Developing National Evaluation Systems in the Public Service

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What is institutionalisation of evaluation in the public service, why is it important in public policy and how to institutionalise evaluation systems within the public service? The workshop explores evaluation policy, approaches to build capacity to supply and demand evaluations, evaluation standards, and approaches to ensuring use of evaluation. Participants learn from case studies of different countries and explore ways to implement in their own countries.


Can evaluation of policies and programmes help governments better respond to complex social, political and economic problems? Does it matter if governments do not entrench evaluations as an essential part of public service management and public policy implementation? Countries face unprecedented development pressures; growing inequality, political disruptions, threats brought by climate shifts. Join us in this workshop to explore how institutionalization of evaluations of public policies and programmes through National Evaluation Systems enables governments to generate and use evidence to tackle complex problems.

There is a growing interest to develop country evaluation systems at national and sub-national levels. Canada, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, Uganda, Benin etc. have established systems that have been functional for a number of years. Countries like Ghana, Niger, Kenya and Botswana are working on national systems of different forms. At sector level, ministries in different countries have often developed sectoral M&E systems to guide monitoring and evaluation practice. In general, these M&E systems tend to be biased towards monitoring, with work on evaluation emerging in some countries. Evidence suggest that where countries or sectors develop functional evaluation systems this can significantly increase interest in results and shape evaluation practice and drive demand for evaluation skills and evaluation capacity building both from academic institutions and other private providers. Voluntary Organisations of Professional Evaluators (VOPEs) are also likely to thrive in an environment where evaluation is being institutionalized.

The workshop draws from documented experiences of governments that have evaluation systems. It explores both the technical and cultural/political elements of institutionalization of evaluations within the public service. It also examines how formalization of evaluation within management of public services strengthens the use of evidence in the public policy.

The following themes are covered in the workshop: Introduction to monitoring and evaluation; evaluation as part of public service management; introduction to the evaluation ecosystem; developing evaluation system policy; support systems and organization/institutional arrangements needed for functional evaluation systems; how to build capacity to support the evaluation system; strategies to promote and embedding the use of evaluation evidence within political context; strategies to resource the national evaluation system. The workshop ends with practical considerations on steps that can be taken by countries to develop evaluation systems that are relevant, sustainable and strengthen the supply and use of evaluation evidence in policy and programme implementation and service delivery.


The workshop will examine the concepts of M&E, M&E systems, Evaluation and Evaluation Systems at different levels. It aims to:

  • Expose participants to key components of an evaluation system (building blocks of an evaluation system);
  • Expose the participants to different kinds of evaluation systems from different countries and sectors, focusing on public sector systems;
  • Make participants aware of how to implement evaluation systems at national, subnational and sectoral levels.

After completing the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Differentiate and appreciate linkages between evaluation systems, government-wide M&E systems, and how evaluation systematically feeds into public service policy, planning, budgeting and management as well as other regional and global systems;
  • Understand the role of different components of evaluation systems and make decisions about which components might be needed and in what form, in their contexts;
  • Define key elements needed to develop, facilitate, coordinate and sustain evaluation systems that are likely to result in use of evaluation findings in policy and practice within the public service;
  • Determine which evaluation system/components/methodologies are applicable in different contexts.

Recommended for

This workshop is suitable for the following:

  • M&E staff in governments at national and sub-national levels to understand how they can approach their work systematically and support institutionalization of evaluation in their ministries/government broadly;
  • International development agencies working to support governments respond to development challenges to understand how they can better support, partner or connect with government-led evaluation systems;
  • Voluntary Organisations for Professional Evaluation (VOPEs) to understand their role and contributions to government-led evaluation system;
  • Academics, private consultants interested in evaluation systems and supporting their development.


This workshop is mid-level, some basic understanding and experience with monitoring and evaluation is required for participants to get substantial benefit from the workshop.


Participants should already understand what is evaluation, what are basic evaluation concepts and have at least worked in/with monitoring, evaluation or research. The workshop is about institutionalization of evaluation within the public service, although the course will introduce participants to some basic public service management concepts, basic understanding or exposure to public service/public policy will be beneficial to participants.

Timezone: CET

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