Pretoria – In its sixth year of implementation, the National Evaluation System has made major achievements, says Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe.
Addressing the official opening of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation’s (DPME) two-day Evaluation Seminar in Pretoria on Tuesday, Minister Radebe said there are now 59 evaluations underway or completed within the National Evaluation Plans covering more than R143 billion of government expenditure.
“But the major achievement of the National Evaluation System is that we are on track to institutionalise evaluation across government,” the Minister said.
He said seven of nine provinces have current provincial evaluation plans, with 102 evaluations included, adding that 57 departments now have departmental evaluation plans.
Cabinet approved six National Evaluation Plans per financial year since its approval of the National Evaluation Policy Framework on 23 November 2011.
He said some of the achievements of the plans include the findings and recommendations of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) evaluation undertaken in the NEP 2011/12 financial year, and have resulted in a new ECD policy, as well as a conditional grant for ECD, which was approved in the 2016/17 budget.
The Minister said another achievement was a series of evaluations undertaken with the dti that have led to change in their business incentives programmes, development of new guidelines and the relaunch of these programmes. Businesses are are now accessing these new programmes. “We are now doing an evaluation of all business incentives across government,” Minister Radebe said.
He further said a series of evaluations in Human Settlements were now informing the development of the new White Paper on Human Settlements.
“And to enable this, DPME has worked on standards, competencies, guidelines, courses etc, so this institutionalisation has proceeded despite only 16 staff supporting NEP evaluations and the national evaluation system,” Minister Radebe said.
He said the department remains committed to using evidence from evaluations to ensure an efficient and accountable government of people.
The Minister further thanked the national departments and provincial offices of the premier and their respective departments for championing the evaluation system and for their commitment to not only undertaking evaluations, but also to use this evidence to strengthen their policies and programmes.
“While DPME coordinates and facilitates the system, the national evaluation system depends on all departments participating, investing in evaluations and using the results,” the Minister said.