Learner’s Submission: The Potential Users of RBME Systems in Justal Limited and the Incentives in Pursuing this M&E System

13/02/2013

“This study examines the potential use of Results Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) by Justal Limited, a consulting company located in Trinidad and Tobago. Further, the study also explores the company’s interests and incentives in pursuing this type of monitoring and evaluation.

Justal Limited has been at the forefront of public sector service transformation in the Caribbean for the past ten years and has an outstanding track record of high quality project delivery.  The company has a first-class reputation in the consulting marketplace and is in significant demand by public sector clients across the Caribbean. Increasingly, the company is being contacted by new clients who are looking for a specialist public sector transformation firm to help them significantly enhance service standards and operational efficiency within their respective organization.

The company is a leader in all aspects of public sector transformation and can provide individual specialists or multi-skilled teams to assist with any type of service transformation initiative. The company is known for having leading-edge skills and solid track record of successful projects.

PSTG understands the “Business of Government” and, more importantly, how to successfully improve the quality and efficiency of public sector service delivery.

A number of public sector consultancies have been carried out in St. Vincent, Bermuda, Grenada, Bahamas, Jamaica and Dominica. Many of these assignments involved partnering with various Governments to develop and implement public sector transformation initiatives funded by donor and lending organizations like the World Bank, European Union, Inter American Develop Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The RBME methodology is particularly useful to the Consultants employed by Justal Limited, since the majority of clients are from Governments in different Caribbean countries that have secured donor funding for public sector transformation. A particular feature of RBME is the linking of programme inputs and outcomes to the programme goals, by relying on SMART performance indicators to measure performance. As a result M&E reports, under this method, can be presented in highly structured manner to allow Government and stakeholders to quickly establish whether promises and goals were kept or not.

A major strength of RBME is ability to contribute to capacity building and sustainability of programmes. Many of our clients, having received donor funding and grants, are required to objectively demonstrate the impact and sustainability of the various programmes and this then becomes our modus operandi, when our consultants are retained to conduct monitoring and evaluation of these programmes.

RBME is rooted in performance management which ensures that goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner. It puts a strong focus on aligning unit and individual performance with the overall preferred results of the organization and also provides a consistent frame of reference during ongoing feedback about performance. In this context, our consultants are in a better position to under M&E assignments that are pegged to performance management, which has the added advantage of allowing policymakers the opportunity to identify and manage performance related issues associated with the various programmes

Thus, by using RBME, the consultants retained by Justal Limited are in a better position to conduct M&E exercises and more importantly, prepare very structured and logical technical reports on programmes that show the link between programme goals and outcomes.” – Franklin Ali – San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago


Learner’s Submission: RBME for MDG Implementation

21/11/2012

“RBME system plays a key role in any kind of organization, large or small. Firstly it is a management system and secondly, a performance reporting system. It provides a coherent framework for strategic planning and management based on learning and accountability in a decentralized manner.

RBME movement emerged in 1990s with its emphasis on effectiveness- the achievement of desired outcomes with the outputs. And soon private and public sector, NGO’s adopted RBME system to become more effective and result oriented. Developed countries as well as Developing countries have adopted RBME for the following characteristics of the system.

I) Goal–Orientation: setting clear goals and results provide targets for change, and opportunities to assess whether change has occurred.

II) Causality (or Results Chain): various inputs and activities leading logically to outputs, outcomes and impact.

III) Continuous Improvements: periodically measuring results provides the basis of adjustment (tactical and strategic shift) to keep programs on track and maximize their outcomes.

According to Binnendijk, most organizations use the following strategies for effective RBME system:

I) Formulating Results Statements: Identifying in clear terms the results being sought and developing a conceptual framework for how the results will be achieved.

II) Identifying Indicators: For each results, specifying exactly what is to be measured and how.

III) Setting Targets: For each indicator, specifying the expected or planned levels of result to be achieved by specific dates, which will be used to judge performance.

IV) Monitoring Results: Developing performance monitoring systems to regularly collect data on actual results achieved.

V)  Reviewing and Reporting Results: Comparing actual results vis-à-vis the targets.

VI)  Integrating Evaluations: Conducting evaluations to provide complementary information on performance not readily available from performance monitoring system.

VII) Using Performance Information: Using information from performance monitoring and evaluation sources for internal management learning and decision-making and for external reporting to stakeholders on results achieved. Effective use generally depends upon putting in place various organizational reforms, new policies and procedures and other mechanisms or incentives.

Kusek and Rist have mentioned the 10-step RBME model and explained how to create the system in any organization for the desired results of any policy, program or project.

  1. Conducting a readiness assessment:   A unique readiness assessment is the foundation of this system. It focuses on: what or who is encouraging the need for M&E systems, motivations of champions, ownership and beneficiaries of systems, how the system will support better resource allocation and achievement of goals, dealing with negative or detrimental information generated by M&E, existing capacity to support M&E system, and links between M&E system and project, program, sector and national goals.
  2. Agreeing on outcomes to monitor and evaluate: It involves the internal and external stakeholders to be consulted and engaged in setting outcomes, indicators, targets and so on during the various steps of the model to monitor and evaluate.
  3. Selecting key performance indicators to monitor outcomes: key performance indicators are selected to monitor progress with respect to inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts.
  4. Setting baselines and gathering data on indicators: Performance baselines are established.  It is the starting point of the process of monitoring and evaluation. A performance baseline is information – qualitative or quantitative that provides data at the beginning of the monitoring period.
  5. Planning for improvement – selecting results targets: It involves selection of results targets by examining baselines indicators levels and desired levels of improvements .
  6. Monitoring for results: It includes both implementation monitoring and results monitoring .Monitoring for results entails collecting quality performance data within the guidelines.
  7. The  E in M&E – using evaluation information to support a result based management system : Both Monitoring and Evaluation are needed now. Evaluation information and all types of evaluation are used for the desired results. But the timing of evaluation is to be kept in mind.
  8. Reporting the findings: It deals with analyzing and reporting data. Decision-makers now can take necessary action and make improvements.
  9. Using the findings: It involves generating and sharing knowledge and learning within the organizations and governments.
  10. Sustaining the M&E system within the organization : The last step faces all the challenges in sustaining RBME system , including demand , clear roles and responsibilities ,trustworthy and credible information , accountability, capacity  and appropriate incentives .

Besides all these strategies, I will also recommend the following strategies to be deployed in my organization:

  1. Assessing advocacy
  2. Creating local capacity
  3. Training in PM& E methods
  4. Creating an evaluation culture
  5. Promoting evaluation through capacity building with respect to staff, institutions, tools and methodologies
  6. Knowledge management strategy
  7. Integration of evaluating findings
  8. E- governance for accountability and transparency

With the introduction of MDGs, many governments have also developed the RBME system independently to implement the vision.  However user demand for RBME system is needed to be increased more and more for global sustainable development.” – Dr. Mahabur Rahaman Mondal – Kolkata, India


Learner’s Submission: For whom and why RBME?

13/03/2012

“Based on professional context of my organization community development officers, grass root level project practitioners, as well as regional and local administrators as part of development partners can be considered as potential user of the Result Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) system.
All the aforementioned agents using RBME can bring an agreed development agenda or goal as their common focal point which is targeted to me the intended objective either at project or community level. While each stakeholder can have different intention how to implement a project, RBME can shift the paradigm of project activities of input view which is reporting various activities or services delivered to beneficiaries to what tangible changes seen in the beneficiaries or communities; and to reduce the vicious circle of poverty with result or change oriented system of project implementation.
The RBME process can also play a significant role in building constituency among various stakeholders in the implementation and tracking of a project to their common interest of project outcomes.

I recommend the following as strategies in order to increase user demand for RBME:

  1. Intensive Partnership: If there exist intensive partnership among all development agents on funding, implementation and monitoring of projects to reach their destination of development in systematic, effective and efficient manner application of RBME among each partner becomes significantly important.
  2. Capacity Building: Enhancing the implementation capacity of project practitioners, coordinators, local and area administers towards result oriented application of development projects will help to disseminate the importance and demand of RBME.
  3. Institutionalization: A well established system of management in development organization and government offices requires institutionalization to guide and control development programs to be accomplished efficiently and effectively. Hence, each development actor through their institutions will advocate the application of RBME to address their common interest and guide directions.

UNDP’s handbook of monitoring and evaluation for results highlights monitoring and evaluation activities in organization are responding to the intensified focus on outcomes by shifting towards better measurement of performance and more systematic monitoring and reporting; most importantly, such activities are fostering an organizational culture of learning, transparency and accountability.
Hence, it is possible to say it is the time to apply the principles of RBME on the face of scarce resources and funds as well as complicated global economic crisis to be efficient and reach to our common development destination.” – Zekarias Muluazez Woldegiorgis – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


Learner’s Submission: How to Increase Demand for RBME

04/08/2011

“M. Adil Khan of UNDESA defines results-based monitoring and evaluation as “an exercise to assess the performance of and institution and/or a programme or project on the basis of impacts and benefits that the institution and/or the programme/project is expected to produce”.  RBME is therefore results oriented, pro-active rather than reactive.

RBME has become a fundamental approach to the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. It has nevertheless been observed that most learning organizations, based in developing countries fail to meet their aims because they focus mainly on reporting more on their activities and processes rather than reporting on results accomplished. This attitude therefore influences them to set ambiguous goals, which become difficult to achieve.

Some organizations have of recent decided to shift towards the use of RBME, after their governments have embraced the Millennium Development Goals. Botswana in one of those countries since most organizations here are now using this pro-active tool. However, user demand for RBME information is significantly limited. There is a need for user demand to  be increased considerably.

I will deploy the following strategies to increase user demand for RBME:

1. Stake-holder involvement; I will ensure that partners in the use of RBME are fully involved in the design, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of RBME and its information. Involvement of all partners in the RBME will promote support for the aims and objectives of the RBME, thereby facilitating its success and user demand for its information.

2. Establish appropriate mechanisms and modalities; I will put in place parameters on which appropriate technologies will be used to enhance the user demand for RBME. As a learning organization, my organization will have in place systems that will enable users of RBME information to effectively use information technology.

3. Create knowledge sharing atmosphere; I will devise a knowledge management strategy that will create knowledge sharing atmosphere and attitude among the current, potential and prospective users of RBME information. Those people who are knowledgeable about RMBE will be motivated to make their knowledge accessible to those who need it and those who want to use it. This is would involve codification of tacit knowledge so that it can be documented, manipulated and disseminated to the intended users of RBME information

4. Good policy decisions; I will help the organization to come up with policies that will entice users to demand RBME information. Policies may come in the form of use of friendly language instead of jargon, use of supportive technology and learning materials.

5. Align information to government activities; I will connect RMBE information to the principal government programmes, projects and activities in order to enhance its relevance and increase its user demand.

6. Capacity development; User demand for RBME will also be increased by organizing in-service training for the current, prospective and potential users of RBME information. If they have necessary skills and knowhow users are likely to demand more of the use of RBME information.

7. Rewards and incentives; I will increase user demand for RBME information through both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Users will be motivated to develop interest in the use of RBME.

8. Have a powerful RBME champion; The organization will identify and appoint champions who truly believe and have confidence on RBME information. Champions will be empowered to be at the forefront of enhancing the demand for the user of RBME information.

9. Participation of workers; To have a sense of ownership to the RBME information personnel will be involved in all stages of RBME creation. Workers will then fully utilize the RBME information since they were initially involved.

Conclusion

This submission has come up with eight strategies which I believe are appropriate to a developing organization, including mine. If the above strategies are fully implemented, I can assure you that user demand for RBME will tremendously increase.” – Mpho Kasoka – Ganzhi, Botswana


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