On final day of the Evalweek, about 25 people came together to reflect on the learning through the Eval week in India. Sindhushree Khullar CEO of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog chaired the closing event of Evalweek part of EvalYear celebrations in India.
Key points during the meeting
- The government will follow the policy of cooperative federalism.
- Need for national evaluation policy for India which could set the agenda for quality evaluations in the country. States like Telegana have started working on state evaluation policy.
- We have to focus on learning from the evaluation- what has worked and what has not worked, it should be beyond performance audits. We have to devise ways to systematically learn from our evaluations. Evaluations are usually retrospective, they should be forward looking and guide the policy makers or administrators in taking development decisions.
- Quantitative methodology should be substantiated with qualitative evaluations. Learning why in the programme comes through narrative
- Getting community perspective in evaluation is important for effective development. Therefore bottoms up approach is needed and for this training from the village level functionaries is required. Often we tend to see evaluation outside the community. Participatory evaluation can be an end intself. Community know their issues the best and through engaging in evaluation can take ownership of the issues and the evaluation findings.
- Similarly participants said that capacity building of all stakeholders on both monitoring and evaluation is critical. Currently the emphasis is on outputs rather than outcomes.
- Equity issues in evaluation are critical especially in countries like India.
- CSR initiatives should be evaluated so that the government can learn from the private sector
- In India many changes are inter-generational. Therefore, evaluation should be long-term, short period evaluations can measure the impact of the programme over a period of time. Also it takes a long time for evaluators to build rapport with implementing agencies. Therefore a long term process of engagement is important.
- Limited funds allocated to evaluation.
- Evaluation findings should be available in the public domain.
- Evaluators need to engage policy makers on evaluation
- Apart from programmes, policies also should be evaluated.
- Members shared that often government departments outsource their evaluations. However now these departments have agreed that one of their staff will be part of the committee which will provide indicators and framework for evaluation.
Ms Khullar stressed that the end of EvalWeek did not mean the end of dialogue on M&E. She said that her team will aim to foster multi lateral partnership with other organisations on evaluation. She concluded that the question is how do we develop our evaluation policy. Policy can be written in a short time but it is the process of developing the policy through deliberations with different stakeholders will be the key.
All present appreciated NILERD and NITI Aayog for bringing together different organisations in celebration of the Evaluation week.