UNDP defines evaluation as “a rigorous and independent assessment of either completed or ongoing activities to determine the extent to which they are achieving stated objectives and contributing to decision making” . Evaluations involve systematic and objective assessments of an on-going or completed programme, including the design, implementation and results with the aim to determine its effectiveness, impact and sustainability. Evaluations rely on the baselines and information provided through monitoring and involve more extensive analysis to understand the outcomes and impacts of a scheme/project. The insights from evaluations are also useful when planning and designing new interventions
Monitoring and Evaluation are both key processes in policy making by linking interventions with their outcomes/impacts and ensuring. Both these processes focus on improving performance by identifying outputs, outcomes and impact, setting goals for each of them and measuring the achievements against the defined goals. This information can provide insights into whether a scheme/project is on track in the right direction, how the various elements of a scheme/project are working, and which of these need to be re-considered or modified;
- Centrally Sponsored Schemes Evaluations
To ensure efficient and effective use of public resources, the Government of India has made evaluation of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and Central Sector (CS) schemes mandatory before the schemes come up for fresh appraisal, before the start of the 15th Finance Commission. The Government has assigned DMEO, NITI Aayog the responsibility to conduct independent third-party evaluation of all CSS in a time-bound manner so that the findings of the evaluation are made available to appropriate authorities for determining the rationalization of the schemes. The evaluation of the CSS under the 28 Umbrella CSS undertaken through 10 sector evaluation studies, conducted by external agencies procured through an open tender process, which is currently underway. The ten packages are: (1) Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (2) Women and Child Development (3) Human Resource Development (4) Urban Transformation (5) Rural Development (6) Drinking Water and Sanitation (7) Health (8) Jobs and Skills (9) Water Resources, Environment and Forests (10) Social Inclusion, Law and Order & Justice Delivery.
The schemes were assessed based on the international recognized evaluation framework REESI (Relevance, Efficiency, Effectiveness, Sustainability and Impact) and was contextualized to include equity (REESI+E) in line with our national priorities. The reports have been shared with the Department of Expenditure and respective line Ministries/Departments for consideration. Compendiums of Best Practices emerging from the studies have been shared with Chief Secretaries of States, and can also be accessed here: https://dmeo.gov.in/evaluation/dmeo-evaluation-studies
- Other evaluations
DMEO undertakes evaluation of selected programmes, either suo-motu or on the request of the implementing Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India. The purpose of programme evaluations include an objective assessment of the longer term impacts of the development programmes, identification of the areas and reasons for the successes and failures at different stages of programme execution; suggesting mid-course corrections and disseminating lessons for the future. The parameters for evaluation would include the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and sustainability of service delivery, outcomes and impacts.
DMEO also conducts high-impact flagship evaluations aimed at providing timely actionable insights to decision-makers, building evaluation capacity in the M&E ecosystem in India, and piloting cutting-edge evaluation tools, methodologies, and technologies.
Technical assistance is also provided to various Ministries and Departments on request, including for developing terms of reference, navigating the procurement process etc.
- Other Activities
DMEO is working with various partners to leverage and activate existing capacities in the external ecosystem to undertake a greater depth and breadth of activities than DMEO can undertake by itself. DMEO aims to explore multi-stakeholder engagements involving organizations like funding partners, technical partners and researchers, technology and data partners, field partners etc. DMEO will act as a conduit for M&E knowledge and skills: learning from leading organizations in India and abroad and helping channel this learning towards Union Ministries, States and other external organizations, thereby raising the equilibrium of the entire M&E ecosystem.
The Office also actively participates in NITI-wide initiatives and provides support as and when requested.