Monitoring and Evaluation in the CSO Sector in Ghana

Monitoring and Evaluation in
the CSO Sector in Ghana
Monitoring & Evaluation and Social
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
• 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
– 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
Policy advocacy
Planning processes,
prioritisation, policy
development plans,
Scrutiny of budget /
resource allocation
Release of funds
Utilisation of funds
Service delivery
& Accountability
Resource allocation,
budget setting
M&E / assessment of
service delivery and
social & economic
Budget analysis
/ spend
Citizens’ Participation in Decision Making
Policy and
M&E of
Services and
and Tracking
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.