Getting Evidence Quicker: The Development of Rapid Evaluation in Selected African Countries
In a recent research study by Twende Mbele to assess the state of M&E culture in five participating governments, a question regarding the ‘[timeliness of] information provided to decision-makers’ was asked to more than 462 managers. On average 61% of respondents felt that M&E evidence was often used to support policy-making and implementation. And 60% of respondents indicated that evaluation reports were shared. As far as decision-making goes, the respondents indicated that decisions are often taken without proper diagnosis of the problem- around 41 – 44% indicated this happens often and 50% of respondents indicated that diagnosis of problems to inform planning happens rarely. This suggests that there is a problem with key evidence being available when needed to make decisions. According to one respondent from Benin, “The information gets to us but not on time and most times it is not clear. The information is not usually used to make decisions - not used to get the desired results”. This clear need to get information more rapidly for decision-making (especially from evaluations) has led the Twende Mbele partnership to begin an initiative to look at rapid evaluations to plug this gap.