Sector monitoring and evaluation systems in the context of changing aid modalities: the case of Niger‘s health sector
Within the context of the 2005 Paris Declaration (PD) and the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) recipient countries have committed themselves to setting up transparent results-oriented reporting and assessment frameworks, while donors are expected to use these frameworks and to collaborate with recipients in order to strengthen recipient countries‘ systems. However, progress in this area is slow: only three out of 54 countries in the 2008 PD Survey had adequate results-oriented frameworks. Donors, from their side, are reluctant to rely on systems which are only partially developed, which simultaneously blocks the further elaboration and maturing of recipient systems. Progress at sector level is generally stronger and particularly within health and education sectors where, in the context of Sector Wide Approaches (SWAps), several initiatives have been taken to strengthen monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems. Prior to strengthening an M&E system it is important to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the existing system, taking both M&E supply and demand sides into account. This working paper analyses the M&E system in the health sector of Niger and focuses on issues of policy, methodology, organisation (structure and linkages), capacity, participation of actors outside government and use of M&E outputs. The assessment of the M&E system in Niger‘s health sector shows a mixed picture of a partially developed system. When taking into account that Niger is one of the least developed countries in the world, with very weak scores on many health indicators, this outcome is more positive than expected. The very prominent role of donors might possibly be related to the scores obtained. The authors of this working document, however, argue that if M&E system strengthening is to a large extent pushed from the outside (donors) and not motivated through an internal M&E demand and supply side (both from within as well as outside government), it is likely that the outputs of the system as well as their use will be weak.
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