Independent evaluation of govt policies to be a reality

Research scholars, academicians, research institutions, university departments besides consultant organisations can soon get to independently evaluate government programmes and policies with the Karnataka Evaluation Authority (KEA) finalising the modalities for the empanelment process.

In the first phase, around 300 consultants and 40 individuals will be appointed in about two months for the evaluation work after a screening process.

KEA, an autonomous body, was set up by the previous government to coordinate with qualified external agencies and subject experts for an impartial evaluation of government policies in a bid to improve the efficiency of public programmes.

“We propose to have evaluators at five levels of programmes depending on its size. Level One will have experts, while Level Five will have international consultants. Centres for excellence recognised by state or central government, academic and research institutions, multinational corporations associated with evaluation work can empanel with us,” KEA Chief Evaluation Officer K N Murthy told Deccan Herald. 
 
Programmes of 38 major departments, 107 minor departments, 75 Public Sector Units and 210 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) will come under the scanner of KEA. In all, around 3,000 government programmes both under plan and non-plan category across departments, public sector units, ULBs will be taken up for external evaluation in phases over the next five years.

“It will be a novel experience for the researchers as they will be working with the government on topics of public importance and relevance,” Murthy added.

The detailed guidelines and eligibility criteria are being finalised and would be hosted on the KEA website soon. (http:// www.karnataka.gov.in/keabangalore/pages/home.aspx). 

The KEA will also appoint professors, associate professors and academicians for coordinating with the external agencies and also linking them to government departments to monitor the evaluation reports. In the first phase, five professors, 10 associate professors and 25 research scholars will be appointed, Murthy said.

They will work in five groups. The group on social sector will work with departments like education and health, while the group on natural resources will coordinate with departments like mines, forest and fisheries.

The group on governance will have regulating department like police and legal metrology, while the group on development will work with rural development department and industries.

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