Carrying out adequate constraints analysis helps project teams estimate the cost of impacts of current policies and to therefore estimate the benefits of changing policies. This information can be used to prepare propositions for policy changes or initiatives to raise the feasibility of addressing SDGs. Therefore the GCA approach is a fertile ground for the preparation of responsible positive and constructive advocacy.The system design priorities
The Analytical Tools Development Centre (ATDC), a design unit at SEEL-Systems Engineering Economics Lab, now manages the design and implementation of all SDGToolkit ATs. Angus Raeburn, the new manager of the ATDC, explained that a considerable amount of investment is being placed on cognitive ergonomic aspects of ATs. This is to make them easy to use but capable of undertaking complex but transparent analyses combined with data validation. The reason for this is to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency and at a lower cost than practitioners using conventional methods of analysis. The cost-effectiveness of SDGToolkit as a whole is following a downward trajectory as the design team continues to learn how to refine their work according to the cumulative experience in handling an increasing array of ATs and customer demands.
Raeburn gave me a couple of old poster images of the theory behind the system which they developed for their Navatec.com system, 16 years ago. I have displayed these on the left and on the right. Raeburn says that SEEL has thrived on ever more complex new challenges since its foundation in 1983,
"In completing tasks in response to demands, there is learning. With increasing complexity, learning and experience make innovation possible. It is a never-ending voyage of discovery.
In the following article I will present a comparison of the time I took, as an individual, to complete 9 relatively complex tasks within a day with SEEL's benchmarks which determine how long these would have been taken by a team of experts; notice my output is compared with a team of experts. I have worked with online systems for agriculture now for over 20 years I have not come across such a large collection of useful analytical tools (ATs) within a single integrated service.
Expensive international visit-based consultancy and technical support was not only eclipsed by Covid-19 but, in the very near future, it seems to me, that SDGToolkit's remote delivery of digital intelligence solutions is likely to provide the preferred and better solution for policy makers, development organizations, governments and project teams in low income countries.
Images in this article
To facilitate the placement of screen shots of SDGToolkit dialogs on this web page, their side white space areas were removed reducing their width, and by moving blue header contents (menus and symbols) towards the centre in the resulting images. In general, some dialogs presented may differ from future versions because of SDGToolkit's proactive review and improvement policy. In fact, during the course of this evaluation three new ATs were added and one, which had become redundant, was removed. This changed menu lists. This continuing process maintains backwards compatibility but is applied to all 3DP modules to advance the utility of the overall SDGToolkit provision. This process is based on feedback from stakeholders and the cumulative applied agricultural project experience of the SDGToolkit team.Accessing the GCA
To get to the GCA dialog page and menu there is a double security check because users need to have been authorized by their organizations. One security check (name and PIN) permits access to the platform and a second one (name and another PIN) checks a user's access rights to change any data linked to a project. Where a specific project is not identified then all ATs can be accessed and results identified by specific autogenerated IDs.
The initial systems menu is the "Access to toolkit Design Library", as shown below. The menus link to ATs which users can input data to generate output. By altering data inputs other optional information series can be generated. All runs or scenarios are time-stamped and assigned an ID and saved in an Accumulog (immutable database segment). Therefore all options are retained for later reference in a central Project Memory.
Menu used to access modules to add data
At the top of this dialog there is a button, "Real Time Monitoring & Evaluation" highlighted in the screen shot in green. By clicking on this, the user gains access to another dialog, "Access to toolkit RTME Library". This the "the on-demand analysis and reporting system for the whole project cycle. This dialog is shown below. This is unlikely to be used at this stage except to recover different projections which have been generated using GCA ATs. In fact the SDGToolkit team used this to evaluate my efforts; I deal with this in the next article.
The RTME provides on-demand access at any point in the project cycle to examine all scenario options and design logic using subsequent tools in the 3DP (to be reviewed in later articles) generated on any project. The scope of oversight can be seen from the RTME dialog menu items. These include results from SDGToolkit's "internal evaluation" procedures covering design (2 & 3), the project plan (4), feedback from proposal assessors (4), operational decisions and their outcomes (5), operational task performance (6) and adjustments introduced to ensure post-funding sustainability (7).
This system can be used by authorized oversight personnel such as donor portfolio managers, the project team's organization management and in some cases government agency personnel overseeing government financed project programmes, as well as team members and other stakeholders.Menu used to access real time monitoring & evaluation system
for on demand analysis and reporting on any project detail
Currently, the GCA AT library contains 25 ATs and the following stages of analysis in the 3DP at the project level includes some 55 ATs.Screen shot of GCA menu
In Part3 - the next article
In the next article which I will post during this week (09/08/2021-13/08/2021), I will progress through a sequence where I complete the following analyses with each one presenting a summary report consisting of a narrative, detailed tabulations and graphs. I will report on how long these took to complete and the relative savings when compared with coventional task benchmarks maintained by the ATDC at SEEL.
- Generate population projections separating out younger cohorts
- Create commodity balance sheets to find out the degree of national self-sufficiency in needed commodities
- Calculate per capita food consumption levels to identify and measure the size of deficits
- Based on the above, project the future national requirements for specific foods linked to required target per capita consumption levels
- Work out the areas of land required to achieve different levels of self-sufficiency for critical commodities
- Determine the projections of real incomes or purchasing power of middle and lower income segments for food items
- Work out the minimum prices that provide farmers with a compensatory profit
- Assess policy provision options, if needed, to marry up purchasing power of lower income segments to unit prices that sustain viable agricultural production of critical commodities
- Dimension the national priority gaps and needs in terms of the required programme size
|Posted: 20210809||We welcome questions and feedback:|
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