Planning Commission wing to evaluate govt schemes

Planning Commission wing to evaluate govt schemes

New Delhi: The Planning Commission on Friday said it will soon set up a separate independent evaluation office (IEO) to assess the extent to which the government’s flagship schemes are benefiting the poor.

“We are working towards the establishment of an IEO for strengthening our evaluation system, for which the details would come out next month", Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia told reporters.

President Pratibha Patil, too, in her address to the joint sitting of Parliament had underlined the need for improving and redesigning government schemes to effectively help the poor, he said.

The structure of the IEO, to be set up with the Commission, he said, would come up for deliberations at the International Conference on Development Evaluation -- a two-day international seminar beginning on 12 October.

“We will gain from experiences internationally during the two-day long conference", he said, adding that the conference is being held in cooperation with the World Bank and the department for international development.

“We would pool the international experiences with our own experiences and get some state level experiences, which would help us find out what kind of evaluation system we should have", he said.

When asked if the IEO would assess all social sector schemes, he said, “There are 150 such schemes including 15 flagship schemes. The IEO would pick up eight or 10 or 12 schemes for assessment. The details are being worked out."

On how this evaluation would be different from the mid-term-appraisal, Ahluwalia said, “The mid-term appraisal is the appraisal of whole plan strategy whereas the IEO is looking at specific schemes and how they have worked and what can we learn from that."

However, the IEO assessment, he said, would obviously be part of future mid-term appraisal.