The Monitoring & Evaluation Department of Kenya recently hosted the 2018 National M&E Week (Nairobi, 12 to 16 November).
This year's theme was: “Towards Realization of the Big Four Agenda: Evidence-based Decision Making for Sustainable Development”, the “Big Four” being the current national priority sectors: Food and Nutrition, Universal Health Coverage, Affordable Housing and Manufacturing.
Coming against a backdrop of great developmental opportunities and challenges, with Kenya being the largest and most diversified economy in Eastern Africa, the Evaluation Week raised a call for more focus on the use of evidence.
One of the objectives of the M&E Week was to “review and share practical approaches to enhance use of M&E findings in policy and programme implementation”. In this the one-week event did not disappoint. The two-day pre-conference workshops, the key note speeches and the parallel sessions, all provided a consultative platform to reflect, discuss and challenge to follow-through actions for better translation of M&E theory into practice. For instance, food security concerns compounded by climate change emphasized the need to improve on the use of evidence as part of drought mitigation and adaptation measures.
The week gave also a renewed push to the current multi-stakeholder efforts towards evidence-driven socio-economic growth, and in particular to the joint effort by the Monitoring & Evaluation Department and the Evaluation Society of Kenya (ESK) to promote the evaluation of the SDGs, through the EvalSDG’s EvalVision (2016-2020). While the MED is responsible for coordinating the Systems that tracks the implementation of the Vision 2030 and its alignment to the SDGs, it is important to support this effort by strengthening the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System (NIMES) and the County Integrated Monitoring & Evaluation System (CIMES).
At the M&E Week the Comprehensive Public Expenditure Review (CPER) was also officially launched. Supported by the World Bank, the launch reinforced the need to use evaluation evidence for national development policies, priorities-setting, planning, budgeting and reporting.
The outcomes of the Week were further amplified by the role of parliament in championing and overseeing Monitoring and Evaluation functions. Supported by CLEAR-AA and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), Members of Parliament used the event to have a session for reviewing their Parliamentary Cauca’s strategic plan. Coming hot on the heels of the recent EvalColombo Global parliamentary forum where Kenya was strongly represented, this was a further chance to strengthen their awareness, capacities and ownership of evaluation. The Evaluation Society of Kenya (ESK) had an active role in the parliamentary session and some of its members participated in the event throughout the week.