Development: The government Performance Management Division (GPMD) will evaluate the 2015-16 annual performance of the dzongkhags and some 36 government agencies next month.

A national technical committee, comprising of officials from the Gross National Happiness Commission, GPMD, finance ministry, National Statistic Bureau and Royal Civil Service Commission, will attest the scores of the targets achieved.

A member of the technical committee said that since the annual performance agreement was being piloted last year, the committee has not yet evaluated performance. Last year, scores of target achieved was self-reported, he said. “ We will verify the scores this year.”

However, the committee has not yet developed a methodology to evaluate performance. In an effort to come up with an evaluation methodology, a workshop was held in Paro to equip members with basic tools.

Another committee official said that government has spent huge amounts of money on programmes such as safe drinking water supply, health services and education. “To have a fair understanding of whether these programmes are working or not, we need to carry out impact evaluation.”

Performance agreements were signed between the Prime Minister and head of 10 ministries, 20 dzongkhags and six autonomous agencies. The implementation period of the agreement ends on June 30.

A member of the technical committee said that lack of evidence about what works and what does not work in a particular sector is the biggest challenge in the evaluation process.

A resource person said that it is important to ensure that a policy is based on scientific evidence. She added that evaluation makes planning and resource allocation easier besides holding the government accountable.

However, she said that in most cases evaluation is carried out only at the end. “Evaluation should be embedded in planning and monitoring,” she said, and urged participants to think of evaluation process and allocate a separate budget with the planning of 12th Plan accordingly.

Evaluation policy, a resource person said, is an essential tool in drawing a broad guideline to ensure quality norms and ethical standards.

An official from GNHC said that the evaluation policy is being drafted currently.

The three-day workshop was held in collaboration with J-Pal Institute of Financial Management and Research Delhi, India.

Tshering Dorji | Paro