Conference on Role of Monitoring & Evaluation in Evidence Based Policy Making Jointly arranged by P&D & UNICEF Pakistan at Lahore.
Finance Minister Punjab Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha has said that Monitoring & Evaluation has a strategic role to play in policy making processes with the aim to improve relevance, efficiency & effectiveness of policy reforms. Major pillars of Punjab Government Growth Strategy to make the Punjab province secure, economically vibrant, industrialized and knowledge based Province need to be supported by an efficient and effective monitoring & evaluation system towards evidence based policy formulation.
She was addressing the conference titled “Role of Monitoring & Evaluation in Evidence Based Policy Making” arranged by Punjab Planning & Development Department, Directorate General Monitoring & Evaluation in collaboration with UNICEF at Lahore.
Minister for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghous Pasha, addressing the participants of the conference, said that Punjab’s development priorities are fully aligned with those of the Federal Government, and the Punjab Growth Strategy 2018 and the Federal Government’s Vision 2025 are an outcome of the same strategically evidence based approach also underpinned by Punjab’s Medium Term Development Framework (MTDF) 2014-18. Many Governments & Organizations are now moving from opinion based policy towards evidence based policy and are in the stage of evidence-influenced policy because the policy making process is inherently political. She also told that the said conference will be a memorable and productive platform to share healthy experiences which may ultimately lead the role of Monitoring & Evaluation towards a successful evidence based resulted oriented policy formulation. That conference will also benefit the target groups to promote the use of evidence derived from evaluations to improve how governments work, and its impact on citizens and so contribute towards eradication of the challenges faced by us. During her address, she also thanked the P&D Department & UNICEF Pakistan for organizing this experience sharing event on role of monitoring & evaluation in evidence based policy making.
Punjab Chairman Planning & Development Muhammad Jahanzaib Khan addressing the conference said that the concept of “evidence-based policy making” has been gaining vital importance over recent years. This use of strong evidence can make a difference to policy making in many ways including monitoring and evaluating the policy implementation and impact. Evidence-based policy can be defined as an approach that helps people make well informed decisions about policies, programs and projects by putting the best available evidence at the heart of policy development and implementation. He also said that It is more in line with guidelines of the UN clearly stating that the “Evidence-based policy making refers to a policy process that helps planners make better-informed decisions by putting the best available evidence at the center of the policy process.” Evidence may include information produced by integrated monitoring and evaluation systems, academic research, historical experience and ”good practice” information. This approach stands in contrast to opinion-based policy, which relies heavily on either the selective use of evidence or on the untested views of individuals or groups, often inspired by ideological standpoints, prejudices, or speculative conjecture, he added.
Earlier, Director General (Monitoring & Evaluation) P&D, Dr. Sajjad Mubin, in his welcome address, said that International year of evaluation is a global movement to foster the demand and use of evaluation to make policies that are evidence based, equity-focused and gender-responsive. A series of conferences, seminars and workshops have been organized all across the globe in Eval year. However, this event is of unique importance being the last event of the year. Evaluations and their findings are extremely important in a country where there are constraint resources and ever-expanding needs and demands for services and social benefits of all types and kinds. In this scenario, evaluations can guide us to take wiser decisions to prioritize our needs, measure the results of our efforts and thus, ultimately, attempt to undertake a process of systematic economic uplift in the province for all. Effective Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) on one hand helps to achieve sustainable economic development and on the other hand improves performance, transparency and governance, he said. In the conference eminent professors, scholars, researchers, and practitioners presented their innovative work on cutting edge issues of M&E which would enlighten the participants to practice and promote evidence based equity focused policy and decision making. Provincial Secretary P&D Balochistan Zulfiqar Durrani, representative of UNICEF Pakistan Rahama Rihood Mohammad also spoke on the occasion and representatives of other provinces and countries and professors, scholars, researchers, officers of P&D Department Punjab also attended the conference.