Is Ethiopia ready for evaluation?

Introducing Ethiopian National Evaluation Capacity Readiness Assessment (NECRA)

By Seblewengel Tesfaye
16 September 2020

The Planning and Development Commission and UNICEF Ethiopia, in collaboration with Ethiopian Evaluation Association (EEvA) are undertaking a National Evaluation Capacity Readiness Assessment. The main purpose of this assessment is twofold: to assess the extent to which national level is rightly equipped to effectively implement the evaluation function to evaluate GTP II and SDGs and also to develop a plan to strengthen capacity across sixteen sector line ministries and regional bureaus in Oromia and Somali regions. The two regions have been selected to be included in the readiness assessment as they provide different context and therefore useful information for the analysis.

The assessment, initially planned to be conducted during the first three quarter of the year 2020, is delayed due to COVID-19. However, much of the leg work has been implemented virtually during this difficult time showing both the capacity of the government and our partners to use alternative ways of working. Specifically, the recruitment of an international and local consultants has been completed, the reference group established. Furthermore, UNICEF has organized a virtual session with UNICEF East and South Africa Regional Office, UNICEF Zambia and UNICEF Zimbabwe to understand the experiences in conducting similar exercise in other countries in the region.

According to the Planning and Development Commission (PDC) successful completion of readiness assessment will lead to the drafting of Ethiopian evaluation policy which is the first of its kind for the country. Ato Solomon Tesfasilassie, Director General, Bureau of Monitoring & Evaluation, Planning and Development Commission of Ethiopia said “Currently the country has national Monitoring and Evaluation guideline. The successful completion of this evaluation readiness assessment will be used as an input for the drafting of the first evaluation policy.’’

What led to NECRA?

The Planning and Development Commission conducted a national level assessment study on the monitoring and evaluation system and prepared the National Growth and Transformation Plan’s Monitoring and Evaluation Guidelines approved by the Council of Ministers in 2018. Several initiatives have recently started, including the evaluation capacity readiness assessment, as part of the implementation of the approved guidelines and will be unfolded as part of the Ten Year Perspective Plan. UNICEF and EEvA jointly provided technical support to the PDC to strengthen the national evaluation capacity in line with the 2018 UNICEF Evaluation Policy and October 2019 EEvA’s strategic positioning analysis.

What’s next?

The findings from the readiness assessment will be the basis for the development of the National Evaluation Capacity Development Plan. The plan will be monitored by the Planning and Development Commission. The plan will also promote development actors’ engagement in evaluation practices, and it will adopt a learning- and accountability-driven culture, thereby contributing to improved development outcomes.