III-d Strengthening the use of evaluation evidence in policy and program implementation and service delivery: the role of evaluation systems.

Description of workshop content

There is a growing interest to develop country evaluation systems at national and sub-national levels. Canada, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, Uganda, Benin etc. have established systems that have been functional for a number of years. Countries like Ghana, Niger, Kenya and Botswana are working on national systems of different forms. At sector level, ministries in different countries have often developed sectoral M&E systems to guide monitoring and evaluation practice. In general, these M&E systems tend to be biased towards monitoring, with work on evaluation emerging in some countries. Evidence suggest that where countries or sectors develop functional evaluation systems this can significantly increase interest in results and shape evaluation practice and drive up demand for evaluation skills and evaluation capacity building both from academic institutions and other private providers. Voluntary Organisations of Professional Evaluators (VOPES) are also likely to thrive in an environment where evaluation is experiencing degree of institutionalization.

Drawing from documented practical experiences of countries and sectors that have developed and implemented evaluation systems, as well as the literature, the course provides participants with both a theoretical and practical foundation for understanding the development of evaluation systems. The course explores both the technical and cultural/political elements of developing evaluation systems. It also examines how the establishment of evaluation systems has to be informed by contextual realities of a sector or a country, and why they are an important part of evidence-informed policy and programme implementation.

The following themes are covered in the course: Introduction to monitoring and evaluation; evaluation as part of public and organizational management; Introduction to the evaluation ecosystem; Developing evaluation system policy; Support systems and organisation/institutional arrangements needed for functional evaluation systems; Role of capacity development to support the evaluation system; Strategies to promote and embedding the use of evaluation evidence; strategies to resource the national evaluation system. The course ends with some practical considerations on steps that can be taken by countries to develop evaluation systems that are relevant, sustainable and strengthen the supply and use of evaluation evidence in policy and programme implementation and service delivery.

Workshop objectives

After completing the course participants will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between M&E, monitoring, evaluation and evidence systems and use the different concepts critically
  2. Differentiate and appreciate linkages between evaluation systems, government wide M&E systems, and how these feed into public service policy, planning, budgeting and management systems as well as other regional and global systems
  3. Identify and plan for different components of evaluation systems and how these need to be, coordinated and sustained
  4. Determine which evaluation system/components/types are applicable in different contexts

Recommended for

  1. M&E staff in government at national, provincial and local level
  2. Civil Society Organisations interested in interacting with country evaluation systems
  3. Voluntary Organisations for Professional Evaluation
  4. M&E training providers
  5. Academia, private consulting companies etc. interested in evaluation systems and supporting their development.


Intermediate Level.


Some basic understanding of Monitoring and Evaluation concepts will be beneficial, and ideally some exposure to evaluation. However, some people with no prior exposure to M&E would be able to participate in the course if they are part of a team with experience or prior exposure to M&E.


Matodzi Amisi
Ian Goldman