Evaluation (DCF)

NEW YORK CITY— Good evaluation of plans, programs, and projects is needed for sound decision-making and promoting government transparency and accountability, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan made this statement during a session on “A renewed global partnership for development” at the Fourth Biennial High-level Meeting of the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) on July 11, 2014 at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

Balisacan stressed the crucial role of evaluation in decision-making, updating priorities, and improving government ownership of development outcomes.

“Good evaluation generates useful evidence. In turn, good evidence enlightens judgment and provides sound basis for decision-making,” the Cabinet official said.

“When spending priorities of government are evaluated, with results widely-disseminated and discussed in the public domain, the agencies or the individuals mandated to allocate or spend public resources are placed under public scrutiny. Consequently, the decisions they make are guided by evidence generated from evaluation,” he said.

Balisacan emphasized the need to mobilize and allocate resources that will support the whole infrastructure of evaluation – from the design, to the systematic generation of relevant data with the required data integrity, to the actual conduct of evaluation, and to the dissemination and use of evaluation results.

“In many developing countries, there’s a major challenge of allocating from government’s own budget resources needed to even generate good baseline data, much more for evaluation itself,” he said.

Balisacan explained however, that certain elements must be in place before evaluation leads to sound decision-making, transparency, accountability, and ownership.

“First, demand for evaluation must be created within a country. Second, as demand for evaluation increases, the capacity to meet such demand needs to be stepped up. Lastly, the role of joint evaluation between the development partner and the country must be seen and organized as an instrument of mutual accountability,” added Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General.

The Philippine government has already adopted a performance management, results-oriented system where the demand for good evaluation naturally grows.

“I take this opportunity therefore to draw the development partners’ attention to help build the capacity of governments for evaluation. Surely, you can readily agree that the return on this investment will be tangible and high and will likely go a long way in enabling us all to achieve not only a country’s development agenda but the global agenda as well,” he concluded.