The history of the national Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system is rooted from the Uganda’s Public Sector Management during the post-colonial era system of governance through 1980s that shaped the public inspectorate function with public bureaus in various institutional levels. The Sector Wide Approaches (SWAps), liberalisation and divestiture of most of the public parastatals in the late 1990s, paved the way for increased monitoring of performance of government programmes (e.g. the Local Government Development Programme (LGDP) and the Public Sector Reform Programme (PSRP).
M&E processes with a gender equity and equality focus were mostly driven by Development Partners. Public sector Reforms focused on key aspects including value for money, performance measurement and “results-based performance”. With the adoption of the Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), there was a push mostly from civil society organizations (CSOs), both national and international, for ‘impact assessments’ of PEAP interventions.
The trend since 2000 is a move towards the incorporation of M&E principles into government performance assessments. M&E has become a key feature of programmes under SWAps and there has been increased commissioning of baseline surveys, mid-term reviews and end of programme evaluations that reflect the socio-economic and cultural realities of Ugandan societies. The National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy (NIMES) coordinated by Office of the Prime Minister is a framework to ensure that all Government programmes are monitored and evaluated in a rational and synchronized manner (Figure 1); launched in 2005/06 as way to monitor progress and evaluate performance results of PEAP. Arising from the achievements of the PEAP, there was need for the country to develop a more comprehensive sector wide plan to propel the country to economic transformation especially through mechanized agriculture, high tech equipment as well as improved infrastructure. This led to the formulation of the NDP I (2010/11 – 2014/15) in 2010.
The NIMES is supplied data and necessary indicators by the national statistical system headed by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBoS), and ultimately responds to the government’s intended goals and policy objectives, as laid out in National Policy Framework (OPM, 2006). This framework was introduced just after the launch of Paris Declaration in 2005 to tackle a perceived orientation in the public sector. It followed on from the Poverty Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy (PMES), which was launched by MoFPED in May 2002. Since 2005, NIMES lost some impetus which was further eclipsed by the entry into the National Development Plan (NDP I). In 2013, OPM launched the national M&E policy which essentially replaced the NIMES. The subsequent section provides the broad overview and purpose of the policy.
The primary purpose of the policy was to ‘improve the performance of the public sector through strengthening of the operational, coordinated, and cost-effective production and use of objective information on implementation and results of national strategies, policies, programmes and projects. The operational mandate of the M&E policy is to among other things: conduct financial, value for money and other audits, such as gender and environment audits, in respect of any project or activity involving public funds; produce quality and timely quantitative and qualitative information that respond to the demands of public governance and management. The policy emphasises that data producers should produce reliable statistics to inform the planning and budget cycle. To ensure the credibility and usefulness of M&E, impartiality, compliance with international standards in data collection, analysis and reporting and independence of evaluators should be respected. The operationalisation of the M&E policy enables government, legislature and other actors to access evidence to inform policy and programmatic decisions, and to hold the public sector accountable for its utilisation of resources. Worth to note that the policy focuses on monitoring, evaluation, and review functions. Other control and oversight functions (e.g. value for money auditing, accountability) are not the subject of this policy. The policy, and the associated strategies that followed it, have replaced the National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy (NIMES) of 2005/06 that was executed within the structures of government.
To achieve the M&E development objectives, the government has made several policy reforms and instituted mechanisms to effectively collect and analyse data/information, evaluate, improve and control its performance. In this regard, several policy reforms were instituted to strengthen performance management in government. The reforms, strategies and plans to develop the national M&E system are anchored on the Uganda‘s 1995 national constitution as well as sectoral and ministerial development agenda. The initial M&E development took place in 2005 when the NIMES was reviewed that sought to define broadly the policy, capacity and infrastructure needs required to strengthen monitoring, evaluation and performance assessment. The requirements for effective planning, monitoring and evaluation in the public sector are only partially addressed in existing legislation outlined in the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995), Local Government Act (1997), Uganda Bureau of Statistics Act (1998), Budget Act (2001), National Planning Authority Act (2002), Public Finance and Accountability Act (2003), and the National Audit Act (2008) as well as the Partnership Policy of 2013.
Albert Byamugisha – Uganda Country Lead
Dr Albert Byamugisha is Commissioner and Head of Department – Monitoring and Evaluation in the Uganda Office of the Prime Minister. He is also a Coordinator of the sub-county Information Forum (Citizens Barazas) in Ghana. Prior to his current position, he worked as an M&E Expert at the National Planning Authority, Uganda, served as an Assistant Commissioner in charge of Statistics, Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation in the Education Planning and Policy Department of the Uganda Ministry of Education and Sports, as well as the Uganda National Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality (SACMEQ) Research Coordinator, National Education For All (EFA) Coordinator, and as a Lecturer and Head of Department of Statistical Methods at the Makerere University Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics (1993-2000).
Timothy Lubunga – Ugandan Country Manager
Timothy Lubanga is currently the Assistant Commissioner for Monitoring and Evaluation at the Office of the Prime Minister responsible for managing the Country’s National Monitoring and Evaluation System (NIMES). He has 18 years’ experience on social protection especially in fragile and conflict affected environments.
In the last 8 years he has been at the forefront in developing and managing the Uganda National Monitoring and Evaluation system (NIMES). He has led several policy reforms in monitoring and evaluation in the Country and commissioned and managed several evaluations in the Public sector in Uganda. He was the team leader of a multi-sectoral team that designed and managed a post conflict master plan, the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP) from 2005 to 2009. At Monitoring level, Timothy Lubanga has been central in managing the annual and bi annual Local and central Government Assessments whose reports have enhanced Uganda’s Cabinet decisions at a strategic level.
Timothy holds a BSc. Economics Degree and M.A (Economic Policy and Planning) from Makerere University as well as MBA from Uganda Martyrs University and St. Mary’s University, Nova Scotia, Canada.He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Uganda Micro-Finance Support Centre, TPO Uganda and Walkway Schools Ltd. He is also an Executive Committee member of the Uganda Evaluation Association and a member of the management team for the EVALNET (EVALNET is led by a Collaborative Partner Donor Evaluation in 18 Countries globally).
Doris Kembabazi – Uganda Country Coordinator
Doris Kembabazi has over 7 years’ experience in Programme Management and Administration/Operations. She has worked in different positions supporting entities deliver high quality programme management operations and supporting Monitoring and Evaluation function. She is a graduate from Makerere University and currently undertaking Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation from Uganda Management Institute