Minister of state for finance, budget and national planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, has said the federal government’s plan to develop and strengthen Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) frameworks that will support delivery, tracking and reporting of Policies promoting Women Economic Empowerment.
This, he said, is in line with the aspiration of Nigeria’s Medium-Term National Development Plan 2021-2025, which is to have an economically vibrant country that has a gender balanced growth and development.
The minister, who was represented by the ministry’s director, M&E, Dr. Zakari Lawal, disclosed this during a one-day symposium with the theme “What works and success factors in managing women’s economic programmes in Nigeria’ in Abuja.
The symposium, which was organised by the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, the development Research and Projects Centre, is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Agba said the effort to develop, strengthen and mainstream performance measurement systems for policies and plans has been on the radar of the Nigerian government for a long time and was first formally crystallised when the Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 Plan was developed in 2010.
He said the M&E framework provided for a National M&E department to coordinate and institutionalise the M&E practice in all government agencies.
“And as part of the institutionalisation efforts, the department has been providing routine M&E capacity building, training and technical support to government agencies. It has also developed a set of agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with all the federal MDAs since 2011 and revised in 2020 to align with current development realities” He added.
The minister then disclosed that the federal government is moving forward with incorporating and deploying more innovative tools and strategies to promote transparency, citizen’s participation and ownership of the M&E processes.
Among these innovative strategies, he said, is the current development by the Ministry of a Citizen-centric Web-Application “the EYE-MARK” that will provide citizens with capability to track and report back on projects and programmes “earmarked” in the government annual budgets.
‘The other strategy is the use of Independent Third Party Monitors and Civil Society Actors in its Field Monitoring Operations. The use of the Third Party Monitors and non-state actors is currently being adopted in the conduct of monitoring, tracking and reporting of the Government Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) (2020) Projects and Programmes. The ESP is a special intervention plan of the federal government aimed at addressing the post-COVID 19 development challenges and the resultant economic recession,” he said.
Earlier, the director-general, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Brigadier General Chukwumeka Udaya (rtd), said the National Policy on Monitoring and Evaluation is one of the most important national policies to be formulated recently with implications for national development.
He disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari tasked the Participants of NIPSS Senior Executive Course 43, 2021 to carry out a study on Getting Things Done: Strategies for Policy and Programme Implementation in Nigeria.
‘This clearly demonstrates the concern of President Buhari on how to make public policies more impactful towards meeting the needs and aspirations of Nigerians. The National Institute has taken up this challenge by the President and is working assiduously to come up with usable strategies that would improve the quality of policy implementation in our nation. ‘ He added.
In her welcome remarks, Project Administrator, Partnership for Advancing Women’s Economic Development in Nigeria, Barrister Unekwu Ani-Ezekiel, disclosed that the dRPC with the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is collaborating with the National Institute and the federal Ministry of Finance to conduct a pilot to monitor and evaluate federal government’s policies on women economic empowerment to install accountability and to promote openness and increase the salience of women economic development in Nigeria.