ICAI Seeks Views on Revised Evaluation Framework

 

 “In our first report, ICAI’s Approach to Effectiveness and Value for Money,we set out an evaluation framework, consisting of 22 questions under 4 guiding criteria (objectives, delivery, impact and learning), to guide our lines of enquiry in reviews. In the light of our experience to date in carrying out our reports, we have reviewed this framework. The revised framework is available at this link: ICAI revised evaluation framework

We are now entering a period of consultation on the revised framework which will run until 24 May 2013. If you have any comments or views, please email enquiries@icai.independent.gov.uk  or post them to: The Secretariat, Independent Commission for Aid Impact, Dover House, 66 Whitehall, London SW1A 2AU”

Open consultation Triennial review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI)

(Website that hosts the text below)

This consultation closes on 26 April 2013

On 21 March the Government announced the triennial review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) and is seeking views of stakeholders who wish to contribute to the Review. Triennial Reviews of Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) are part of the Government’s commitment to review all NDPBs, with the aim of increasing accountability for actions carried out on behalf of the State.

The ICAI’s strategic aim is to provide independent scrutiny of UK aid spending, to promote the delivery of value for money for British taxpayers and to maximise the impact of aid.

The Review will be conducted in line with Cabinet Office principles and guidance, in two stages.

The first stage will:

  • Identify and examine the key functions of the ICAI and assess how these functions contribute to the core business of DFID;
  • Assess the requirement for these functions to continue given other scrutiny processes;
  • If continuing, assess how the key functions might best be delivered; if one of these options is continuing delivery through the ICAI, then make an assessment against the Government’s “three tests”: technical function; political impartiality; and the need for independence from Ministers.

If the outcome of stage one is that delivery should continue through the ICAI, the second stage of the review will:

  • Review whether ICAI is operating in line with the recognised principles of good corporate governance, using the Cabinet Office “comply or explain” standard approach.

In support of these aims we would welcome input and evidence from stakeholders, focused on these main questions:

ICAI’s functions

For the purposes of this review, we have defined ICAI’s key functions as follows:

  • Produce a wide range of independent, high quality/professionally credible and accessible reports (including evaluations, VfM reviews, investigations) setting out evidence of the impact and value for money of UK development efforts;
  • Work with and for Parliament to help hold the UK Government to account for its development programme, and make information on this programme available to the public;
  • Produce appropriately targeted recommendations to be implemented/ followed up by HMG.

Which of these functions do you think are still needed? What would be the impact if ICAI ceased to exist?

Would you define ICAI’s functions differently?

Do you think any of the following delivery mechanisms would be more appropriate or cost effective at delivering these functions: Local government, the voluntary sector, private sector, another existing body or DFID itself?

To date, do you think ICAI has focused on scrutinising UK aid spend or the wider HMG development effort? What do you think it should be doing?

Where do you think ICAI sits on the spectrum between audit and research? Is this where they should be?

How far can and should ICAI have a role in holding HMG to account?

Production of reports

What is the quality of ICAI reports? Is the expertise of those producing the reports appropriate? How does this compare to other scrutiny bodies that you know of?

How far does the methodology used by ICAI add value to other scrutiny of DFID programmes (eg IDC, NAO, DFID internal)?

How far does ICAI involve beneficiaries in its work?

What impact have ICAI reviews had on DFID staff and resources?

How independent do you believe ICAI is? How important do you think this independence is for ICAI’s ability to deliver its functions effectively?

How much of an impact do you think the Commissioners have on ICAI recommendations and reports? What added value do you think they bring? Do they have the right skillset?

Making information available to the IDC and the public

How important do you think ICAI’s role is in providing information about UK development to taxpayers?

What impact has ICAI had on public perceptions of UK development?

Production of targeted recommendations

What has been the added value of ICAI’s recommendations? How do these compare to other scrutiny bodies that you know of?

How far and why have recommendations been followed up?

What impact has ICAI had on DFID’s own approach to monitoring impact and value for money?

How far has ICAI promoted lesson learning in DFID?

General

Do you think ICAI could improve? If so, how do you think ICAI could improve?

Do you have any other comments?

The government is seeking views of stakeholders on the Triennial Review of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI).

Contact us by 26 April 2013

Write to us:

email
post
ICAI Review Team KB 2.2
22 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2EG

AusAID’s Information Publication Scheme: Draft Plan & Consultation

The 12th April 2011 Draft plan is now available in pdf and MS Word

Introduction

“AusAID is the Australian Government’s Agency for International Development, an executive agency within the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio. Its primary role is the implementation and oversight of the Australian Government aid program. The aim of the program is to assist
developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with Australia’s national interest.

Reforms to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) have established the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). The purpose of the IPS is to give the Australian community access to information held by the Australian Government and enhance and promote Australia’s representative
democracy by increasing public participation in government processes and increasing scrutiny, discussion, comment and review of government activities and decisions.

AusAID is committed to greater transparency through the implementation of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS) and other initiatives that will introduced. As Australia’s ODA commitment has increased, public interest in the aid program has correspondingly increased and this will
continue. Implementation of the IPS will provide more information to Australians about AusAID’s activities and help increase public participation understanding and scrutiny of Australia’s aid program.

This draft plan has been prepared to assist AusAID implement the IPS, in accordance with section 8(1) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) 1982 and to give the Australian public the opportunity to comment and provide feedback on this plan.

As AusAID’s final plan is implemented it will be progressively updated in light of experience and feedback. The list of documents that is a core part of this plan will, in particular, be amended.”

The consultation: Visit this AusAid website to see how to participate and to read the views of others who have already contributed.

 

DfID Seeks Suggestions for Implementing Aid Transparency Initiative

on Devex, By Eliza Villarino on 06 September 2010

“The U.K. Department for International Development launches an online discussion to seek input on how it should implement the UKaid Transparency Guarantee.

The U.K. Department for International Development has opened an online discussion to help it decide how to implement its aid transparency initiative.

The UKaid Transparency Guarantee forms part of the coalition government’s commitment to boost the transparency of DfID aid. As reported by Devex, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Andrew Mitchell announced the guarantee, along with the intention to create an independent aid watchdog, in June.

DfID is urging civil society groups, think tanks and other organizations working on transparency to send an e-mail to aidtransparency@dfid.gov.uk if they wish to contribute to the discussion.”

PS – 19th October 2010: A summary of the online discussion is now available here as a pdf: 2010 Summary of Huddle Discussions on UKATG

New DFID policy on Evaluation

“DFID takes very seriously the responsibility to ensure high quality, independent evaluation of its programmes, to provide reliable and robust evidence to improve the value of its global work to reduce poverty.

In December 2007 the Independent Advisory Committee on Development Impact was established to help DFID strengthen its evaluation processes. The Committee is there to work with DFID to:

  • Determine which programmes and areas of UK development assistance will be evaluated and when;
  • Identify any gaps in the planned programme of evaluations and make proposals for new areas or other priorities as required;
  • Determine whether relevant standards (e.g. of the OECD Development Assistance Committee) are being applied; and comment on the overall quality of the programme of evaluation work carried out against these.

DFID and IACDI have therefore been working closely together to define a new policy which will set the course for evaluation in the future. We have also produced a ‘topic list’ of potential areas for evaluation over the coming 3 years. So you will see here two documents on which we would like your feedback, the Draft Evaluation Policy and the Evaluation Topic List.

Central to the policy is the emphasis on greater independence of evaluation, along with stronger partnership working, reflecting global commitments to harmonisation, decentralising evaluation to a greater degree, driving up quality, and ensuring that learning from evaluation contributes to future decision making. We would like you to consider those high level issues when offering your comment and feedback during the time the consultation process is open. This document does not focus on the operational issues; they will be considered in a separate DFID strategy document.

During the consultation period, we would also like to hear your views on which topics you consider to be the greatest priority and why. This will help DFID to make decisions on which are to be given the highest priority.

In summary the issues we are particularly keen for you to focus your feedback on are:

1. The definition of ‘independent evaluation’ – what are your thoughts on the policy approach of DFID, working increasingly with partners, to increase independence in evaluation?

2. What are your views on what’s required to drive up quality across the board in evaluation of international development programmes? What role do you think DFID can most valuably play in this?

3. What are the considerations for DFID strengthening its own evaluation processes, whilst ensuring its commitments to harmonisation remain steadfast?

4. DFID is determined to increase the value of learning from evaluation to inform policy – what are your thoughts on the means to bring this about?

5. DFID is committed to consulting stakeholders during our evaluations, including poor women and men affected by our programmes.   Getting representative stakeholders, especially for evaluations which go beyond specific projects and programmes, can often be challenging (for example evaluations of country assistance plans or thematic evaluations).  Do you have any ideas on how to improve this?

6. DFID is committed to developing evaluation capacity in partner countries and increasing our use of national systems. What are your thoughts on the challenges and ways forward?

Please send your feedback to evaluationfeedback@dfid.gov.uk . The public consultation will officially close on Tuesday 3rd March but we would appreciate comments as early as possible, so that they can be considered as the operational issues are further thought out.”