Thursday, 22 October 2009

3ie have published a paper comparing the way 5 countries set up their evaluation departments.

The authors discuss some interesting questions, like: how independent should oversight bodies be from government? what powers should evaluation departments have to enforce their findings?

They look in depth at Mexico, Colombia, Chile, South Africa and China - as well as briefly summarising the situation in Spain, UK and US.

One of their insights is that in the first 5 countries the pressure for evaluation comes largely from donors, but in the West it is the public that demands evidence-based policy.

It's quite right that the institutional mechanisms should vary between countries - there's no requirement for one-size-fits-all.

But it's also worth reflecting on the many problems which have arisen from the tendency of countries which are recipients of aid to respond to their paymasters, rather than their citizens.

It's crucial that evaluation departments establish their own communication channels with taxpayers and show they are independent of donors - as well as the government.

No comments: