Civil society monitoring of the aprm in south africa lessons


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This is a presentation on the notes and lessons from the APRM Monitoring and Evaluation process in South Africa. Full article as published in the Africa Insight Journal can be obtained from

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Civil society monitoring of the aprm in south africa lessons

  1. 1. NavigatingParticipatoryMonitoring andEvaluation: notesand lessons fromthe CSO AfricanPeer ReviewMechanismMonitoring Project(AMP) in SouthAfrica Ogochukwu Nzewi (PHD)
  2. 2. Intro and context A discussion of notes and lessons 1. Asks how much systemization and rationality one can expect within a PM&E process? 2. Should legitimacy of PM&E process be ascribed based on the participatory component? 3. If so how about other legitimising standards such as validity and reliability of your methods, tools and instruments? In July 2010, the African Peer Review Mechanism Monitoring Project (AMP) was launched in Johannesburg AMP:  To build capacity among CSOs for M&E of the implementation of the APRM National Programmes of Action (NPoA)  establish a core group of CSOs who have the capacity to track the implementation of the APRM National Programmes of Action.  Experience and lessons sharing on recommendations
  3. 3. APRM in South Africa APRM established in 2003, lauded as “Africa‟s Innovative Thinking on Governance” voluntary accession by states A dual approach: self assessment = Country Self- Assessment Report CSAR) ; external evaluation by a Country Review Mission (CRM) = Country Review Report (Country Review Report). Based on the report, country prepares and commits to a National Programme of Action (NPoA) South Africa acceded to the APRM in 2004. 2006: Conducted and submitted its own Country Self- Assessment Report (CSAR). 2007: the South African external review was completed resulting in the Country Review Report (CRR).
  4. 4. PM&E Transformative PM&E (Latin America and parts of Asia) sensitivity and affability to social problems PM&E objectives, principles and process determinants are hinged on decisions from engagements with stakeholders PM&E is seen as a useful good governance tool in monitoring and evaluation of development projects and programs as it establishes legitimacy to M and E findings PM&E produces lessons for stakeholders and there is a greater sense of ownership in findings which motivate the development of action plans and encourages greater accountability for stakeholders and society at large
  5. 5. AMP as a PM&E process Implies: Process issues will focus on the critical matters affecting participation as a point of departure in M&E Who is monitoring, what is being monitored and weighing and negotiating interests and goals of stakeholders. Estrella (2002)
  6. 6. Who monitors? AMP Participatory framework 1. A central working team 2. CSO clusters 3. Government4 Participatory phases 1. scoping and planning workshop, 2. training workshop in which CSOs were invited to propose what to monitor 3. the third stage was the knowledge generation stage which included data gathering, analysis and report writing 4. validation and „rating‟
  7. 7. Who monitors? Lessons: Ownership: balancing the objectives of project with stakeholders frames Commitment: Levels of commitment hinged on different interest factors. Commitment from stakeholders is not always sustainable. Representativeness: It is possible that participation is not exhaustive. Decisions on who should be involved still rests with the convener, however setting limits and making decisions on who should be involved is while not a bad thing in such a process, must be motivated from the outset. Where „experts‟ become outsider facilitators, and stakeholders become „experts‟ there will be problems in maintaining expectations of high technical merit.
  8. 8. What to monitor Streamlining: a wide range of governance issues to contend with. Result: CSO process outlined governance themes. The appropriateness of the NPOA as a measuring yardstick: Ideally, NPOA but… Vagueness of NPOA Indicators M&E Framework: expectations for PM&E in terms of conventional M&E frameworks difficult to actualise Methodology: Data gathering and analysis: triangulation of sources albeit generalized and arbitrary. Validation/rating
  9. 9. What to monitor Lessons: What to monitor will always be a critical issue in a PM&E process. While the decision to not deal with indicators was a collective one and it made the AMP process a lot more manageable as an M&E project, it presented considerable methodological concerns especially in the terms of the validity of results and the ratings. Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation is prone to anecdotal evidence as against methodological data gathering. However if seen as transformative PM&E, what the AMP process lacks in technical merit, it delivers in full dose as a strong advocacy instrument for reform. Perhaps in this regard, conventional M&E practice may fall short.
  10. 10. Negotiation and weighting ofinterests Four features that are associated with good PM&E practice: participation, learning, negotiation and flexibility Implies the dynamics of group behavior, which from the group theory standpoint diagnoses the potential struggle between groups and individuals. Alexander George (Designing public policy) “some kind of bargaining process is likely to operate within the group even if members are unaware of it” a major variable affecting group bargaining processes is the attitude and behaviour of the authority convening this group.
  11. 11. Negotiation contd Lessons:The convener/expert facilitates. Facilitation involves establishing clear objectives for the project, mediation and an ability to negotiate terms and conditions among stakeholders in such a way as to maintain the essence the project objectives.
  12. 12. conclusion Certain schools in PM&E essentially see participation as validating and legitimizing a M&E process. This is debatable. If that is so, like the AMP, can the relative success of guaranteeing some level of participation at every stage of its process produce a reliable report that can be used to benefit decision making in governance? the lessons above show us that there is a weakness in the capacity of CSOs to undertake such M&E processes especially in terms of negotiating measuring instruments and indicators and in ensuring technical cleanness in the process
  13. 13. For full articlego to: Insight 9vol 41) Issue 1