The writing below are my reflection after reading a world bank book or report entitled How to Build M&E Systems to Support Better Government by Keith Mackay.
Monitoring and Evaluating system is an indispensable part of finance in a country. A good planning will be worthless if there is no good monitoring and evaluating system. Several criteria that we have to have in a good M&E systems are:
- Functioned as performance indicator
- Functioned as rapid appraisal and evaluation
- Impact evaluation, and
- Comprehensive spending review [More about it: Monitoring and Evaluation: Some tools, Methods, and Approaches (IEG 2004b)]
A good M&E system will help the government in the next period budgeting process as well as policy development. It also help to manage the current activities. And the most important thing, It will enhance transparancy and support accountability. Almost all of OECD countries put emphasis on M&E system (More about OECD, visit their website: http://www.oecd.org/home/0,2987,en_2649_201185_1_1_1_1_1,00.html)
In this book, there are five countries mentioned which has a very good M&E system, that are Australia, Chile, Colombia, UK, and US. The writer also pointed out three important lesson from those country. The first is utilization of M&E information in policy making, budgeting, management, and accountability process. Second is a qualified M&E information, while the last is the sustainability, in term of conducting M&E, and also applying M&E process to the activity mentioned above.
There are a lot of lesson from the succesful country in term of this M&E system. Among of them are:
- Ex ante cost benefit analysis, conducted at ministry of national planning
- Performance indicator
- Comprehensive management report
- Evaluation of management program
- Rigorous impact evaluation
- Comprehensive spending review
- The use of real time information on certain ministry to achieve their stated goal. Each ministry as stated above, is required to set their performance target, and then it will be published on their website. All of the citizen can also control the acievement process (Part of social control).
All of the M&E System obviously really require a political will from the central government and also from parliament. If there is no politica, will (because the central governmenr and member of parliament want to take personal advantade over national wealth, then it is hopeless). After all, this book is really good. You can download this book here: http://www.worldbank.org/ieg/ecd/docs/How_to_build_ME_gov.pdf