The current recession is forcing many organisations both in business and government to look critically at how we spend our money. What value are we generating from the efforts we put into the various programmes and projects we finance? Good governance demands that organisations account for organisational performance through results based management processes and procedures. Careful tracking and evaluation of the outcomes and impacts of our projects and programmes is essential for strategic evidence based policy remediation and formulation.
In the international arena (i.e Australia and Columbia), there has been a broad shift over the past two decades towards toward evidence-based decision making in government. There is a wealth of information associated with measuring and tracking the progress of developmental progress across the globe (World Bank Development Indicators, UNCHS, Global Observatory etc). The management process makes use of a set of closely integrated professional support functions such as:
- Strategic planning
- Policy management
- Legal review
- Financial planning
- Programme and project management
- Performance management
- Monitoring and evaluation
All of these functions are important in the pursuit of results. The results based approach to monitoring and evaluation differs in significant ways from the more traditional public sector management approach. In the older approach the emphasis was on whether budget was spent on a programme or policy together with a monitoring of inputs used and outputs achieved.