This paper draws together the extensive and growing body of experience with the institutionalization of government M&E systems, particularly those in developing countries. Using Chile as an example, the paper outlines what ‘success’ looks like; but the point is made that it is dangerous to look for best-practice country examples. Each country is unique, in terms of its starting point and also in terms of the destination to which it aspires -- much depends on the particular uses of M&E information for which the system is being designed. That said, a number of lessons and success factors are identified, as well as a number of mistakes to avoid.
The paper also considers international trends and influences on country efforts to institutionalize M&E, such as the demonstration effect of rich countries which have achieved such institutionalization, pressures on governments to provide more services in a climate of fiscal constraints, and the greater emphasis of international donors on the achievement of measurable results. Finally, the paper discusses the special case of Africa and the types of M&E issue which countries in that region face.
The paper provides a large number of references to studies on the institutionalization of M&E systems.
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