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Institutionalisation of government evaluation: Balancing trade offs


  • Gaarder, Marie

    () (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation)

  • Briceno, Bertha

    (World Bank)


Carefully designed and implemented evaluations can improve people’s welfare, and enhance development effectiveness. The paper investigates institutions in Mexico, Chile,and Colombia, and shows that for the successful inception of an institutionalised system for evaluation, three common factors stand out: the existence of a democratic system with a vocal opposition, the existence of influential M&E champions to lead the process, and a clear powerful stakeholder. Mexico’s CONEVAL is the most independent of the three bodies, mainly due to the fact that it is reporting to an executive board of independent academics; Chile’s Dipres is the best placed in terms of enforcement, with its location within the Ministry of Finance and control of an independent budget ; and Colombia’s Sinergia helps promote a culture of utilization of evaluations as a project management tool. However, actual usage of M&E information and the resulting effect upon development effectiveness are the benchmarks of success. The paper concludes that an explicit and thoughtful process of assessing the needs, the focus, and the emphasis of the system should serve officials and champions to identify adequate arrangements for the particular country context and understand how to better respond to the forces pushing for the creation of new M&E units and bodies.

Suggested Citation

  • Gaarder, Marie & Briceno, Bertha, 2011. "Institutionalisation of government evaluation: Balancing trade offs," 3ie Publications 2010-8, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:iiierp:2010_008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    2. Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2011. "Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 510-527, May.
    3. Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Miriam Bruhn & David McKenzie, 2009. "In Pursuit of Balance: Randomization in Practice in Development Field Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 200-232, October.
    5. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2008. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Malaria Prevention Experiment," NBER Working Papers 14406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. White, Howard, 2009. "Theory-Based Impact Evaluation," 3ie Publications 2009-3, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
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    More about this item


    institutionalisation; impact evaluation;

    JEL classification:

    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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