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Good Practice Government Systems for M&E . The Cases of Chile and Colombia Presentation to a LAC Region Summer Seminar 9 August 2006 Keith Mackay Independent Evaluation Group ( What Does “Success” Look Like? -- Why Countries Want an M&E System .

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Good Practice Government Systems for M&E

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Good Practice Government

Systems for M&E

The Cases of Chile and Colombia

Presentation to a LAC Region Summer Seminar

9 August 2006

Keith Mackay

Independent Evaluation Group


What Does “Success” Look Like?-- Why Countries Want an M&E System

  • To support budget decision-making = performance-based budgeting

  • To support national and sectoral planning

  • To design policies and programs

  • To assist sector ministries / agencies in their management

  • To strengthen accountability relationships

Chile’s M&E System -- Architecture

  • Designed, managed and used by Hacienda

  • Developed incrementally, over past decade

  • Performance indicators (∑1,600) for all government programs (1994)

  • Government program evaluations (∑ 160) -- these are desk reviews (1996)

  • Rigorous impact evaluations (∑14) (2001)

  • Comprehensive Spending Reviews -- desk reviews of all programs in a functional area (2002)

Chile’s M&E System -- Strengths (1)

  • ‘Graduated’ approach to M&E

  • Evaluations conducted externally, in fully transparent process, and are highly credible

  • All M&E findings reported publicly and sent to Congress

  • M&E system closely linked to the information needs of Hacienda, especially for budget process

  • Performance information used to set performance targets for ministries -- these are largely met

Chile’s M&E System -- Strengths (2)

  • High utilization of M&E findings by Hacienda in the budget process and to impose management improvements on ministries / agencies (see Table)

Chile’s M&E System -- Challenges

  • Unevenness in quality of evaluations -- due to cost and time constraints

  • Chile probably not spending enough on evaluations

  • Low utilization -- low ‘ownership’ -- of Hacienda’s evaluations by sector ministries

Colombia’s M&E System (SINERGIA) -- Architecture

  • SINERGIA is managed by the Department of National Planning (DNP), with strong support from the Presidencia

  • On-line sub-system -- SIGOB -- for monitoring and reporting government progress vis-à-vis Presidential Goals

  • Ambitious agenda of impact evaluations (∑15 underway)

  • DNP provides technical assistance to a few ministries/agencies to develop M&E, and to municipalities to pilot SIGOB and performance-based budgeting

Colombia’s M&E System -- Strengths

  • Very high utilization of SIGOB by President for oversight of ministers and ministries -- via performance targets -- and for accountability, i.e. ‘social control’

  • Rigorous impact evaluations conducted externally, and have high credibility

  • Collaborative approach between DNP and sector ministries/ agencies, and with municipalities

  • Performance budget reports; efforts to further strengthen performance budgeting

  • Efforts to engage with civil society

Colombia’s M&E System -- Challenges

  • Too high reliance on donor funding for SINERGIA --low level of government funding support

  • Insufficient reliance on M&E information to support national planning and budget decision-making -- this may now be changing

  • Weak coordination of M&E roles / functions within DNP and with central and sector ministries

  • SIGOB data quality perceived as low

How to Define a Government M&E System as Being “Good Practice”

  • Can be dangerous concept -- each country’s starting point and desired end-point are unique

  • What a “successful” M&E system is NOT:

  • complex set of laws, decrees, regulations

  • # performance indicators collected

  • # rigorous impact evaluations conducted

  • # rapid evaluations conducted

  • = these simply reflect the architecture of the system or are measures of M&E effort

How to Define a Government M&E System as Being “Good Practice”

  • Chile and Colombia have good-practice M&E systems because

  • the quality of their M&E work is generally reliable, and

  • in particular, the monitoring information and evaluation findings which they produce are used intensively

  • High utilization reflects strong demand for M&E, and can be viewed as a predictor of an M&E system’s sustainability

Lessons (1)

  • Lessons from Chile and Colombia are consistent with other countries’ experience

  • Key role of powerful champion of M&E

  • Opportunistic development of M&E systems, via continuous review and modification; non-linear development of the systems

  • Centrally-driven, by capable ministry

  • Incentives are key -- cultural change to strengthen demand, achieve high utilization

  • Avoid competing systems – Planning, Finance

Lessons (2)

  • Build reliable ministry data systems

  • Role of structural arrangements to ensure M&E objectivity and quality

  • Long-haul effort, requiring patience

  • Limitations of relying on laws, decrees, regulations

  • An M&E system can be built and operated are relatively low cost

  • Chile’s M&E system costs $0.75m p.a.

  • Colombia’s system costs about $2m p.a.

Useful Resources (1)



  • Ernesto May et al. (eds.), Towards the Institutionalization of Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean, World Bank/IADB, 2006.,,contentMDK:20893139~pagePK:146736~piPK:146830~theSitePK:258554,00.html(Disponible en Español)

  • Keith Mackay, Institutionalization of Monitoring and Evaluation Systems to Improve Public Sector Management, Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank, en Español)

Useful Resources (2)

  • Ariel Zaltsman, Experience with Institutionalizing M&E Systems in Five Latin American Countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay, Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank,

  • Fernando Rojas et al, Chile: Análisis del Programa de Evaluación del Gasto Publico, World Bank, 2005.

  • World Bank website on Building Government M&E Systems:

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