Building a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework in Eastern Equatoria

20 Feb 2013

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"If we are planning to sail to Australia from South Sudan, we need to plan our trip based on the resources available and report back home every time we reach milestones of the trip..." - Honourable State Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Sam Felix Makuja. 

The Eastern Equatoria state government with the technical support from UNDP’s Support to Development Planning and Public Financial Management (SDPPFM), developed the State Strategic Plan for 2012/13 - 2014/15 and with the approval of the Council of Ministers, authorised state agencies to implement the plan in June 2012.  The key objective of the Strategic Plan is to mobilise state agencies, private sector actors, communities and development partners to achieve the developmental goals and vision of the State.  The CRMA (Crisis Recovery Mapping and Analysis) project, which is funded by the European Union, works with SDPPFM to support evidence-based and conflict sensitive planning.  SDPPFM receives support from the Governments of Norway and Sweden.

Despite the constraints faced under the austerity budget, the state agencies incorporated most of the planned activities into the state government’s annual plan and budget and began implementation of key initiatives with development partners. However, it was soon realized that simply implementing projects was not enough, where the M&E framework was unable to facilitate tracking progress and indicate areas where interventions needed to be adjusted.   As a result, the State Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning with technical assistance from UNDP initiated further development of the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework of the Strategic Plan.  The M&E framework that has been developed allows stakeholders to obtain regular feedback on the progress being made towards achieving their goals and objectives – and is contributing to ensuring the effective use of resources. 

The M&E framework will enable implementing agencies to measure progress based on predefined indicators and report accordingly to the respective agencies such as the State Ministry of Finance, Governor’s office, Council of Ministers, State Legislative Assembly and donors. Moreover, it will provide real-time information on achievements and challenges of program implementation, allowing decision makers to make informed management decisions and take corrective action to achieve planned targets while also enhancing transparency and accountability of the State’s development activities.

During a series of participatory workshops organised with the assistance of UNDP, State officials engaged in development planning identified appropriate output and outcome level indicators to measure the progress of planned activities, and determined baseline values of the indicators and their targets for the three-year period of the Plan.  The Honourable State Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Sam Felix Makuja in his opening speech, stressed the importance of collecting and disseminating information related to development progress. "If we are planning to sail to Australia from South Sudan, we need to plan our trip based on the resources available and report back home every time we reach milestones of the trip; it will help people at home to monitor our progress and provide assistance to reach our destination" - Honourable State Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Sam Felix Makuja. 

This is the first time such an exercise is being undertaken by the State.  At the end of the on-going sector working group workshops, the M&E framework for the EES Strategic Plan 2012/13 - 2014/15 will be adopted and ready to be used at consequent progress review meetings.