Last week, a Twende Mbele team missioned to Kenya and were hosted by the Monitoring and Evaluation Department (MED) in the National Government. The main objective was assessing how Kenya and Twede Mbele and move forward together.
Over the years, inadequate M&E capacity has been a challenge in Kenya. To address this, the MED – in partnership with various universities – developed M&E curricula for certificate, postgraduate diploma and Master’s degree courses. In addition, the MED and the Kenya School of Government, developed County Result Based M&E systems at the devolved structures. Universities and other research service providers are also supplying many of the evaluators, particularly where sophisticated research methodologies are needed, eg for impact evaluations, and undertake research which is closely allied to evaluation, and can help to inform research process.
Kenya’s experience in M&E as indicated in the core work for monitoring and evaluation is delivered using the National Monitoring and Evaluation System (NIMES) coordinated by the MED domiciled in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. The NIMES was established in 2004 through a multi-stakeholder effort to track the implementation of policies, programmes and projects at all levels of governance. Each department has their own vote and monitors independently and then reports to the MED. The Medium Term Expenditure Review also reviews projects and programs being implemented and evaluations done in Kenya both by donors and the government are quality assured by the MED although it also has capacity gaps to review them.
One challenge the MED is facing is around the amount of financial resources available for field visits and data collection – program impact assessment needs a closer touch on the project, but of late they don’t have enough staff to go out. This has impact on the quality of evaluations, which flows on into the ability to use them effectively for decision-making.
Twende was able to learn a lot from the Kenyan system – with particular interest in the monthly Media Breakfasts – and we look forward to working closer with them.