A country's constitution and laws can be important in terms of M&E systems and will often explicitly refer to M&E.
A constitution is a set of political principles by which a state or organisation is governed. Legislation refers to laws passed by the law-making branch of the national or sub-national level, often the parliament or the congress, and including presidential decrees.
Many countries have a formal written constitution document in which the structure of government is defined, and the powers of the nation and the states are written in one single document. Some countries, such as the UK, do not have a single document but draw their constitutional rules from a number of sources. In terms of legislation, there are usually several different laws within a country that are relevant to M&E systems.
Constitutions and legislation can be important for M&E Systems in terms of the different issues covered – for example, how the terms' monitoring' and 'evaluation' are defined, what is seen as the goals of M&E, roles and structures, timing, resourcing and scope, evaluative criteria, processes and methods, processes for supporting use and ensuring quality, and capacity strengthening.
Apart from constitutions and laws that refer explicitly to M&E systems, there is often legislation relevant to M&E systems without explicitly referring to M&E.
Constitution of Guatemala
The constitution of Guatemala explicitly requires public participation in the evaluation of health programs:
Article 98. Community Participation in Health Programs
The communities have the right and the duty to actively participate in the planning, execution, and evaluation of [the] health programs.
It also, identifies certain rights and obligations, which could be the basis for evaluative criteria:
Article 93. Right to health
The enjoyment of health is a fundamental human right, without any discrimination.
Article 94. Obligation of the State, regarding health and social assistance
The State will ensure the health and social assistance of all inhabitants. It will develop, through its institutions, prevention, promotion, recovery, rehabilitation, coordination and relevant complementary actions in order to provide them with the most complete physical, mental and social well-being.
Article 95. Health, public good
The health of the nation's inhabitants is a public good. All people and institutions are obliged to ensure its conservation and restoration.
Constitution, Costa Rica
In Costa Rica, the enabling environment for M&E has been framed by the constitution:
- Article 11 stipulates that public administration shall be subject to “a process of evaluation of results and accountability, and the subsequent personal responsibility of officials for the fulfillment of their duties.”
It has also been shaped by laws and decrees relating specifically to monitoring and evaluation or which affect the enabling environment for M&E:
- Law number 3087, 1963. Creation of the National Planning Office.
- Law number 5525, 1974. National Planning System and creation of the Ministry of
- National Planning and Economic Policy.
- Law number 6227, 1978. General Law of Public Administration.
- Executive Decree number 24175, 1995. National Evaluation System (repealed)
- Law number 8131, 2001. Financial Administration of the Republic and Public Budgets.
- Law number 6955, article 3° and its provisional clause.
- Executive Decree number 35755-PLAN, 2010. National Evaluation System.
Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, Australia
In Australia, the PGPA Act (2013) sets out a requirement for all Commonwealth entities (national government departments and ministries) to cause records to be kept that record and explain the entity's performance in achieving its purpose, to measure and assess performance, to produce annual performance statements, and for these to be open to audit.
Multiple legislative instruments, Uganda
In Uganda, a number of different legislative instruments affect the demand for M&E, the supply of M&E evidence, and the enabling environment for M&E, including:
1. The Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995) - Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has constitutional mandate of coordination, monitoring and evaluation under Article 108A of the constitution.
2. The Local Governments Act (1997) - Under Article 14, the Resident District Commissioners (RDC) shall monitor and inspect the activities of local governments and may draw the attention of any relevant line ministry to the divergence from or non-compliance with government policy by any council within his or her area of jurisdiction.
3. The Uganda Bureau of Statistics Act (1998) - The Bureau is the principal data collecting and disseminating agency responsible for coordinating, monitoring and supervising the National Statistical System.
4. The Budget Act (2001) - The Act envisages preparation of a 3-years national macroeconomic plan and programmes for the economic and social development. Each Minister prepares a Policy Statement for each financial year which attempts to link resources to output targets.
5. The National Planning Authority Act (2002) - The National Planning Authority (NPA) has the mandate to produce integrated development plans for the country based on the perspective vision and the long term and medium term plans. Its functions include monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness and impact of development programmes and the performance of the economy of Uganda.
6. The Public Finance and Accountability Act (2003) - The Act requires the Minister of Finance to report to parliament on expenditure of public resources and Article 36 of the Act empowers the Auditor General to undertake value for money audits for the purpose of establishing the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of any department, or any public organisation, or any local government council.
7. The National Audit Act (2003) - Under Article 13, the Auditor General shall audit and report on public accounts of Uganda and of all public offices; conduct financial, value for money audits and other audits such as gender and environment audits in respect of any project or activity involving public funds; undertake audit of classified expenditures; audit all Government investments; carry out procurement audits; and audit Treasury Memoranda.
8. The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act (2003) - Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) shall engage in mMonitoring and reporting on the performance of the public procurement and disposal systems and advise on desirable changes. All procurement and disposal shall be conducted in a manner which promotes transparency, accountability and fairness (Article 46) and be conducted in a manner which promotes economy, efficiency and value for money (Article 48).
9. The Local Governments (Financial and Accounting) Regulations (2007) - The Council Executive Committee has to exercise supervision and control over the Council’s finances and Government conditional grants and ensure that regulations are observed as well as consider and evaluate the performance of the Council against the approved work plans and programmes at the end of each financial year.
10. The Education Act (2008) - Directorate responsible for standards in all education institutions have to assess he achievement of standards and to evaluate effectiveness of education programmes of institutions and agencies throughout Uganda; provide and disseminate regular reports on the quality of education at all levels and give advice to the Minister on matters related to quality control.
11. The NGO Policy (2008) - OPM is the lead Agency for NGO sector development and oversight. It shall present an annual report to parliament on operational environment of NGOs in collaboration with National Council for NGOs. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, through the NGO Board, is responsible for registry and oversight of NGOs. The National Council for NGOs formulates and enforces a NGO Code of Conduct and promotes quality assurance, partnership, and information sharing. The Resident District Commissioner monitors activities of the NGO sector within the District and ensure compliance. The District Local Council ensures integration of programme plans and budgets, through District NGO Committee, into the District and lower level Development Plans and Budgets based on clear guidelines; ensures joint planning, programme monitoring and evaluation and accountability for resources allocated to joint (Government-NGOs) development activities and includes assessment of contribution and impact of NGO sector in the regular performance reports prepared by the District Administration.
Global Evaluation Initiative (2022). MESA Guidance Note: Diagnostic Tool for a Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.globalevaluationinitiative.org/mesa
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