External agencies to evaluate 3,000 govt programmes

Move aimed at improving service delivery to citizens

In what is said to be the first of its kind initiative in the country, the Karnataka Evaluation Authority (KEA) will soon line up the first batch of  policies and programmes of the State government to be taken up for impartial evaluation by qualified external agencies.

In all, around 3,000 government programmes both under plan and non-plan categories across various departments and public sector units will be taken up for external evaluation in phases over the next five years.

The KEA, an autonomous body, was set up by the previous government as ‘evaluation policy framework’ to improve the efficiency of public programmes. After initial delay it is now taking shape.

“All line departments will have to subject their programmes for evaluation through the Authority. We are soon calling for applications from qualified reputed agencies who are interested in taking up the task of evaluation,” KEA chief evaluation officer K N Murthy told Deccan Herald.

Murthy pointed that evaluation of programmes is not to find fault with the departments but to benchmark the State of affairs and improve the service delivery to citizens.  Programmes of 38 major departments, 107 minor departments, 75 public sector units (PSUs) and 210 urban local bodies (ULBs) will come under the scanner of KEA.

Terms of reference

Each department will have to prepare ‘terms of references’ on the parameters and aspects of its programmes which it feels should be evaluated.

The terms of reference will be scrutinised by technical and expert committees of the KEA before forwarding it to the external agencies for evaluation, Murthy said.

The technical and expert committees of the KEA will comprise research officers with doctoral degrees and extensive field experience in their respective subjects.

The departments themselves will have to fund the evaluation. A government order was recently issued authorising the departments to earmark one per cent of their plan fund for such evaluations.  The Archeology and Fisheries departments are among the first to have come forward with request for evaluation of their programmes, Murthy said.

The KEA will also be preparing a ‘protocol evaluation plan’ for each department to drawn a timeline on programmes to be evaluated, Murthy said.

The KEA is also planning to take up concurrent evaluation of 10 to 15 flagship programmes of the Central government such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, National Rural Health Mission among others.

The State gets grants of Rs 8,000 crore every year for the Centre-sponsored schemes.

K N Murhty, KEA Chief Evaluation

Officer: All line departments will have to subject their programmes for evaluation. We are soon calling for applications from qualified agencies who are interested in taking up the task of evaluation

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