A media dialogue on the relevance of evaluation in policy-making and management and for ensuring better development outcomes has taken place in Accra.


The dialogue, organized by the Ghana Monitoring & Evaluation Forum (GMEF) in collaboration with the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Africa Evaluation Association (AfrEA) and other partners, formed part of activities marking the International Year of Evaluation (Eval Year).


The United Nations Organization (UN) has declared 2015 as Eval Year during which each UN member-country is expected to undertake activities to mark the occasion, with a focus on highlighting the relevance of evaluation in policy management and ensuring better development results.


Eval Year 2015, therefore, creates the opportunity for Ghana to promote demand and use of evaluation in policy-making among government, civil society organizations and Parliamentarians. Accordingly, Ghana has decided to use the occasion to launch a major campaign towards strengthening the environment for evaluation by developing a National Evaluation Policy.


The campaign will also include Media and Publicity events (Media and Policy Dialogues) for public discussion and debate on the relevance of evaluation in policy-making and management and for ensuring better development outcomes, and the relevance of a National Evaluation Policy. Other activities lined up to mark Eval Year 2015 in Ghana are the National Launch of Eval Year 2015 and three regional forums on Evaluation in Tamale, Kumasi and Takoradi.


Speaking at the media dialogue, yesterday, the Director-General of the NDPC, Dr Nii Moi Thompson, described the dialogue as one of the efforts of promoting Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E).


Dr Thompson noted that M&E were essential aspects of development that had been neglected, adding that M & E required a structured assessment in which the relevance of data and research could not be underestimated. He said NDPC was taking steps to strengthen research by establishing a Policy Research Fund to address the deficiency in evaluation studies to enhance the understanding of issues of national interest. He disclosed that NDPC would produce a 40-year development plan that would complement existing medium development plans of the country aimed at shaping its future.


In a presentation, a representative of UNICEF, Mr Clemence Gros, summed up the meaning of M & E in three key questions, namely “Are we doing the right thing?”, “Are we doing it right?” and “Are there better ways of doing it?”, adding that the three questions also represented “Relevance, Effectiveness and Alternatives”.


Nana Opare-Djan, Deputy Director, NDPC, stressed the need to allocate adequate resources for evaluation and to develop capacity in evaluation. This, therefore, Nana Opare-Djan said, called for the institutionalization of evaluation as a key component of policy implementation through the development of a National Evaluation Policy.


Presenting an overview of a study of M & E by the Centre for Learning, Evaluation and Research (CLEAR) in Africa, Dr Charles Amoatey, Programme Co-ordinator, noted that the availability of funds to contract evaluation was very low in Ghana.


Dr Amoatey bemoaned the situation where evaluation reports were produced but not utilized and reiterated the call for the institutionalization of M & E as a tool for aiding the process of policy and programme implementation.    


In a welcome address, Mrs Dede Bedu-Addo, Co-ordinator, Ghana Monitoring and Evaluation Forum (GMEF), said the Dialogue was a first step towards the development of a National Policy on Evaluation.                                                            


Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)

Created: 02 July 2015
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