Kathmandu, September 29
The National Planning Commission (NPC) has started drafting the Monitoring and Evaluation Act to ensure timely implementation of development projects, hold ministries accountable for not being able to complete works on time, and give a boost to capital spending.
“We’ve just started framing the Act based on the permission given to us by the Cabinet,” said Teertha Raj Dhakal, chief of the Monitoring and Evaluation Division at NPC.
The need for the Act was felt after ministries, responsible for implementation of various development programmes, failed to take ownership of tasks extended to them. This attitude has often delayed implementation of many projects, but prevented the government from taking action due to lack of legal provisions.
“We hope the Act will instil a sense of responsibility in civil servants and compel them to meet targets on time,” said Dhakal. “This will ultimately raise capital spending, which will contribute to economic development.”
The upcoming Act will set a standard, which will create a basis for various government agencies to conduct monitoring and evaluation works.
Monitoring is generally carried out to oversee the progress made by a project, while evaluation is done to check the result delivered by a project or impact created by a project on the community and people living in that community.
Currently, different government agencies are carrying out monitoring and evaluation works. But they are performing these tasks based on their own guidelines.
For instance, the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers, the Ministry of Finance, and the National Vigilance Centre are conducting monitoring based on their own guidelines.
On the other hand, government agencies, like the Social Welfare Council, are conducting evaluation of projects using their own methodologies.
“There is a need to harmonise these practices, so that there is similarity in the way all agencies do their monitoring and evaluation works,” Dhakal said.
It is believed strict implementation of the Monitoring and Evaluation Act will not only help the government hold officials liable for failing to make deliveries on time, but spot weaknesses during the phase of project implementation based on which strategic plans and risk management strategies could be framed.
The Act will also help the government to oversee direct and indirect impact of projects on people’s lives, sustainability of such projects and efficiency in the use of money allocated for projects.
A version of this article appears in print on September 30, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.