Just as it is important to evaluate any type of capacity building or public sector reform, it is also important to evaluate efforts to strengthen government M&E systems. Such evaluations are similar in some ways to a diagnosis of an M&E system (see Diagnostic Guides) but would usually be more formal in nature. The World Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department (OED, the predecessor to the Independent Evaluation Group) conducted a self-evaluation in 2004 of its own work to help countries strengthen their M&E systems.
This self-evaluation examined OED’s strategy for its work in this area -- this helped define what “success” looks like, and this in turn helps to provide a benchmark against which progress can be evaluated. OED’s capacity-building activities and budget were discussed, and the actual results against each component of its strategy were analyzed. The analysis included a results chain for country-level M&E capacity-building, which identified activities, outputs, intermediate and final outcomes, as well as desired impact. Key performance indicators were identified for country-level work, and also for other components of OED’s capacity-building work (e.g., preparation of resource materials such as the publications in this website, M&E training, regional and global efforts, etc). Two in-depth case studies of OED’s country-level support were also undertaken, for Uganda and Egypt. Finally, criteria are presented for evaluating donor support for M&E capacity-building.
Building Country Capacity for Monitoring and Evaluation in the Public Sector: Selected Lessons of International Experience
The history of IEG’s involvement in the topic of building government M&E systems is discussed in World Bank Operations Evaluation Department: The First 30 Years, Chapter 11. The World Bank’s experience is also discussed by Keith Mackay in D.W. Compton, M. Baizerman and S.H. Stockdill (eds.), The Art, Craft, and Science of Evaluation Capacity Building, American Evaluation Association, New Directions in Evaluation, 93, Spring 2002, pp. 81-99.