Monitoring and evaluation are different but complementary practices. Monitoring is the systematic collection of performance data to assess the progress and achievement of policy objectives against set targets and to identify and lift implementation bottlenecks. Policy evaluation refers to the structured and objective assessment of the design, implementation and/or results of a future, ongoing or completed public intervention.
Robust and systematic use of monitoring and evaluation can:
Most OECD countries monitor the performance of their public policies and conduct evaluations. However, countries vary in how they have sought to promote the institutionalisation, quality and impact of monitoring and evaluations.
Countries use different methods to promote the use of evaluations. Among these, the most common is incorporating findings into the budget cycle that occurs in 21 OECD countries.
Most OECD countries have a policy framework guiding policy evaluation. Despite this, several exceptions exist, such as Australia, Finland and Italy, which do not have a policy framework for evaluation.
Several mechanisms exist to promote the quality of evaluation inside OECD countries. The most commonly used are guidelines for policy evaluation, which are present in 3 out of 4 OECD countries.
The OECD Recommendation of the Council on Public Policy Evaluation highlights core features of the successful use of evaluation. These are:
1. Institutionalise public policy evaluation from a whole of government perspective
2. Promote the quality of public policy evaluations
3. Conduct public policy evaluations that impact decision-making
The OECD conducts reviews and in-depth assessments at the national and sub-national level, identifying priority areas and providing specific and practical recommendations on how to implement M&E practices, tools and institutions that enhance the delivery and impact of policy priorities.
The OECD can also provide capacity-building activities to support governments in implementing sound Monitoring and Evaluation practices, by mobilising an international network of experts, including government officials, to share their experiences, best practices and assist countries in strengthening their capacity for policy implementation.
Governments can also get involved by joining our expert group meetings and workshops to input their country views and share expertise and notable examples of good practice.
For more information about our work in this area, please contact:Claire Salama