Learner’s Submission: Strategy Recommended to Increase User Demand for RBME Information in Newborn Care Health Project

04/08/2014

“I work for a Newborn Care Health Project which aims at contributing towards the Millennium Development Goal 4 i.e Reducing Child Mortality. We work closely with the government where the Inputs based monitoring is still the norm and the focus on results based monitoring and evaluation is very limited. Following strategy is recommended for increasing demand for Result Based Monitoring & Evaluation (RBME) information in the organization:

  1. Hire an RBME Expert as a consultant who can guide the organization in shifting from the current Input and Activity Based Monitoring system to RBME system.
  2. Identification of all stakeholders who are currently interested in the attainment of project objectives and who are the potential users of RBME information viz.
  • Department of Medical Health & Family Welfare
  • Department of Medical Education
  • Department of Women Empowerment & social Justice

International Agencies

  • UNICEF
  • UNDP

Non Government Organizations and Civil Society Organizations

Local Politicians, elected members of Parliament and members of the State

Legislative Assembly

  1. Orientation of all project staff including Junior, Middle and Senior staff so that a clear understanding of the cause and effect relationship develops.
  2. Develop a Logical Framework for the programme which will help in understanding how the inputs, activities, results. Realization that achievement of outputs is in the direct control of management and they are expected to guarantee it. Further, try to understand that what are the outcomes and Impacts and what all may contribute towards them. The knowledge of Risks and assumptions along with the Objectively verifiable indicators and means of verification.
  3. Develop a Result Based Monitoring Framework and discuss in detail about the critical indicators, the data sources, data collection methods, frequency and other related aspects.
  4. Sensitize all stakeholders in the Logical Framework and Performance Measurement Framework.
  5. Prepare a plan for monitoring of project as per RBME.
  6. Prepare monthly progress reports based on the RBME approach. As this would be deviation from the Input Based reporting give sufficient time to staff to understand these reports.
  7. Review the progress every month with Project Teams to assess how the teams are understanding the whole process and whether they are finding it useful. Get their feedback and document it. This may be used to guide better implementation.
  8. Prepare RBME based quarterly progress reports
  9. Review the progress every three months with all stakeholders to assess how the teams are understanding the whole process and whether they are finding it useful.
  10. Based on the quarterly review try to find whether there are areas that need to be evaluated. If need is felt than appropriate evaluation should be planned.
  11. Initiate reward and recognition system for those units which are efficiently using the RBME approach.
  12. Build capacities of staff in units where the RBME is not being used appropriately or adequately.
  13. Discourage Input Based Reporting or Activity Reporting at middle and higher level in the organization as this tends to shift focus away from the results.

Do an annual assessment of the organizations performance post adoption of the RBME approach.” – Pradeep Choudhry – Rajasthan, India

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Learner’s Submission: Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System

02/04/2014

“Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) is an important and integral component of good project management. As such, the adoption of this system in an organization can have a profound impact on its users. RBME is a simple structured methodology for clearly laying out the results of a project/program and therefore can be beneficial to all stakeholders. This text will look at the potential users of RBME system within an organization and the interests and incentives that apply to each user as they pursue this system.

Directors/Board: the individuals that are higher up in the organization such as members of the Board or the Director himself benefit from the use of RBME because at this level they need to be able to clearly see and state that the organization is achieving what they say they will achieve as an organization to the general public. At this level reputation is important. With RBME these individuals are able to clearly measure the organization at every level of the program cycle of its projects. Therefore, the biggest incentive to use this system at this level is to ensure the efficacy and progress of its work and in turn ensure that staff is meeting targets as planned.

Staff/Implementers: At this level, for staff and implementers the interest in pursuing the M&E system is that they can directly see the impact that they are bringing about through their work. Appreciation and confirmation from higher levels is not always possible and sometimes on the frontline it is not easy to see the impact they are having in a community, but when they look at the results of their labour through a tool such as RBME they can see the accumulated impact of their work over a period of time which can be a huge motivation for some.

Program Managers of an organization: At this level of the organization program managers need to confirm that the staff and implementers are on task and that they can ensure the progress of the project against original plans. PMs can easily identify areas of improvement through the RBME system. PMs can use the system to motivate staff if needed or applaud them for their work. RBME is so organized and fairly thorough that PMs can appreciate its ease of use in implementation.

Fundraisers/Grant writers: As a grant writer, I thoroughly understand the importance of RBME because it is key in securing funding for the future. If your proposal for a grant is approved, you need to not only use the grant correctly, but you must also be able to report on the results you have achieved. If you are unable to provide an explanation of how you spent the grant and how you fulfilled your commitment/plan, the chances of you receiving funding again is very unlikely. By using RBME, you can show accountability, you can show the impact of donations as this is what donors want to see – that you received the donation and made a positive change with it.

Donors: The people that support an organization financially, such as donors will benefit from the use of the adoption of the M&E system. The general public donate to organizations where they know there money is being utilized with integrity. They donate when they understand the work of an organization. Without proper M&E and its results, donors do not know where their money has been used and chances of them donating again are slim. Therefore the interest of donors in an organization having a proper M&E is high and can increase the support that is received by an organization.

While the process of creating a RBME system can be challenging and time consuming, it is well worth the time and effort. It is a tool that can be very beneficial to the members of an organization and direct and indirect stakeholders such as government, businesses, NGOs and members of the general public. ” – Jennifer Fernandes – Toronto, Canada


Learner’s Submission: Potential Users of RBME System in Ethipoia

04/02/2014

“Currently I am not working for any organization starting from January, 01 2014. So, it is hard for me to answer this question in the way it is presented above. I will use general idea to answer the question. Or use my past organization project without naming the organization. For me the potential users of Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation system in any organization are all stakeholder’s involved in the programme or project.

1. Beneficiaries of the project are the one best benefited from RBME system. If there is good Monitoring and Evaluation system in any organization, resources planned for the project will be delivered for the intended activities. This is through tracking activities routinely whether they are going as planned and identifying gaps. If gaps are identified early, corrective measures will be taken and beneficiaries receive good quality services. Beneficiaries also used the service in timely manner if there is results based monitoring system.

2. Implementing Agency: – Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation system is useful for implementing agency. The result obtained from RBME can reveal how far and we the project is on progress. If there are deviations from initial planning, corrective measures will be taken before it further negatively affects the results that are expected from the project. It also can show the quality of the project staffs. If the staffs have no good quality or expertise in areas of the project, good quality deliverables will not be expected. So, after evaluation knowledge gaps can be identified and capacity building training can be given for staffs.

3. Government Bodies: – RBME system will also useful for government bodies. Policy makers can use to design policy options for real problems existed in community by using the results as input after monitoring and evaluation. They also use it for panning human resource. For instance the project in which I was worked constructed preparatory school at district level. After RBME the education sector planned to deploy teachers for the coming year in which they have no plan to employ teachers.

4. Donors: – Donors use RBME for a number of reasons. The result can show donor agency how well their money is used for the intended activities. They use the best learned for similar project implementing elsewhere. Furthermore, they can use as reason to increase future funds for the implementing agency for project extension or other projects to be implemented in the area. In the same project I worked before, the donor increased the amount of money from 8 million in ETB to 68 million after RBME.

5. Other Agencies: – Other agencies who are working in similar projects can use best earned from the project. The school that is constructed in my past organization has quality and to the standard set by the education sector. So, the government and other nongovernmental organizations who are working on construction can use it as mode.” – Bari Oljira Hunde – Batu, Oromia, Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: Result-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System in Zimbabwe

20/01/2014

“The United Nations Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that UN Member States have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. The United Nations Millennium Declaration, commits world leaders to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women. However, for head of states to achieve the set goals they need an effective monitoring and evaluation system that is result oriented.

There is a lack of project management capacity in international development projects.  A good RBME is an ongoing system. This means that there is constant feedback, learning and improving. Existing plans are regularly modified based on the lessons learned through monitoring and evaluation, and future plans are developed based on these lessons. Results based monitoring is also an ongoing process. The lessons from monitoring are discussed periodically and used to inform actions and decisions. Results based evaluations should be done for programmatic improvements while the program is still ongoing and also inform the planning of new programs. This ongoing process of doing, learning and improving is what is referred to as the RBME approach. Learning not only helps improve results from existing programs and projects, but also enhances the capacity of the organization and individuals to make better decisions in the future and improves the formulation of future programs and projects.

Clovgate Elevator Company is company in Zimbabwe, s involved in the installation, upgrades, service and maintenance of Elevators and Escalators in the southern region of Africa. Clovgate Elevator Company has been and it’s trying to improve the lives of Zimbabweans by installing elevators at hospitals, clinics and government buildings.  This company is involved in carrying out multiple projects at once; by so doing the organization as adopted the results based monitoring and evaluation system. The adoption of the results based monitoring and evaluation system has also necessitated the setting up of the projects and programs monitoring and evaluation departments in our organization. In setting up the RBME, the organization has done what is known as an integrated approach in RBME meaning that everyone or each and every department in the organization must adopt the RBME towards the achievement of organizational objectives. This approach can transfer the sophistication of information into structure, form, grouping, reporting and process that would allow all stakeholders to understand, communicate and exchange experience and knowledge. Since the organization adopted an integrated approach, each and every individual in organization and all departments are users of the RBME system. The RBME System was put in place so that everyone, each and every department in the organization should self monitoring and evaluation to allow performance improvement prior to results publication. In case of one department fails, RBME can predict failure and allows time to improve on performance prior to performance review. This performance review process could be applied by departments to report their achievements.

The  RBME system at Clovgate  comprises  of  a  Results-Based  Budgeting  (RBB)  system,  Results-Based  Personnel  Performance System (RBPPS) and Results Based Operations Management System (RBOMS). The  above  systems are  deemed  critical  to  assist the organization  in  conducting  systematic  program  planning,  formulation  and implementation which  in  turn  is  expected  to  improve  the performance of the organization.

The interest of our organization in pursuing RBME is that many complex, long-term projects fail to live up to their promises and produce disappointing outcomes on completion. Some of these are well-known for exceeding their budgets or deadlines or both.  Publicly available statistics of project failures vary dramatically in their estimates and do not include confidential data from private corporations so are not an entirely reliable guide.

Results-Based Monitoring and evaluation enhances the effectiveness of your organization by establishing clear links between past, present and future interventions and results. Results-Based Monitoring and evaluation can help an organization to extract, from past and ongoing activities, relevant information that can subsequently be used as the basis for programmatic fine-tuning, reorientation and planning. Without results-based monitoring and evaluation, it would be impossible to judge if work was going in the right direction, whether progress and success could be claimed, and how future efforts might be improved.” – Soul Nyangoni – Harare, Zimbabwe


Learner’s Submission: Potential User of RBM in My Organisation

17/01/2014

“I am working in Emmanuel Hospital Organisation in a Project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. We have developed the Result Framework together with the doner agency. This project is for 10 years and we have designed the expected result for the project for 10 years. The result framework is used by the doner, by the central government, by the state government and by the non-governmental agencies who are implementing the project. There are 30 non-governmental agencies who are using the result based management. There are three result frameworks for the project, i.e. one at project level, one at state level and the third one at NGO level. We measure their achievement on the basis of their expected result which are pre-defined by the. During the 1st 5 year of the project we don’t had a RBM system, but in the next 5year we established the system. This is the 2nd phase of the project the project is doing very well. The work is appreciated by the doner as well as the government agencies. I have trained many people and non-governmental agencies on redesigning the RBM system in India. RBM is really much better than the conventional M&E system.

The accountability increased when we use the RBM. The doner is very clear what they want from the implementing agencies. The expected objectives are very clear. The non-governmental agencies are very clear what they are going to achieve and what are their objectives. Earlier the implementing agencies used to report whatever the result is, but now when they are using RBM they are reporting against the expected result and they measure their success or failure again the target. This has made them more and more accountable. Doner wants that every single penny is spent properly by using the RBM. The implementing agencies try to achieve what they have planned. The government agencies what to see their success o failure in achieving their goals. RBM has become the language of the most of the funding agencies now a days and hope this will replace the conventional monitoring and evaluation system completely. The World Bank and The Global Fund for fighting against AIDS, Tuber colossi and Malaria is implementing RBM and using the performance based funding. The fund is directly relate to their performance, if they perform they get fund otherwise the funding is stopped. This is a nice mechanism to make the implementing agencies more accountable. Now a day’s most of the government agencies also trying to follow the RBM to make their departments more accountable. The focus is very clear when RBM is followed. The funding agencies are very clear where the money is being spent and what is the result out of it. This is some kind of pre-cost benefit analysis. The implementing agencies become more and more conscious to achieve their targets which are explicitly defined in the RBM system. The overall accountability has really increased among all the partner agencies. Hope this will be the buzz work in the development sector as well as in the government agencies in near future.” – Ritu Kumar Mishra – Assam, India


Learner’s Submission: Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation System in the United Kingdom

10/01/2014

“I have to begin be saying that I cannot answer to any of the questions in relation to “my organization” since at the moment I don’t really belong to one. I am a researcher and project coordinator with ten years experience in the corporate sector (market research), committed to pursue a career in international development (Hence taking this course). The past two and a half years spent as an international volunteer reflect genuine interest in development and humanitarian action. I will try to answer based on my overall experience and understanding of development issues and development work.

The key issues are accountability, ownership and sustainability all of them strongly relying on capacity building. While in theory the RBME system addresses all of these issues the reality and the practicality of it is not a straightforward undertaking.

Leaving costs and use of other resources aside, the use of the RMBE system and the demand for RBME information depend on stakeholders’ perception and understanding of their relevance and usefulness to them. So the first step should be identifying their organizational and information needs. Then, based on the findings, a customized “offer” should be made for stakeholders at all levels – bring the system/information down to each of the levels involved. Whether you are trying to sell the system or increase the demand for M&E results information you have to show each of the parties how they can specifically benefit from it.  All these should be done in highly participatory workshops which facilitate comprehension and contribute to future ownership. It is likely that by presenting the new system/tool in comparison with the current way of doing things, giving as many concrete examples as possible, will enhance assimilation.  Presenting actual success stories taking place in a similar context can also help.

Now assuming the idea got through the efforts don’t end here. Buying the idea and putting it into practice are to different things. Even if you have your capacity building needs covered you will probably have to fight old habits, resistance to change and skepticism. Resorting to incentives as well as eliminate disincentives can aid the aide.  Whether the champions get funds for new activities or had their names mentioned in the monthly newsletter, it can only help promote the advantages of the new system/tool. One should pay just as much attention to disincentives; though you don’t buy them they may cost you more than the incentives. Identify problematic instances for champions and make sure they get management backup and support. Emphasize the non-punitive, constructive nature of the system/process, where is the case.

If the circumstances allow it run trials in a project(s)/branch(s) which are part of a bigger program/ organization. This would help setting an example as well as understanding how the RBME system can work for your organization/ program.

Success rates and effectiveness will increase the more it is (or at least feels like) a choice rather than an imposed outside condition.

All these are general statements which could apply more or less to any program or organization. On a different note I would like to mention something that I have encounter in Mozambique last year when I was there for 6 months as an international volunteer. One of the programs I came across called “Teachers of the Future” deals with training teachers for primary schools in rural areas. In the race for achieving the MDGs, “universal primary education for all” in this particular case, the government decided that one year is enough to train a primary school teacher. Consequently the NGO running this program had to squeeze the two and a half years curriculum into one year. Sometimes students enrolling in this program can hardly read or write yet in a year they will be deemed teachers.  Does this speak for the whole program? Maybe not! The point that I am trying to make is that pursuing the MDGs could be a nice excuse and in the chase for target numbers sometimes quality has to takes a fall-back position. Maybe this was a calculated risk on the government’s part. Maybe overall it pays. In monitoring terms they may be on track when it comes to reaching targets. But what about outcomes and impact? An evaluation could provide answers to this part. Maybe one was on its way; maybe corrective measure had been take base on evaluation results. Maybe, maybe …” – Alexandra-Iuliana Sandu – Sidcup, United Kingdom


Learner’s Submission: Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) in India

30/10/2013

“In this article, I will discuss on the topic of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act – one of the most ambitious social welfare measures of Government of India for poverty alleviation and rural development.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, popularly known as MGNREGA, is an Act to provide for the enhancement of the livelihood security of the households in rural areas of the country by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment (through unskilled manual work) in every financial year to every household. The very purpose of the scheme is two-fold, first to provide job on demand to ensure livelihood security and second, at the same time, to create assets to augment the basic infrastructures available to the rural people. The MGNREG Act was notified on September 07, 2005.

The employment under MGNREGA Scheme (MGNREGS) is an obligation on the part of the Government to provide employment within 5km radius of the village at the minimum wage (for example, INR 174/- per day in the State of Karnataka), failing which an unemployment allowance is to be provided within 15 days.  Along with community participation, the MGNREGS scheme is being implemented primarily by the gram panchayats. Under the Scheme, mostly the labour intensive works like creating infrastructures for water harvesting, drought relief and flood control are undertaken.

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Coverage by MGNREGA Scheme:

Starting from 200 districts in Feb 2006, the MGNREGS Scheme now covers all districts of India from April 01, 2008. AS of now, the implementation status of the project (as mentioned in the official web site of MGNREGA www.nrega.nic.in) is as follows:

Number of States covered – 32

Number of Districts covered – 596

Number of Blocks covered – 6388

Number of Panchayats covered – 240233

Number of Job Cards issued- 112.90 Million

Number of Persons registered – 248.80 Million

Workflow of MGNREGS Scheme

The MGNREGS Scheme is implemented in India through a web-based Management Information System (MIS) – “NREGASoft” to address the planning and monitoring needs of the Scheme. This is a local language enabled workflow based e-Governance System and is available in offline as well as online mode to capture all the activities under MGNREGA at the Centre/State/District/Block and Panchayat level.

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Payment of Wage through Direct Benefit Transfer

The payment of wages is made by the Government directly to the worker’s account by electronic means, called Direct Benefit Transfer System (DBTS). This DBTS system leverages the payment gateways such as Aadhaar Payment Bridge (APB), National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS), National Electronic Clearing Service (NECS) and Banks’ Core Banking Solutions. This DBTS facilitates the direct credit of the wage to the Bank/Post Accounts of the beneficiaries through automated processes.

As per newspaper reports (The Hindu, 15 May, 2013), Govt. of India has allocated to the State of Karnataka Rs. 2,1330 million for the implementation of the MGNREGS scheme in 2013-14. According to the Karnataka State government’s notification on April 9, 2013, the month-wise expenditure (for Karnataka) under the job scheme would be as follows:

Month Expenditure in Million Rupees Month Expenditure in Million Rupees
April 2013 133.8 Oct 2013 1601.6
May 2013 287.6 Nov 2013 2286.8
June 2013 381.9 Dec 2013 2494.2
Jul 2013 472.1 Jan 2014 2759.2
Aug 2013 713.8 Feb 2014 4058.6
Sep 2013 1361.7 Mar 2014 4778.3

Assessment of MGNREGA

The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on the second performance audit of the MGNREGS that covered 3848 gram panchayats in 28 states and 4 union territories of India from April 2007 to March 2012 highlighted the 3 most significant factors – lack of public awareness, mismanagement and institutional incapacity. Accordingly, the 3 major recommendations were Capacity Building, Public Awareness and Effective Management.

 

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(Major Recommendations of the CAG Audit on MGNREGS)

Conclusion:

To address the lack of public awareness, mismanagement and institutional incapacity, the CAG has suggested a number of recommendations to the Ministry of Rural Development and Government of India. To increase the public awareness, it recommends intensifying the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Activities. The CAG also recommends proper management of records at the gram panchayat level. For capacity building, the CAG recommends to fill the large number of vacancies through mass recruitment. Like any other government welfare schemes, MGNREGS is also difficult to implement due to governance challenges like elite capture, leakage and corruption. The efforts of the Government of India in implementing the MGNREGS Schemes successfully are highly appreciated.” – Srihari Subudhi – New Delhi, India

 


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