Deputy Secretary for President and Cabinet (D/SPC) Dr. Janet Banda has emphasized the need for an effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system as well as capacities to achieve the country’s development aspirations.
Banda made the remarks on Wednesday in Lilongwe during the official opening of the first-ever National M&E week organized by National Planning Commission (NPC) and its stakeholders.
She said the week provides a platform for M&E stakeholders, civil society organizations (CSOs), the private sector, academic institutions, independent evaluators, researchers, development partners and policymakers to work together in improving monitoring and evaluation in Malawi.
“It is imperative that we join hands to strengthen the capacities and use of evaluation results if we are to implement programs that will graduate this country into middle income by 2030,” she said.
Banda further said research that adopts and use monitoring are on the rise. However, evaluations have not been given much attention in the development space.
She added that there are positive effects that evaluations have had on the country’s development programming by informing new programmes and the effectiveness of those being scaled up.
She cited examples of school feeding program and social protection programs that are being scaled up with the latter being integrated with the unified beneficiary registry as a result of evaluation recommendations.
Malawi has its plan, well defined, and a long term vision, the Malawi 2063 with its first 10 year Implementation Plan (MIP-1) which needs both monitoring and evaluation for progress.
Banda however highlighted areas that government is working on to show commitment to M&E not just as a routine fiduciary activity to please financiers but an important and imperative development management tool.
In his keynote address, Director of Research and Outreach at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Dr Samson Katengeza said there has been a tremendous progress in issues of M&E.
“So far we have seen a number of policy changes as a result of M&E data,” he said.
Katengeza said in the past there were no coordinated efforts in the use of M&E but recently there have been progress where a number of policies have been made out of well evidence.
He said M&E week is a very good progress that will be able to see a better implementation towards the achievement of the Malawi 2063 aspirations.
NPC M&E Manager Austin Chingwengwe said the week will help raise the profile of monitoring and evaluation.
“We are also looking at the policies to strengthen the M&E in the country,” he said.
The M&E week was also marked by the awarding of Evaluation Competition winners.
The M&E week will be commemorated annually under different themes.