MANILA – The Philippine government will continue to conduct impact evaluation to inform decisions and resource allocation processes, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

“In developing countries such as the Philippines, impact evaluation is vital in identifying what programs or projects work and what do not,” said Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan during his speech at the Impact Evaluation for Development Effectiveness knowledge sharing at the Asian Development Bank on November 10, 2015.

“It helps policymakers ensure that public and donor funds are used prudently, and that limited resources are directed towards more efficient development interventions,” the Cabinet official added.

In July this year, the government finalized the National Evaluation Policy Framework (NEPF) through a Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) between the NEDA and the Department of Budget and Management. This aims to further improve resource allocation processes for various government projects and programs.

“We want to be able to report to our stakeholders that the projects that we support achieve the intended outcomes. With greater accountability and transparency being institutionalized, we hope to continue the progress we have made over the last five to six years,” Balisacan said.

In 2014, a Php300-million budget was allotted to the Philippine Information and Development Studies (PIDS) to conduct evaluation studies on key government programs and projects. The budget is also intended for various government agencies and selected state universities and colleges for capacity-building programs on impact evaluation.

To date, the PIDS has already completed eight process evaluation studies and six impact evaluation training workshops for 231 technical staffs from various government agencies and selected state universities and colleges. In addition, 17 ongoing process evaluation studies are scheduled to be completed next month.

The Australian Government has provided AUS$2.8 million worth of assistance through the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3IE) to evaluate three major development programs, namely the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), the Sustainable Livelihood Program, and the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (PAMANA-Peace and Development) Program.

The SPES, a project of the Department of Labor and Employment, is designed to link low-income youth aged 15-25 to formal work opportunities during school’s semestral or summer breaks. The impact evaluation study thus aims to determine how SPES affects the students’ school participation, as well as their income, work hours, and the duration of job search. The said program.

The study on the Sustainable Livelihood Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, meanwhile, is expected to determine whether and to what extent the livelihood and employment opportunities it provides to recipients of conditional cash transfers (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) improve the conditions of the beneficiary families.

The impact on conflict-affected areas of the PAMANA Peace and Development program handled by the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will likewise be evaluated.

Balisacan noted that the Supreme Court has expressed its interest to subject its “Access to Justice by the Poor” to impact evaluation. “To me that is a very interesting development; for them to be willing to be subjected to the discipline of impact evaluation is very encouraging,” Balisacan said.

“As we approach the end of the current administration, we are confident that we have put in place an enabling environment where the appreciation, conduct of evaluation, and subsequent use of evaluation findings in policy and investment decisions are fully embedded in government programs, projects, and processes,” he added.

– END –