American Univesity of Beirut

 Accomplished Projects

​​​​Mainstreaming Evaluation Theory and Practice in The Middle East and North Africa​​


The project covers the entire implementation period of the project “Mainstreaming Evaluation Theory and Practice in the MENA region” from January 2011 until November 2014. The major milestone in 2014 was the organization of the closing workshop of the project (technically the 3rd EvalMENA General Assembly) in Amman – Jordan in April 2014. At the time this final report is being prepared (April 2015), we are glad to report that the project is not only still “alive” but also continuing to grow and gain momentum, as it has been clearly observed during the 4th General Assembly of EvalMENA which was organized in Cairo in February 2015 and which mobilized alongside with IDRC and ESDU several other institutional partners such as The International Organization on Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) and EvalPartners Initiative, the UNICEF Regional Office for MENA (MENARO), the International Initiative on Impact Evaluation (3IE) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) which is part of the Islamic Development Bank

Some key achievements to which the project has contributed significantly would be:

1- Bringing MENA evaluators together (In The region and around the world)

2- Playing a catalyst role in the formalization of six new national evaluation associations during the lifetime of the program

3- Making MENA experiences in evaluation known internationally and taking an active part in the leadership of the Global Evaluation Movement

4- Launching of the first online training course on development evaluation in Arabic

  The first ever online training course on development evaluation in Arabic on “My M&E” portal was launched during the closing conference of the project in April 2014 and has been since successfully completed by 276 Arab-speaking individuals, with a marked interest from countries where the project did not become active yet such as Yemen, Iraq, Sudan and Syria.

5- Facilitating South-South collaboration on evaluation in the MENA region and beyond


The press coverage can be viewed on the following link​. 


Institute on Participatory Development (IPD)

The Institute on Participatory Development (IPD) is ESDU’s training arm and was made possible through the support of IFAD back in 2003 through its Near East Management Training in Agriculture (NEMTA) initiative as the National Training Unit for Lebanon. Through IFAD’s support, around 15 ESDU trainers were able to acquire the "Certificate of Proficiency in Advanced Facilitation and Training".

Following the completion of the first NEMTA cycle in 2004, IPD effectively kicked-off in 2005 when a travelling workshop on Urban Agriculture was organized over 3 weeks in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan and involved 30 participants from 7 MENA countries (Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen) with funding from IDRC. Also in 2005, a one week workshop for 70 Iraqi academicians and researchers was hosted by IPD in Beirut with funding from USAID and another 3 training courses of 10 days each were offered to Syrian agriculture extension workers was held in Syria with funding from IFAD

Since then, more than 20 regional and international training programs were organized by IPD but also in Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Yemen in collaboration with a variety of donors such as FAO, IDRC, IFAD, RUAF and UNDP. IPD proved to be particularly resilient when it managed to successfully delocalize its operations to Egypt and Jordan during the political turmoil in Lebanon in 2006-2007, and despite the return to normal of the security conditions in Lebanon since then, 50% of all IPD activities are now held outside Lebanon in order to consolidate the regional outreach of the Institute and to bring offer closer to where demand exists. IPD has trained 400+ people from all MENA countries and with a cumulative budget exceeding USD 1.7M.

Click he​re to download the full IPD training profile.


​Other Past Projects

  • ESDU is RUAF's 7th center, serving the MENA region. The RUAF “FROM SEEDS TO TABLE” (FStT) PROGRAM IN THE MENA REGION 2009-2010 is to Strengthen urban farmers’ organizations and their marketing capacities.  The RUAF program “From Seed to Table” (FStT) is an extension of the urban agriculture program in the Middle East and North Africa. The FStT-program will be the link to the Multi-Stakeholder Process MPAP (Multi-stakeholders Policy Formulation and Action Planning) on urban agriculture that was established during RUAF-CFF program. 
  • Communication for development (comdev-neareast):​ Fostering local ownership in development processes through building capacities in effective communication practices in the Near East region: the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, through the Community of practice for the advancement of Communication for Development and Sustainable Livelihoods in the Near East supports the project titled: “Regional initiative on capacity development in Communication for Development (ComDev) in support of food security and climate change adaptation efforts”. The project includes the Transfer of the Communication for Development portal that was established in 2008 to a new webhost with an update on the content and a new design for the classification of documents. In addition a concept note was developed and will be elaborated in depth before the end of the year to become the base for future proposals; the concept note title is: “Effective Communication for Agricultural Research and Extension Systems: supporting small-scale farmers to achieve sustainable integrated water management in Mediterranean countries”.
  • Outcome Mapping: ​Final ​Report​
  • ​Near East management training in Agriculture: NEMTA aims to upgrade the skills of managers and seni​or staff and improve effectiveness and sustainability of agricultural and rural development projects and programs. NEMTA is supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Regional Training and Knowledge Sharing in Urban Agriculture: The objective of this project is to contribute to strengthening and institutionalizing urban agriculture in local and national urban development in the MENA region. This project is supported by the International Development research Center (IDRC).
  • ​Capacity Building for Sustainable Animal Production as a part of Coastal/Midlands Agricultural Development Project: this project aims at improving milk handling, processing and marketing in Syria with emphasis on women producers and is supported by IFAD.
  • ​Agricultural Higher Education And Development Project (AHEAD): this partnership agreement between the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources of the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (AUB) aims at: Strengthening academic programs and extension training in Agricultural Sciences at the College of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Mosul (UM) and the University of Dohuk (UD); rehabilitating the research infrastructure and agricultural research programs at both colleges. AHEAD is supported by USAID.
  • Wild Edible Plants: Promoting Dietary Diversity in Lebanon: this project aims at improving the health status of the rural and urban poor by promoting the preservation and sustainable use of wild plants. This Project is supported by IDRC. The project aims at increasingdietary diversity in the urban and rural poor through the promotion of the sustainable use of wild edible plants, ultimately improving general health status in the targeted communities.
  • ​Yammouneh Technology Transfer and Extension Project
  • Growing Sustainability: An Integrated Village Development Project, El Qaraaoun pilot village
  • ​Sustainable Improvement of Marginal Lands in Lebanon, Arsaal a Case study

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