Conference on Role of Monitoring & Evaluation in Evidence Based Policy Making Jointly arranged by P&D & UNICEF Pakistan at Lahore.
There is a lack of awareness about evidence-based policymaking at national level, said, Salman Ghani, Ex-Chairman Planning and Development Board, Punjab. He was speaking at a conference on the Role of Monitoring & Evaluation in Evidence Based Policymaking organized by UNICEF and the Directorate General Monitoring & Evaluation (DGM&E) Department of Planning and Development, Punjab, at Lahore, to mark the end of the International Year of Evaluation (Eval Year), with a vision to promote equity-focused, gender responsive evaluations, and evidence-based decision making in the public sector of Pakistan.
Salman Ghani said in order to grab the attention of policymakers, research and empirical evidence needs to be provided efficiently, and, suggested that more insightful measures be used to monitor the progress of programs as opposed to the mere use of linear percentages to show progress.
Director General M&E P&D Dr. Sajjad Mubbin, highlighted broad themes of the conference including Big Data, innovative approaches for evaluation, monitoring frameworks for public sector projects and the role of civil society in strengthening the evidence-based policymaking process. Special focus was placed on investigating whether we were equipped to provide data for the implementation and monitoring of SDG indicators.
The conference was a result of collaboration of DG M&E and UNICEF Pakistan under the National Evaluation Capacity Development (NECD) initiative. This was the last of the 88 events conducted worldwide in 2015 to launch the Global Evaluation Agenda 2016-2020 and to mainstream evaluations for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to which Pakistan became a signatory in September 2015.
Mussarrat Youssuf, Research and Evaluation Specialist, UNICEF Pakistan talked about the need and significance of evaluation in order to support the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. She said that although 2015, the Year of Evaluations, was ending today, the joint efforts of the Government of Punjab and UNICEF, Pakistan, towards evidence-based policymaking would continue.
Eminent academician, Dr. Abid Aman Burki, Professor of Economics at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) talked about the nature of impact evaluation studies and the role of civil society in strengthening evidence-based policymaking.
Representatives from the Planning & Development Department, M&E experts from the public sector, civil society, academia and UN agencies participated in the conference. Researchers from Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad and LEAD Pakistan also presented their take on evidence-based policymaking and the role of think thanks. Speakers discussed lessons learnt in evaluability of development projects, identified key challenges faced their evaluation, and presented solutions for better monitoring and evaluation techniques.
The conference ended with the culmination of the journey of Year of Evaluation Torch which had travelled around the globe and reached Pakistan on the last day of Year 2015. Mr. Zulfiqar Durrani, Secretary, Planning and Development, Govt. of Balochistan, and Dr. Nasir Javed, Chief Executive Officer, The Urban Unit Govt. of Punjab were also present at the closing ceremony, along with Dr. Tahir Manzoor, OIC, UNICEF, Punjab.