Ensuring no-one is left behind using data and evaluations

Pretoria, 31 October 2017: The first Africa Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) indaba kicked off at the Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg on Monday. The three-day indaba aims to discuss how collecting data and strengthening M&E systems can assist governments, civil society and the media in measuring progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were adopted in 2015. The SDGs are goals and targets that aim to improve the lives of people across the globe by reducing poverty and inequalities and improving health and educational institutions. Governments committed themselves towards meeting the SDGs targets in an effort to change the lives of their citizens and ensure that no-one is left behind.

By identifying the gaps for the equitable distribution of resources, monitoring and evaluation plays a key role in accelerating economic growth and development as well as encouraging governments to assess progress. According to Nana Serwah Amoako, the Special Advisor in the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation in Ghana, M&E has assisted the Ghanaian government in monitoring and measuring the efficacy of its policies and implementation. Amoako adds that real-time data collection serves as evidence regarding which communities were lagging behind in implementing policies and promises made by government. Strengthening M&E systems in Ghana has led to economic growth and the betterment of people’s lives.

Dr. Bernd Mueller from the International Labour Organization believes that there is now a political will to fund and invest in M&E from political parties. This is due to the rising youth unemployment in many countries on the African continent wherein data-gathering and statistics serve as a tool for governments to prove the issue is being tackled. M&E reports also helps in the decision-making process and also serve as a guide for donors and other countries investing in Africa.

Chris Wake from the Department for International Development (DfID), explained that it has assisted governments and civil society on the efficient use of donor funds through M&E reports.

The indaba, organized by the UN in South Africa in partnership with the South African Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, will also discuss M&E ecosystems, how to harness the demographic dividend as well as innovations in data.