Monitoring and Evaluation in the CSO Sector in Ghana Monitoring & Evaluation and Social Accountability M&E Forum May 2011 Dorcas Ansah • • Paper examines: the M&E systems and practices of CSOs in Ghana and how M&E supports the achievement of social accountability in Ghana. Approach to Presentation • a broad definition of the concept of SA and some examples of the application of this in Ghana. • the link between M&E and SA • an overview of the M&E systems of CSOs in Ghana based on the evaluation reports of G-RAP • proposing some recommendations, based on the preceding on how M&E of CSOs in Ghana can better support SA. What does Social Accountability mean • Social accountability is a process in which the ordinary citizen participates directly in exacting accountability and responsiveness of decision makers: Government (local, district and national); Parliament; and other groups deliver services • Social Accountability mechanisms refer to a broad range of actions (beyond voting) that citizens, communities and civil society organizations can use eg: citizens’ participation in public policy making, participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracking, citizen monitoring of public service delivery, citizen advisory boards, lobbying and advocacy campaigns. Examples in Ghana of the expression of the demand for social accountability • Elections • The Africa Peer Review Mechanism of NEPAD (APRM) • CSO programmes like the SEND HIPC Watch and School Feeding Monitoring Program; What SA seeks to Achieve • Improved governance • increased development effectiveness through improved public service delivery and more informed policy design • social accountability initiatives can lead to empowerment, particularly of poor people Monitoring and Evaluation Monitoring is a systematic process of collecting and analysing information to track the efficiency of programmes in the achievement of its Impact. Evaluation is a systematic process of collecting and analysing information to assess the effectiveness of a programme in the achievement of its Impact. To achieve this, there are three M&E priorities; •Learning from experience; for partners to share and capture challenges and good practices in governance processes. This is looking back on the concrete actions and experiences of the programme and its partners •Informing decisions; ensuring that insights, understanding and learning from experience is used and informs partners to improve their own decision making and identify concrete ways in which to plan differently for their work Be accountable and change; using lessons learned, in its strategies, plans and responses now change by acting on learning and as a result work becomes more effective M&E and Accountability • Ideally M&E should help achieve triple accountabilities – Internal accountability – Donor accountability – Accountability to constituents Social Accountability & M&E • SA requires access to information for informed policy advocacy based on empirical evidence. M&E helps to collect information, conduct analysis, measure progress, evaluate and feedback into the process adopted to achieve the proposed outcomes Do current CSO approaches to M&E promote social accountability? • The internal M&E systems of CSOs seem to focus on accountability to donors and do not facilitate accountability downwards to communities and citizens’ groups or even enable citizens holding them to account. In effect the systems do not deliver on achievements in social accountability • An assessment of M&E within G-rap in 2010 showed that there was very little attention within organisations to M&E. It was not seen as being integral to achieving organisational effectiveness and therefore programme effectiveness. Using M&E to achieve increased impact in social accountability • Clearly articulating expected results • Benchmarking and identifying milestones leading to the achievement of the result • Ensuring that internal systems generate the information for the milestones. Evaluating and Feeding back to key sections of the programme any information requiring a change • Reporting key data and findings which respond to the steps identified for achieving the results Some Recommendations What needs to be done: • Rethink our current approaches to M&E, focusing on handing over the stick( what we monitor, communities’ role in our M&E, enabling communities’ own M&E, how we provide info to enable community/citizens to hold us accountable, etc.) • Rethink concept of accountability • Strengthening communities’ capacity to undertake SA; • Build into M&E frameworks we develop for donors, processes and mechanisms for donor & CSO accountability to citizens; STAR-Ghana’s Approach Background to STAR-Ghana • To hold government accountable, need to understand how govt works, so S-G’s TOC is around the government business cycle; • So results framework of STAR and its grantees are built around the govt business cycle and therefore monitoring will be around it. This will help enhance govt accountability in ways that are meaningful to ordinary citizens; • One of the challenges on the way we have approach SA is that we have focused on one part rather than the whole business cycle The Theory of Change Voice Responsiveness Policy advocacy Planning processes, prioritisation, policy formulation Policies, development plans, legislation business Scrutiny of budget / resource allocation Budget monitoring cycle Release of funds Utilisation of funds Service delivery & Accountability Resource allocation, budget setting the Government M&E / assessment of service delivery and social & economic impacts Budget analysis / spend Citizens’ Participation in Decision Making Policy Modification Policy and Legislation Policy Advocacy M&E of Services and Impacts Service Delivery Government Business Cycle Budget Monitoring and Tracking Budget Analysis Resource Allocation Resource Release Resource Utilisation Concluding thoughts • SA has to be an integral part of democratic governance i.e. citizens are able to hold govt accountable and responsive. • To be able to achieve this it is important to critically examine the systems and practice we adopt as CSOs to promote SA. • We therefore need to rethink the why, how and what of M&E ensuring that there is alignment between our commitment to transparency and accountability and they way we do business.