MANILA – Monitoring in emergencies can provide crucial information for the government to improve crisis response and decision-making in the short and long-term, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan made this statement read by NEDA Deputy Director-General Rolando Tungpalan during the 4th M&E Network Philippines Forum “Monitoring and Evaluation in Emergencies: Ensuring Accountability to Affected Population” on November 13, 2014 at the Marco Polo Hotel, Pasig City.

“In emergencies, providing credible and useful information is imperative in order to ensure accountability and the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making process. The final aim is always to improve future interventions, while lessening the need for the same by building back better,” said Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General.

Balisacan also pointed out the importance of determining the efficiency and effectiveness of government interventions to assess if the resources used and the efforts exerted have truly helped the affected population.

“It is necessary to ensure that interventions are not only making an impact, but are making an impact for the long-term and for all Filipinos,” he said.

To aid the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the public and private sectors, NEDA has produced the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY), which was published in December 2013 and a follow-up document, RAY Implementation for Results (RAY I4R) published in September this year.

RAY provided a preliminary assessment of damage, loss, and needs following Yolanda. It also outlined the way forward, including core principles and institutional arrangements for short- to medium-term response.

Meanwhile, the RAY I4R serves as the overarching results framework for recovery and rehabilitation in Yolanda-affected areas. Both these documents informed the recently approved Yolanda Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Plan of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery.

The forum, convened by NEDA, M&E Network Philippines, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) aimed to highlight the importance of monitoring and evaluation in emergencies and how it can drive improvement in results-based management and provide sustainable interventions to those affected.

Among the event’s resource speakers were: National Statistician Lisa Grace Bersales of the Philippine Statistics Authority; Dr. Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of the Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH; Mr. David Carden, National Program Coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and Mr. Hamman Masood and Ms. Lotta Sylwander of UNICEF.