This article discusses the significance, techniques and challenges of measuring
the effectiveness and efficiency of governmental programmes and highlights the
need for developing countries, particularly in Africa, not just to monitor, but
also evaluate and utilise findings. A shift from implementation of monitoring to
results-based monitoring and evaluation (RBM&E) in public sector management
has put governments globally under pressure to show tangible results produced by
programmes they initiate. Governmental programmes are results-based, designed
and deployed to achieve specific external social objectives. RBM&E involves
performance monitoring and evaluation, that is, tracking programmes, comparing
their initial results with targets, providing feedback and facilitating corrective
action, and establishing why programme outcomes and impacts are, or are not,
being achieved. Therefore, it is essential to improving service delivery, achieving
effectiveness, efficiency and providing value for money.
The article also examines techniques of assessing programme effectiveness and
efficiency. Creation of the Ministry of Planning and Ministry of Performance
Monitoring and Evaluation within the South African Presidency is seen as signalling
a new attitude to effectiveness and efficiency measurement in government.
Challenges to measuring programmes’ effectiveness and efficiency are highlighted
as well as the sporadic use of evaluation in Africa. The need for an entrenched
evaluation culture in the public sectors of African countries, which tend to have
a not-so-successful record of programme performance, is argued as essential for
widespread successful management of governmental programmes. Greater focus.