Asia Pacific Evaluation Association (APEA)

 

Inaugural International Evaluation Conference, 2016

 

Hanoi, Vietnam, 21–25 November 2016

 

 

Paper Title:

 

Evidence-based decision support systems:   A missing link in the collection and strategic use of monitoring data for evaluation.

 

Paper Theme:

 

Policy & Regulatory Support Environment for SDGs and Evaluation

 

 

Ganyani Khosa

Secretary General, Zimbabwe Evaluation Society, Zimbabwe

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Abstract

Experience from the evaluation of policies, programmes and projects implemented by governments to meet the MDGs were painful mainly because the collection of monitoring data (baseline and administrative) was erratic and in some cases inexistent.  This shortcoming is despite the availability of non-state players and development partners to provide technical support and capacity in the collection of monitoring data. Although the challenge was more prevalent in public sector programmes, it also existed in those supported by development partners.

 

While the commonly cited reasons for the limited and irregular collection of monitoring data are lack of technical, financial and human skills, the most plausible are lack of evaluation culture in the public sector in some countries and limited policy enforcement. Even when programme management is aware of and recognizes importance of collecting monitoring data, administrative and logistical procedures such as recruiting and training staff as well as purchasing requisite equipment may create long delays before baseline data, for instance, can be collected. At national level, the volume of data, coupled with lack of guiding policies can be overwhelming and cause inertia. This is where computerized M&E systems such as the Performance Results Management System (PReMaS®) supported by a sound national policy on M&E become integral.

 

This paper will explore the reasons for the limited collection of monitoring data in public sector projects and programmes and their implications in strengthening the support environment for implementation and evaluation of SDGs. Suggestions will be made for improving the collection of monitoring data at the onset of programme planning and implementation within the context of SDGs. Infact, now is the right time for governments to plan and develop guidelines and appropriate regulatory frameworks for the collection of data to monitor and provide evidence-based decision support systems for the implementation of the SDGs.  

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