interventions, and to plan new ones using evidence from real data. There are many challenges in delivering effective tools, especially at State level where infrastructure support can be at a low level, and government officers might not have had the opportunity to learn the potential of modern IT solutions. The team visited offices in the Nigerian states of Kogi and Benue (which were the focus of this study) and worked directly with the potential users to determine the best design for the application.

During the software development phase the LiveStories came and worked with us in our offices in Cambridge. LiveStories are based in Seattle, so this was a great opportunity for us to work together, in the same space, and in the same time-zone.



ALINe worked on a theory of change for the ATA and a M&E framework based on the key crops in the agricultural sector. For the proof-of-concept application the team focussed on two of the 16 key crops: Cassava and Rice, and on two Nigerian states: Benue and Kogi. The team visited Federal government offices and offices in Benue and Kogi to understand their requirements. What kind of data were they already working with? What environmental challenges are there for IT solutions? What would they want to get out of a measurement tool for the ATA? The LiveStories team lead this part of the project and it was a great chance for us to experience their processes and to work with their highly skilled technical and design experts. They developed personas and stories that fed into the design of the application. We built the prototype application in two phases with a visit to Nigeria between to check in with real users.



The design focusses on simplicity and was designed for mobile devices first and then adjusted so it still looked great and worked well on larger screens.

The application is really simple: a simple page showing charts of data from before and after the start of ATA interventions. The front-end is a Django application with one page that handles changes to the selected filters passing them on to the embedded charts. It uses LiveStories as a back-end to store the data and to prepare the charts. The bulk of our technical work was in extracting and preparing the data for those charts.

Most of the data were drawn from the World Bank's Living Standards Measurement Study research. We used the excellent Pandas library in iPython notebooks to explore, reshape and clean the data.

The design draws heavily on Google's Material Design and we used Bootstrap Material Design to get a great-looking site up with a minimum of effort.