Hi all and Happy New Year 2017. I’m Abdul Majeed, M&E officer at Free & Fair Election Forum of Afghanistan (FEFA) in Kabul. We increase public awareness on the importance of evaluation and the magnificent result it can have on improvements in the management of any organization. I have the honor of establishing the M&E department at FEFA with a track record in project implementation and fund raising for a national program.
Lesson Learned: Based on my little experience in M&E, I’ve noticed that the supply side is greater than the demand side for evaluation (or M&E in whole). I think efforts are required to attract the attention of governments, organizations, and institutions on the importance of evaluation to help in increasing the demand for it (or at least make them aware of its importance).
There might be an unwillingness from governments/organizations to conduct evaluation intentionally (as it will reveal what is happening in the ground) or unintentionally (due lack of knowledge on the importance of this notion and its value).
Lesson Learned: Achieving substantive demand for evaluation is not easy. Sometimes, a barrier is lack of knowledge about what evaluation encompasses. There seems a lack of demand by governments (particularly) for evaluation (mostly) because of the lack of understanding of evaluation and what it can provide. Therefore, awareness workshops could be conducted to demonstrate the usefulness of evaluation and the results it would have in enhancing transparency, supporting accountability, improving the management, and the positive role it may play in policy development/review, program management and organizational learning.
Lesson Learned: Funding agencies can also play a critical role to pressure governments/organizations to conduct evaluation and ask them to support evaluation as a requirement (not as an option). This will promote this process and help decision-makers consider it critically and seriously, and take practical steps in conducting a thorough and independent evaluation. As a result, the demand can be significantly increased. Publicity of both funding and recipient countries can also help in achieving a substantive demand for evaluation if they ask their governments for evidence on resource allocations and spending.
An anti-corruption campaign will also help in achieving the demand for evaluation as evaluation will enhance transparency and accountability in ministries and agencies across the country. By conducting a meaningful evaluation, there will be less chance for corruption (subject to utility of its information).
- Conducting awareness campaigns on importance of evaluation and its demand
- Media can play a critical role in awareness campaigns
- Terminology of evaluation should be simplified
- Sharing examples of those countries who have benefited from evaluation
- Incentives are necessary in achieving demand for evaluation
At the end, it is important that conducting evaluation only for the sake of knowing what worked or not is insufficient unless its information is used.
I am trying to increase public awareness on the importance of evaluation and the magnificent result
I highly appreciate comments and suggestions and appreciated readers’ compliments on my previous article.
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