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Monitoring Performance or Performing Monitoring? Lessons on the politics of monitoring


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By Katharina Welle, PhD candidate, University of Sussex. Prepared for the Monitoring sustainable WASH service delivery symposium, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 9-11 April 2013. …

By Katharina Welle, PhD candidate, University of Sussex. Prepared for the Monitoring sustainable WASH service delivery symposium, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 9-11 April 2013.

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  • 1. Monitoring Performance orPerforming Monitoring? Lessons onthe politics of monitoringMonitoring for sustainable WASH servicesSymposiumAddis Ababa, 10th April 2013Katharina Welle, PhD candidate, University of Sussex
  • 3. What is Performance Monitoring (PM)?FeedbackObjectives Activities Outputs Outcomes ImpactsInputsDevelopment ResultsSource: OECD-DAC (2010)OECD-DAC Results ChainAccording to the OECD-DAC Glossary of Key Terms in Development Evaluation andResults-based Management (2010), performance monitoring refers to a continuousprocess of collecting and analysing data to compare how well a project, programme orpolicy is being implemented against expected results”.
  • 4. Common assumptions on the linear relationbetween monitoring and decision makingThe purpose of monitoring is “to track progressagainst given objectives” and “to informdecisions, focus and orient political and policyreforms, and to channel financial resources inthe most effective way” (UN Water, 2006: 9)
  • 5. Common criticisms of Performance Monitoring• Misrepresents complexreality by reducing it to few,measurable results,expressed in quantitativeindicators• Quantification suggests amechanical objectivity:sanctioned methods toproduce ‘presumablyneutral facts’• Can create ‘perverseincentives’ and lead to‘gaming behaviour’Frederick Taylor (1856 – 1915)
  • 6. Monitoring performance or performingmonitoring? The importance of actors’ framings”narratives … employingunifying metaphors…that tell what needsfixing and how it mightbe fixed ….”Rein and Schön (1996:89)
  • 8. Rural water access trends in the Southern Nations,Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) RegionOfficial figures of water access in Ethiopia’sSouthern Region from 2000 -7010203040506070The Southern Region in EthiopiaSource: Bureau of Water Resources 2009
  • 9. ACTORS’ FRAMINGS OF ACCESS ANDWHICH ONES GET ELEVATED IN PMFeedbackObjectives Activities Outputs Outcomes ImpactsInputsDevelopment Results
  • 10. Parameters for defining access to rural water inEthiopiaDefinitions of accessJointMonitoringProgrammeof WHO andUNICEFEthiopianMinistry ofWater andEnergyVolume 20 litres /person /day15 litres /person / dayDistance 1 km 1.5 kmAccess calculation (MoWR2009/10)HanddugwellProtect-ed springShallowwellDeepwellAveragebeneficiaries270 338 457 3,313
  • 11. ‘Access’ resultsfor my casestudy kebeleScheme Averagebeneficiaries3 Handdug wells810 (3 x 270)1 Borehole3,313Total 4,123SchemeKebelepopulation%servedCSA 5,885 70%HEWdata~4,700 94%
  • 12. Kebele residents’ issues with accessBHKebeleboundaryWaterpointPublicTapPublicTapHDW1ChurchPriestHDW2SchoolTeachersHPHDW3
  • 13. MONITORING DYNAMICSFeedbackObjectives Activities Outputs Outcomes ImpactsInputsDevelopment Results
  • 14. Using different calculation methodsto stage ‘performance’ in review meetingsRegional Bureau of WaterResourcesCalculation method used:average user estimates byscheme typeRationale: reporting positiveaccess trends at federallevelResult for case study woreda:Access: 58% in June 2009Woreda (district) Water, Miningand Energy officesCalculation method used:users living within 1.5 km ofsourceRationale: obtaining budgetsfor water supply at thelocal levelResult for case study woreda:Access: 38.1% in December2009
  • 15. FACTORS AFFECTING RURAL WATERACCESS DECISIONSFeedbackObjectives Activities Outputs Outcomes ImpactsInputsDevelopment Results
  • 16. Decisions on capital budget allocations for ruralwater supply in SNNP Region, Ethiopia, 2009/10Who Factors affecting allocationsChannel1aGovernmentblock grantsMulti-sectoral ‘new budget grant formula’Channel1bSectordonors (WB,UNICEF, etc)Specific intervention woredas (80 out of134 in 2009)Channel2Multi-sectorprogrammes(e.g.PSNP)In case of PSNP(Productive Safety-NetProgramme ), to food-insecure woredas,capital allocations to sectors depend onvarious factorsChannel3NGOs No direct control by government, manyfactors affect project sites of NGOs
  • 17. Realities of “strategic planning” at woreda levelFinancing modality Woreda blockgrantWASH Programme PSNP NGOFinancing channel 1a 1b 2 3Funding period 2006-2010 2005-2012 2007-2011 2007-2011Schemesconstructed until2009/100 2 hand-dug wells2 shallow wells10 protected springs8 protectedsprings9 deep wells5 shallow wellsConstruction costestimates based onMoWR (2005)Not applicable ~600,000 ETB ~300,000 ETB ~7,000,000 ETBSources: World Vision project document, MoFED Water Supply and Sanitation fundutilisation sheet, MoFED PSNP Fund Utilisation Sheets & report prepared by officer for me
  • 18. Borehole in casestudy kebeleNeighbouringkebele’s Tap
  • 19. Multi-causality of factors affecting the repairInhibitingthe repairFacilitatingthe repairInadequate sectorsupport to andoversight of WASHcommitteeCost implications ofmajor maintenancenot coherentlyaddressedGovernmentlogistical andcapacityconstraintsClimate of distrustand indications ofabuse of roles amongwater usercommittee membersLocal opinionleader pushedrepairDrought in 2008 amplifiedwater access problems oflocal residentsApproach ofgeneral electionscreates ‘windowof opportunity’Regional inventoryresults in decision toaddress non-functionalityWoreda water officemobilised budgetsources for newreservoirsWoreda wateroffice reportedschemebreakdown
  • 20. Implications for performance monitoringPM is not objective but subject to actors’ framings – in performancemonitoring, some factors are elevated while others remainneglected there is a need to bring perspectives from local users higher up on theagendaIn addition to official monitoring objectives, people involved may havetheir own, private agendas, that influence the process and results It is important to pay attention to the practice of every day monitoring in additionto redesigning global targets and indicatorsMonitoring results are just one among many factors affecting servicedelivery decisionsCan be used as a tool to legitimise actors rather than really increasingaccountability
  • 21. Thank youBelow are additional slides that I might use