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Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office

The Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) was constituted in September 2015 by merging the erstwhile Program Evaluation Office (PEO) and the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO). It is an attached office under NITI Aayog, aimed at fulfilling the organization’s monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mandate and building the M&E ecosystem in India.

 

According to the Cabinet Note that constitutes NITI Aayog, the organization is entrusted with development M&E functions including: (i) to monitor progress and efficacy of strategic and long term policy and programme frameworks and initiatives to help innovative improvements, including necessary mid-course corrections; and (ii) to actively monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes and initiatives, including the identification of the needed resources so as to strengthen the probability of success and scope of delivery.

 

DMEO’s vision is to improve sustainable outcomes and impacts of the government. It aims to enable high-quality monitoring and evaluation of government programs to improve effectiveness, efficiency, equity and sustainability of service delivery, outcomes and impacts.

 

The objectives of DMEO are:

  1. To enable data-driven policy making; to enable a culture of deep learning from regular self-evaluation in all the tiers of the government;

  2. To institutionalize rigorous tracking of performance metrics and comprehensive program evaluations;

  3. To strengthen the whole ecosystem to mainstream rigorous outcome monitoring and evaluation;

  4. To introduce and expand use of cutting edge technologies and data analytical tools for real time monitoring of government programs;

  5. To provide data and tools to drive effectiveness and efficiency of government programs; and

  6. To help identify weaknesses and bottlenecks for necessary course correction.

 

As a part of NITI Aayog, DMEO has advisory powers across the Ministries and Departments of the Union Government, and is one of few institutions within the government to provide a cross- and inter-ministerial perspective. Its mandate also expands to technical advisory to States, under NITI Aayog’s mandate of cooperative and competitive federalism. DMEO also has the ability to share reports and reviews directly with key decision makers in the government to initiate action. This institutional positioning also gives the organization convening power, to create a platform for M&E advancement in the country.

 

Our Work

Since 2015, DMEO has worked largely on intra-governmental initiatives for outcome monitoring, including sectoral reviews by the Prime Minister and an Output-Outcome Monitoring Framework covering 591 schemes across 67 Ministries and Departments of the Government of India.

 

1. Monitoring

 

1. Output-Outcome Framework

 

Laid before the Parliament with the Union Budget for 2019-20, the Output-Outcome Framework represents an important reform towards outcome-based monitoring. It provides a framework of indicators for monitoring Central Sector (CS) and Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS), with outlays covering approximately 40% of the Central Government's expenditure budget. This is a paradigm shift from measuring simply physical and financial progress, to a governance model based on outcomes. DMEO has been working with Ministries and Departments to develop this framework since 2017.

 

The Output-Outcome Framework 2019-20 endeavors to provide measurable indicators for achievement of scheme objectives, or the 'Outcomes'. Actively tracking progress against defined targets provides two key benefits for governance: improving (i) the development impact and (ii) the public accountability of every rupee spent by the Government of India. Thus, the Output-Outcome Framework 2019-20 lays the foundation of the journey towards a stronger portfolio of Government of India's development programmes. It enables performance-based budgetary allocations and can also be used to drive budgetary and administrative convergence among existing schemes/ programmes.

 

With the cooperation of line ministries and implementing actors, a robust monitoring mechanism based on this Framework can revolutionize the governance and implementation of all the CS/CSS schemes of the Government of India.

 

For all schemes above Rs. 500 crore in allocation for 2019-20, the document can be accessed here:

https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/outcomebudget.php

For remaining schemes, the documents can be accessed here: https://www.niti.gov.in/documents/reports

 

2. Sector Reviews

 

DMEO undertakes data analysis and provides recommendations based on monitoring data to a variety of stakeholders. It provides comments to Ministries and Departments at the scheme design and appraisal stage, outlining key output and outcome indicators to be monitored. It is also strengthening its capacity to set standards in the country, including a nation-wide monitoring and evaluation policy, monitoring maturity assessment of ministries etc.

 

For 13 infrastructure sectors and 4 social sectors, DMEO prepares monitoring reviews for some of the highest decision-makers in the country. These reviews transcend bureaucratic silos to present a cross-ministerial view of the performance of the sectors. By identifying bottlenecks and suggesting interventions, immediate actions are often initiated from the highest levels of the government, improving overall development outcomes. In this endeavor, DMEO has developed an interactive dashboard to facilitate monitoring and analysis. The dashboard has been made accessible to Ministries or Departments, enabling them to upload progress data and action taken on tasks from the previous review. The minutes from each review help initiate action, while regular Action Taken Reports periodically sent to high-level decision-makers help follow up.

 

3. Other Activities and Tools

 

DMEO undertakes data analysis and provides recommendations based on monitoring data to a variety of stakeholders. It provides comments to Ministries and Departments at the scheme design and appraisal stage, outlining key output and outcome indicators to be monitored. It is also strengthening its capacity to set standards in the country, including a nation-wide monitoring and evaluation policy, monitoring maturity assessment of ministries etc.

 

2. Evaluation

 

1. Centrally Sponsored Schemes Evaluations

 

To ensure efficient and effective use of public resources, the Government of India has made evaluation of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and Central Sector (CS) schemes mandatory before the schemes come up for fresh appraisal, before the start of the 15th Finance Commission. The Government has assigned DMEO, NITI Aayog the responsibility to conduct independent third-party evaluation of all the CSS in a time-bound manner so that the findings of the evaluation are made available to appropriate authorities for determining the rationalization of the schemes.

 

The evaluation of the CSS under the 28 Umbrella CSS will be completed through 10 sector evaluation studies, conducted by external agencies procured through an open tender process, which is currently underway. The ten packages are: (1) Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries (2) Women and Child (3) Human Resource Development (4) Urban Transformation (5) Rural Development (6) Drinking Water and Sanitation (7) Health (8) Jobs and Skills (9) Water Resource, Environment and Forest (10) Social Inclusion, Law and Order & Justice Delivery.

 

2. Other evaluations

 

DMEO undertakes evaluation of selected programmes, either suo-motu or on the request of the implementing Ministries/ Departments of the Government of India. The purpose of programme evaluations include an objective assessment of the longer term impacts of the development programmes, identification of the areas and reasons for the successes and failures at different stages of programme execution; suggesting mid-course corrections and disseminating lessons for the future. The parameters for evaluation would include the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and sustainability of service delivery, outcomes and impacts.

 

DMEO also conducts high-impact flagship evaluations aimed at providing timely actionable insights to decision-makers, building evaluation capacity in the M&E ecosystem in India, and piloting cutting-edge evaluation tools, methodologies, and technologies.

 

Technical assistance is also provided to various Ministries and Departments on request, including for developing terms of reference, navigating the procurement process etc.

 

3. Other Activities

 

DMEO is working with various partners to leverage and activate existing capacities in the external ecosystem to undertake a greater depth and breadth of activities than DMEO can undertake by itself. DMEO aims to explore multi-stakeholder engagements involving organizations like funding partners, technical partners and researchers, technology and data partners, field partners etc. DMEO will act as a conduit for M&E knowledge and skills: learning from leading organizations in India and abroad and helping channel this learning towards Union Ministries, States and other external organizations, thereby raising the equilibrium of the entire M&E ecosystem.

 

The Office also actively participates in NITI-wide initiatives and provides support as and when requested.