Socioeconomic Planning Secretary

Director-General, National Economic and Development Authority


6th Monitoring and Evaluation Network Philippines Forum

Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas

December 06, 2016


Good day and greetings to everyone.

To our colleagues in government, from the legislative and executive branches, providers of development cooperation, partners from the academe, and civil society organizations, independent evaluation practitioners, and my dear esteemed fellow NEDAns, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

This is an opportune time to examine the country’s evaluation practices and be poised to create a favorable evaluation environment in response to the heightened clamor for evidence-backed decisions within the bureaucracy. We are confronted on various fronts, with the need for evidence-based policy decisions, plans and development interventions through specific programs and projects.

Over the past years, we ushered in many government reforms and initiatives to instill greater transparency and accountability requiring results-based approaches in the whole of the public sector management in core government processes such as planning and budgeting. These reforms and initiatives ascertain the continuing relevance for the conduct and use of evaluations for better-informed practices, policies and decisions. Sharpening our results, focused towards outcome-based budgeting in the government, is commensurate to generating information on what works and what doesn’t work, and ensuring the proper feedback processes are taking place.

The new administration provides a promising start. Anchored on the AmBisyon Natin 2040, or the Long term vision, and the 0-10 point Socioeconomic Agenda, we are currently formulating the first of four medium term development plans, or PDP 2017-2022, which includes its attendant results matrix and Public Investment Program or PIP.

We are cognizant that the performance metrics need to be prepared as these will later on serve as our basis for addressing whether we are achieving what we promised to deliver to our people.

In this context, we shall closely watch certain national indicators that would support the overall goal as espoused in the AmBisyon Natin 2040, to triple real GDP per capita and eradicate hunger and poverty sooner than later and certainly latest by 2040.

In addition, the PDP 2017-2022 also is adopting the 2030 sustainable development goals or SDGs, which have the globally set goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure shared prosperity. The need for evidence becomes even greater because of these renewed commitments to quantify standards and targets both prioritized nationally and desired globally.

Building in previous M&E network fora in the past five years, I was informed that the National Evaluation Policy Framework, or NEPF, was launched last year to guide the purposive conduct of evaluation in the private sector.

I encourage everyone in the government to start setting up in your agencies for the wider practice of evaluations as envisioned by the NEPF to back up future public sector management decisions.

While we continue to advocate the practice of evaluation and the use of the findings, we recognize the various challenges that remain, with the NEPF as only the first step. The very challenge to operationalize this landmark policy framework comes with the more pressing need for enhanced technical capacities and mobilization of resources within the government to include ensuring budget appropriations to conduct evaluations.

We in government also recognize the relevant roles and the need to actively engage other key actors from the academe, providers of development cooperation, non-government organizations, think tanks, and private sector M&E practitioners in ensuring that the conduct of evaluations is inclusive and consultative, and built on a collective appreciation that impartial and objective evaluations or M&E are needed to fully achieve our development goals.

Alongside these, we also recognize the need to strengthen information systems, which would fill in data gaps to facilitate the sound conduct of evaluations and their practical use in the future. The Open Data policy on government management information systems at various levels must allow continuous sharing of evaluation knowledge and practice.

We wish to see that the M&E Network extends beyond the government, recognizing that in order for evaluations to be meaningful, balance and useful, we must open to public discourse and learnings on M&E, evaluation findings in particular. Strengthened collaboration between and among public and private entities and other monitoring and evaluation groups within the country and the global arena in general.

In closing, we are in these most challenging and exciting times, where evaluation practices are recognized as an indispensable tool in promoting accountability, transparency, and learnings by the government.

I hope that this Forum will stimulate communication, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration among evaluation practitioners, such that we will be able to forge stronger partnerships in furthering our commitment to provide empirical evidence for the informed decisions by government and the development community as a whole.

I wish everyone a productive day.

Thank you for attention and mabuhay tayong lahat!