Evaluation policy should be guided by national vision - Dr Amoatey
Dr Charles Amoatey, Lecturer, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration Business School said the evaluation policy in the public sector should be guided by the national vision, and aligned to long-term development plan.
He stressed that the policy should be relevant, effective and implemented, understood by everybody, produced in a consistent way to allow for aggregate benchmarking and ensure the efficient allocation of roles.
Dr Amoatey said this at a dialoque on National Evaluation Policy for the country in Accra organized by the Ghana Monitoring and Evaluation Forum and supported by the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
He was of the view that to finance evaluation, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should allocate a percentage of their budgets to evaluation, public policy and major cross-sectoral evaluations be budgeted from National Development Planning Commission budget .
Dr Amoatey said the country’s evaluation system is currently in a transition period and that there is very low prioritization of evaluation across the public sector.
He said several countries have written, legislated national evaluation policies but do not have the capacity, saying African countries use evaluation to comply with World Bank, United Nations Development Planning, and other donors’ criteria for funding.
Touching on the evaluation policy for Philippine, Dr Amoatey said the country categorized its evaluation policy under three strategies including short term, medium term and long term.
He said the short term deals with the creation of government bodies, that is evaluation task force, an evaluation secretariat and an interim technical working group, while the medium term focus on ad hoc evaluation department through an executive order which report to the office of the President and the long term formalizes the creation of an evaluation department that is independent of the executive and the legislative branch of government.
Dr Amoatey said some of the challenges of the Philippine’s evaluation policy was lack of capacity of agencies to manage evaluation and varying levels of monitoring and evaluation capacities across agencies.
He said some of the possible ways of addressing the challenges was to have joint evaluations with development partners and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies has 22 ongoing and proposed impact studies supported by the Monitoring and Evaluation fund.
He said Ghana needs to consider its options by looking at the experiences of other developing countries like the Philippine and the South Africans.
He said the Ghana National Evaluation Policy is the provision of clear mandates to relevant MDAs , civil society organizations and other development stakeholders to commission, manage and conduct evaluations of all programmes on a regular basis.
Dr Amoateng said the country’s policy should make provision for penalties for non-compliance including any measure allowed by the Financial Administrative Act by Ministry of Finance.
Dr Nii Moi Thompson, Director General of the National Development Planning Commission said there is the need for a national evaluation policy which shall mandate all public sector organizations to conduct evaluations on government policies, programmes and projects to deepen the role of transparency and accountability.
He said the Commission has produced national monitoring and evaluation manual and guidelines and report formats for all MDAs to prepare monitoring and evaluation plans for their respective medium term development plan.
He said the Commission uses checklist to review all the draft monitoring and evaluation plans submitted by MDAs to ensure compliance with the key requirements of the guidelines and report format.
Mr Clemens Gros, a representative from the UNICEF said evaluation focuses on relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability adding that a national evaluation policy can provide guidance on who is responsible for commissioning an evaluation and which decision makers are responsible for using the evidence from the policy makers.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this news report do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC)