Culture of evidence use and production

The culture of evidence use and production within government entities is a critical determinant of how national M&E systems are adopted and utilised. As governments evolve and priorities shift, the motivations and reasons for implementing M&E systems can change.

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Questions to ask

The following questions draw from the GEI's MESA diagnostic assessment tool:

  • Is there a demand from managers/technicians/parliamentarians/civil society for performance information to inform policy and program planning and budgeting?

  • How do politicians and senior officials view the usefulness of M&E and results-based management? Do they see them as relevant for accountability? What about for learning and performance improvement?

  • What are the dominant incentives in the public service (for example, fear of making a mistake or achieving targets for bonuses)? Does this vary across departments so that some show a more transparent, learning, and performance-oriented culture?

  • Is there a culture of learning, and is there an interest and ability to cultivate this? Does this vary across departments?

  • How does the government usually respond to negative M&E findings/evidence?

  • Overall, what are your conclusions on the organisational culture within the public service?

  • What kinds of decisions are guided by M&E information – in relation to planning, budgeting, and other key areas?

  • How much interest is there in M&E now, and from whom?

  • What motivates the champion(s) or leading government agency or entity to build the M&E system?

  • Are there particular constraints around the development of M&E at this time – such as upcoming elections, or crises such as pandemics, or climate change-related disasters or events?

  • If there is resistance to M&E, what are its origins, and what is the level of interest and capacity to change these views?

Global Evaluation Initiative (2022). MESA Guidance Note: Diagnostic Tool for a Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Analysis. Retrieved from

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