|Annual Report 1999-2000|
PROGRAMME EVALUATION ORGANISATION
Eradication of poverty and improvement in the quality of life of the masses is one of the basic objectives of planning in India. To meet these objectives, the Government has been formulating and implementing various development programmes/schemes with the provision of adequate funds for Social Sector Development Programmes in each successive Five Year Plans. In the post reform era, a number of new schemes have been implemented and some old ones redesigned to work as safety nets for those who are likely to get adversely affected because of some drastic changes in macro policies. However, all these efforts put in during the last four and a half decades of planning have not yielded the intended results. This is because of inherent inadequacies in the planning and implementation of plan programmes. To make these development programmes more effective and result oriented, it is desirable that these inadequacies be identified and removed. This can be achieved through rigorous monitoring and evaluation of these programmes. Monitoring and evaluation are, therefore, important tools for increasing the efficiency in the formulation and implementation of development programmes
2. The Ninth Plan Document has dwelt extensively on the weaknesses in design and implementation of plan schemes and their sub-optimal performance. It is noted with concern that while an elaborate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system was in place, adequate follow-up actions on the findings for the system have not been taken to bring about the desired improvement. This general apathy towards the M&E system has adversely affected its health. The decentralized planning and development administration, as envisaged in the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, would require a strong evaluation machinery to ensure accountability of the implementing agencies and optimum use of public resources for development activities. Strengthening the evaluation organization at the Center and states to make them effective in the planning process, therefore, constitutes an important element of the Ninth Plan strategy.
3. The Programme Evaluation Organisation undertakes evaluation of selected programmes/schemes under implementation, as per the requirement of the various Divisions of Planning Commission and Ministries/ Departments of Government of India. The evaluation studies are designed to assess the performance, process of implementation, effectiveness of the delivery systems and impact of programmes. These studies are diagnostic and aim at identifying the factors contributing to success/ or failure of various programmes and deriving lessons for improving the performance of existing schemes through mid-course corrections and better design of future programmes.
4. Broadly speaking, the objectives of evaluation work taken-up by PEO includes objective assessment of process and impact of the development programmes, identifying the areas of success and failures at different stages of administration and execution, analysis of reasons for success or failure, examining extension methods and people's reactions thereto and deriving lessons for future improvement in the formulation and implementation of the new programmes/schemes. Evaluation in this sense has been recognised as quite distinct and separate from analysis of progress and review on the one hand, and inspection, checking and scrutiny of the schemes and works on the other hand.
5. The PEO is conducting external evaluation, independent of the administrative channels, through direct observations, sample surveys and social science research methods. Thus the evaluation studies carried out by the PEO are different from progress reporting or checking and scrutiny work as being done in the administrative Ministries/Deptts. However, the PEO tries to involve planners and implementing agencies at all stages of evaluation to make the PEO reports useful.
6. The PEO is primarily a field organisation under the over-all charge of the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. It has a three-tier structure, with its Headquarters at New Delhi. The middle rung is represented by the Regional Evaluation Offices while the next link are the Field Units, known as Project Evaluation Offices.
7. At the apex is the Headquarters at New Delhi, which is responsible for evolving suitable methodologies including statistical designs for various type of evaluation studies, organising execution and monitoring of sample surveys, data processing, statistical analysis and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data generated by the field units and also for bringing out the Evaluation Reports. The Organisation is headed by Adviser (Evaluation). At the headquarters, the Adviser is supported by a Joint Adviser and 5 Deputy Advisers. The Deputy Advisers are responsible for designing and execution of evaluation studies and act as `Project Directors'.
8. The middle link of the PEO represents 7 Regional Evaluation Offices which are located at Calcutta, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai. Each Regional Evaluation Office is headed by a Regional Evaluation Officer of the rank of Director/ Deputy Adviser and is assisted by two Research Officers, two Economic Investigators Grade I and one Economic Investigators Grade II. The Regional Evaluation Offices are responsible for the supervision of the field work, scrutiny and compilation of field data collected for Evaluation Studies and provides guidance to Project Evaluation Offices under their jurisdiction. They are also responsible for maintaining a close liaison with the State Governments and also providing technical guidance to State Evaluation Units in organising State level studies.
9. The Field Units, known as Project Evaluation Offices constitute the third tier of PEO. These are located in the capital cities of 8 major states of the country, viz.; at Guwahati Bhubaneshwar, Shimla, Bangalore, Bhopal, Patna, Trivandrum and Ahmedabad. Each Project Evaluation Office is headed by a Project Evaluation Officer of the rank of Senior Research Officer, who is assisted by one Research Officer, two Economic Investigators Grade-I and two Economic Investigators Grade-II. Each PEO is under the administrative control of a Regional Evaluation Office. The Project Evaluation Offices in the Programme Evaluation Organisations are responsible for reporting the working and progress of the development programmes in their areas and for conducting evaluation studies under the guidance of their concerned REOs. They are also responsible for maintaining a close liaision with the State Governments under the overall supervision of Regional Evaluation Officer.
10. The State/UT-wise coverage of the PEO and its field units known as Regional Evaluation Officers (REOs) and Project Evaluation Offices (PEOs) is as under:-
State/UT-wise coverage of the Programme Evaluation Organisation
Evaluation Advisory Committee
11. In order to guide the Programme Evaluation Organisation for prioritization of areas of research, methodologies to be adopted and establishment of linkages between PEO and various evaluation, research organizations and academic institutions and follow-up action on evaluation results, the Planning Commission has set up an Evaluation Advisory Committee in Programme Evaluation Organisation. This Committee includes experts from the Planning Commission and from Non-Government organizations/ academic institutions.
Meetings/Seminars/Workshops and their Progress
12. One way to get feedback on the quality of evaluation reports and their utility in design and implmentation of programmes is to interact with the planners, implementing agencies and academia. To facilitate this interaction, seminars are held on topics relevant to the areas of work of PEO. The representatives of the concerned Ministries/Departments, academicians who are known to have worked in specific areas and representatives of State governments are invited to the seminars. During 1999-2000, the following meetings/ seminars were held:-
Availability of PEO and State Evaluation Reports on Internet and to the Press for wider publicity
13. In order to disseminate the findings of PEO studies for improvement in programme implementation and increasing the awareness of people regarding developmental programmes, PEO reports are being given wider publicity by putting them on the internet on Planning Commission Website and sending the reports to media, leading research institutions and State Evaluation Organisations.
14. The PEO is also encouraging State Evaluation Organisations to send the reports to Planning Commission, so that these reports can also be put on the internet.
Evaluation Priorities During the Ninth Five Year Plan (1997-2002)
15. The Approach Paper to the Ninth Five Year Plan has made extensive use of the results of monitoring and evaluation studies and suggested various steps for improving the performance of programme formulation and implementation which, inter-alia, included allocating more funds to consolidate the infrastructure, providing for requisite training/re-training of those associated with programme formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, strengthening the linkages between the evaluators and the users of these findings, attaching greater weightage to follow-up actions, giving wider publicity to the findings of the evaluation studies and fostering the methods of participatory evaluation in the implementation of various programmes in the country.
16. The strategy proposed above would definitely contribute to efficiency in resource use and improved performances of plan programmes. To make evaluation, an effective tool for this, capabilities of evaluation organisations will have to be enhanced. This, however, requires greater flow of physical and financial resources to the Evaluation Organisations established in various States/UTs and at Central level. The Planning Commission have initiated steps in this regard.
Progress of Work in Programme Evaluation Organization
17. The Programme Evaluation Organisation has so far conducted 177 Studies of which 17 studies (excluding three other documents concerning to evaluation activities and techniques) were completed during the Eighth Five Year Plan period and 10 studies have been completed during the first 3 years i.e. during 1997-2000 period of Ninth Plan (1997-2002).
18. Some of the programmes of national importance like (i) Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP), (ii) Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP) and (iii) Mahila Samriddhi Yojana (MSY), (iv) Non- Formal Education (NFE), (v) Short Stay Homes for Women and Girls (SSHs) (vi)Community Health Centres, and (vii) Border Area Development Programme have recently been evaluated. To provide ready access to the findings of the evaluation studies of similar programmes implemented in the past, a Compendium (in 3 volumes) of evaluation studies conducted by PEO since its inception in 1952 to 31st December, 1999 has already been completed and released as well as put on internet of the NIC.
19. Evaluation studies on Employment Assurance Scheme, Social Safety Net Programme (SSNP) of PHCs, Functioning of State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs), Khadi and Village Industries Programme (KVIP) in general and its impact on rural employment generation, Construction of Godowns and purchase of Vans/Trucks for strengthening of Public Distribution System- Infrastructure in the States/UTs, Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribals under Tribal Sub-Plan and Member Parliament Local Area Development Scheme are underway. These studies are at various stages of completion during the year 1999-2000.
The Progress of work during 1999-2000 is as under:-
Follow-up Action on the findings of Evaluation Reports
20. The findings and suggestions emerging from the evaluation studies are communicated to the concerned implementing Ministries/Departments for necessary follow-up action. It is encouraging that some of the findings of PEO Studies (Non-Formal Education, Mahila Simridhi Yojana, etc;) have been acted upon.
Other Activities undertake during the for 1999-2000
Conference of Evaluation Organisations of Centre and States
21. A conference of the representatives of Evaluation Organisations of Centre and States was held on 28th July, 1999 under the chairmanship of Secretary, Planning Commission. The conference was inaugurated by Honble Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and was attended by the representatives of Planning Departments and Evaluation Wings of 15 Major States and representatives from academic Instititions. In the conference major emphasis was given to strengthening the Evaluation Organisations both at Centre and States/UTs.
22. In order to optimally use their capacities, a better coordination and inter-action between them was proposed. To meet this objective, the Planning Commission would help State Evaluation Organisations for imparting training to their officers, publication of their reports for wider publicity and capacity building. The States were advised to use the Internet facilities for giving wider publicity to their reports and in accessing PEO reports. The need for establishing a data bank of evaluation studies was also stressed. It was also agreed, that prior to every Annual Plan discussions, the evaluation studies conducted by State and Centre would be reviewed by PEO of Planning Commission starting with 2000-2001 Annual Plans.
Training Programmes for Evaluation Personnel
23. During the Ninth Five Year Plan, greater emphasis is laid on training of evaluators. As a first step in this regard, a training programme was conducted in Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, for Senior Level IES officers of PEO Headquarters as well as working in its field offices (REOs/PEOs) from 17.5.1999 to 28.5.1999.
24. The PEO has also organized Training in Computer Techniques of the Stenographers/ UDCs/LDCs of REOs/PEOs and of PEO Hqrs. from 21.6.1999 to 25.6.1999 at NIC Yojana Bhavan Unit, New Delhi for upgrading their skills in computer techniques.
25. To upgrade the skills in evaluation techniques, the PEO has organised training in evaluation at NIRD, Hyderabad from 20.12.99 to 31.12.1999 for the Investigators working in PEO Headquarters and in its field units (REOs/PEOs).
26. The PEO is also organizing training programmes for its officers on computer techniques with the help of National Informatics Centre, Yojana Bhavan Unit, New Delhi from time to time.
Liaison with State Evaluation Organisations
27. The PEO also associates with the State Evaluation Organisations and other research and academic institutions for taking up the evaluation studies of regional and local importance and those innovative in nature. Keeping this in view, the Planning Commission has advised all the States/UTs to include evaluation studies in their Annual Plan w.e.f. Annual Plan 2000-2001. These evaluation studies will be taken up by the State Evaluation Organisations in consultation with Programme Evaluation Organisation of Planning Commission since Annual Plan 2000-2001 onwards.
Reference Books/PEO Library
28. The PEO (Headquarters) maintains its own library (Technical) where reference books on various evaluation techniques to be adopted for designing/instrumenting development programmes/schemes and Evaluation Study Reports are kept for reference purposes.
29. The Organizational chart of the PEO Headquarters and Field Units (REO/PEO) is enclosed at Annexure 5.1.
30. There is a link between the national evaluation capacity and good governance. While the need for good governance has been recognized, the various mechanisms to ensure this are yet to be put in place and practice. For a robust evaluation system, the various dimensions that must be developed are: (i) demand for evaluation, (ii) capacity building of evaluation organizations and (iii) a sound information infrastructure. These aspects were identified in the conference of Evaluation Organisations held on 28th July, 1999. The PEO, being the apex evaluation body, is planning to initiate suitable steps to ensure that the evaluation organizations in the country contribute to the cause of good governance.