Towards an understanding of civil society organisations' involvement in monitoring and evaluation
The focus on Aid effectiveness and the adoption of aid modalities, such as budget support, has put the spotlight on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). Both donors and recipient countries are asked to reform their M&E system in line with the principles of the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for Action. These reforms should improve country-led M&E systems and enable them to perform their dual function: 1) strengthening (domestic) accountability to ensure the implementation of programmes and policies, and, 2) provide feedback to improve programmes and policies. This paper will focus on one aspect of the M&E reforms: the involvement of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in M&E systems, either in an institutionalized or independent way. As a first step to understand how M&E in general, and CSO-led M&E in particular, can fulfil its dual function, the concepts of accountability and feedback will be unpacked drawing upon a broad range of literature. Theories around accountability provide insights about the ways in which CSOs can use M&E evidence to improve domestic accountability. Secondly, public policy analysis theories highlight the complex and non-linear character of policy-making and change. Thirdly, the literature on evaluation use and influence explains the different ways in which evaluation can influence policymakers (or not). Last, the literature on research - policy interface focuses on the different factors that are mediating the influence of CSO-led M&E on programmes and policies. Building further on the main elements of the literature discussed, the paper will then present a conceptual framework that aims to increase our understanding of CSOs' involvement in M&E in the current development context.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2011|
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