Opening Remarks
Arsenio M. Balisacan, PhD
National Economic and Development Authority  

28 November 2022 | 8:00 A.M. – 5:30 PM


Representative Stella Quimbo,

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Counsellor Thanh Le,

ADB Director General Emmanuel Jimenez,

UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Selva Ramachandran,

Officials and colleagues from the Philippine government,

Members of the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Community,

Our development partners, friends in civil society and the private sector,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.

I am very pleased to welcome you all to the 9th Annual Monitoring and Evaluation Network Forum. Even though I am unable to join you in person, I hope that you are all enjoying this opportunity to meet each other face to face, perhaps for the first time in over two years.

Eleven years ago, we launched the Monitoring and Evaluation Network Philippines to serve as a platform for discourse among advocates and practitioners in the field. Since then, the M&E Network forums were undertaken annually to sustain this dialogue and consolidate the network’s efforts toward elevating the practice of M&E in the country.

Even during the pandemic, the forum continued to be a venue for knowledge sharing, learning, and networking among M&E practitioners, advocates and experts. Indeed, the year-long M&E Network Webinar Series conducted last year kept the agenda moving forward.

Over the years, concrete actions have been taken towards promoting M&E practices in the public sector. We recall the launching of the National Evaluation Policy Framework or NEPF in 2015, jointly issued by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Budget and Management, which aimed to foster evidence-based decision-making in government.

As we are currently finalizing the Philippine Development Plan or PDP 2023-2028, the NEDA is also working on a six-year evaluation agenda that will serve as our roadmap for fostering a culture of evaluation in the Philippines. In the next six years, we will endeavor to build the capacity of organizations to undertake high-quality evaluations for the public sector and initiate efforts to boost the public’s confidence in the evaluation process, results, and institutions of the government.

We will also aim to produce relevant data and evidence in a timely and responsive manner and communicate these more effectively to aid decision-making and encourage knowledge sharing. Accordingly, we firmly commit to deliberately seek out and act on evidence to better design, manage, and deliver government programs and services.

The theme of the 9th annual gathering of M&E practitioners and advocates in the country is, “Laying the M&E foundations for the 8-point Socioeconomic Agenda”. To recall, the Marcos Administration’s economic program focuses on addressing both the short-term issues and medium-term constraints to reinvigorating job creation and reducing poverty. The Agenda, to be fleshed out in the PDP, frames the country’s programs and policies – including the legislative agenda – for the next six years.

Formulating a plan is one thing; implementing it is another. What must not be neglected, however, is the need to continuously monitor and evaluate whether the targets are being met. Monitoring and evaluation is needed to enable policymakers to take action and make the necessary adjustments so that the plan’s identified objectives are still achieved. M&E also allows decision-makers to learn from possible missteps and design better policies. Today, we continue our dialogue on how M&E initiatives in the country can be improved, scaled up, and be made more effective to inform and support policy decisions.

While we recognize the challenges of creating a vibrant culture of evaluation in public policy, it is our firm belief that our persistent efforts to strengthen and invest in our M&E systems will ultimately result in smarter and more effective actions and initiatives that benefit the Filipino people. We enjoin stakeholders from both government and non-government sectors to sustain a community of practice for M&E in this challenging time of economic recovery. May this M&E forum inspire us and spur actions towards the attainment of the Filipino people’s long-term vision of having a strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure life for all.

Thank you, and a good day to everyone.