The ECOWAS Ministers of Planning and representatives have scrutinized and endorsed the regional bloc’s draft Monitoring and Evaluation Policy at a one-day virtual ministerial meeting organised by the ECOWAS Commission.The ECOWAS Monitoring and Evaluation policy is designed to provide a framework for the institutionalisation of monitoring and evaluation in ECOWAS Institutions and Specialised Agencies towards the achievement of the regional integration agenda.
According to a statement by the ECOWAS Commission on Friday in Abuja, the overall objective of the policy is to ensure that all ECOWAS programmes and projects are well implemented and achieve expected developmental results. This will undoubtedly help to strengthen Results Based Management and enhance accountability and efficient use of resources.
In his opening remarks at the start of the meeting, the Minister of Planning of the Republic of Ghana, Professor George Gyan-Baffour, underscored the importance of a sound Monitoring and Evaluation Policy in any organization.
Professor Gyan-Baffour noted that it is only through a well-designed Monitoring and Evaluation system that project and programme managers would be able to keep track of the implementation of projects and ensure prudence in the utilization of the resources.
He expressed the view that a good M&E system would also provide decision makers with the required information and guidance for effective strategic planning.
Professor Gyan-Baffou also noted with happiness that the scope of the draft policy submitted for the ministerial meeting extends to projects and programmes funded by development partners.
This, he said, would give comfort to development partners that resources made available to ECOWAS would be judiciously utilised. He urged the participants to have a critical look at the document and provide expert advice in order to come up with a document that will stand the test of time.
In her welcome remarks, the Vice President of the ECOWAS Commission, Madam Finda Koroma noted that the meeting seeks to adopt one of the most important tools that will help ECOWAS achieve the objective of improved programmes and projects for the benefit of the community citizens.
She said the need to adopt a new regional policy on Monitoring and Evaluation, was felt after repeated calls from both state and non-state actors, for more visible and more impactful projects in Member States.
Vice President Finda Koroma stressed the need to put in place more robust Monitoring and Evaluation mechanisms, which would allow to objectively quantify the impact of projects and programmes implemented in Member States by the ECOWAS Commission and its supporting partners.
She noted that upon approval of the ECOWAS Monitoring and Evaluation Policy, the document is expected to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes implemented by the Community institutions and Specialised agencies.
The Vice President reiterated ECOWAS Commission’s continued commitment to the formulation and implementation of projects that will impact positively on the lives of ECOWAS citizens.
Madam Koroma said that ECOWAS Commission was also looking forward to the continued support of the Ministers for an effective implementation of the policy in the Member States, saying that the policy will not achieve its intended objectives unless it is successfully implemented on the ground.