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Publication: Institutionalisation of Government Evaluation - balancing trade-offs (Working Paper) (3ieimpact, 4 Aug 2010)

Posted date: 
Wed, 08/04/2010

Carefully designed and implemented evaluations can improve people’s welfare, and enhance development effectiveness. The paper investigates institutions in Mexico, Chile, and Colombia, and shows that for the successful inception of an institutionalised system for evaluation, three common factors stand out: the existence of a democratic system with a vocal opposition, the existence of influential M&E champions to lead the process, and a clear powerful stakeholder. Mexico’s CONEVAL is the most independent of the three bodies, mainly due to the fact that it is reporting to an executive board of independent academics; Chile’s Dipres is the best placed in terms of enforcement, with its location within the Ministry of Finance and control of an independent budget ; and Colombia’s Sinergia helps promote a culture of utilization of evaluations as a project management tool. However, actual usage of M&E information and the resulting effect upon development effectiveness are the benchmarks of success. The paper concludes that an explicit and thoughtful process of assessing the needs, the focus, and the emphasis of the system should serve officials and champions to identify adequate arrangements for the particular country context and understand how to better respond to the forces pushing for the creation of new M&E units and bodies.