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Genesis evaluates government's evaluation system

Genesis, in partnership with UK-based IOD PARC, was appointed by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in the Office of the Presidency to evaluate South Africa’s National Evaluation System.

The National Evaluation System creates the framework within which policy, project or programme-level evaluations across national departments and provinces are selected, designed, commissioned and used. The National Evaluation System’s core function is to shape the evaluation agenda for South Africa and it is a key mechanism for good governance, public accountability and service delivery through its focus on enhancing evidence-based decision-making in the public sector.

The purpose of this evaluation was to assess whether the implementation of the NES was having an impact on the programmes and policies evaluated, the departments involved, and other key stakeholders; and to determine how the system needed to be strengthened to maximise its impact and value for money across government.

The evaluation made use of a theory-based approach as a departure point, including document analysis; literature review and international benchmarking; stakeholder mapping; case studies; key informant interviews; and a survey.

Departments and provinces were selected as case studies to represent a range of levels of engagement within the NES. Departmental case studies included the departments of Basic Education (DBE), Human Settlements (DHS), Justice and Constitutional Development (DJCD), Social Development (DSD), and Trade and Industry (the dti). The provincial case studies consisted of the Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo and the Western Cape.

Based on the evaluation, Genesis made recommendations to the DPME related to evaluation mandate, budgeting for evaluative processes, capacity development, managing and tracking evaluations, and strengthening use through communication and improvement plans.

Genesis’ recommendations formed part of draft legislation on evaluation.

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