KEYNOTE ADDRESS BY THE HONOURABLE
JEFF RADEBE, MP, MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY FOR PLANNING, MONITORING AND
EVALUATION AND CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL PLANNING COMMISSION, ON THE 1ST
AFRICA MONITORING AND EVALUATION INDABA CO-HOSTED BY DPME AND UN-SA
Date and time: 30 October 2017, 6pm
Venue: Birchwood Hotel, Boksburg,
The Executive Mayor of Ekurhuleni Municipality, Honourable
Cllr Mzwandile Masina
Accounting Offers and Heads of Bodies
Invited guests and delegates to the Africa M&E
It gives me a great sense of honour and gratitude to
welcome delegates from fellow African countries, multi-lateral bodies and
development partners, as well as participants from all spheres of South African
government, civil society and the private sector.
The Government of South Africa has declared 2017 as The Year of O.R. Tambo, in honour of
our liberation struggle icon, Oliver Reginald Tambo. Tambo is the longest
serving President of the ruling party – the African National Congress (ANC),
which he led at the height of the struggle against Apartheid oppression.
OR Tambo mobilised the international community to
support our struggle against the Apartheid regime; the campaign that influenced
bodies like the United Nations General Assembly to formally declare Apartheid
as crime against humanity in 1973. OR
Tambo also led key processes from the 1989 Harare Declaration that contributed
to the development and adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South
South Africa is today a constitutional democracy
founded on the principles of human dignity and equal rights for everyone
because of OR Tambo’s leadership. We are building on his legacy to create a
society envisaged in the Freedom Charter and Constitution. The world continues to marvel at our
transition from pariah state to an admired democracy through the fearless and
tireless sacrifices of OR Tambo and his fellow Freedom Fighters, as well as
many fellow African countries and the global community led by the United
We must, therefore, continue to document, monitor and
evaluate progress in terms of how we are meeting the ideals of human rights,
freedom, peace and development that revolutionary leaders like OR Tambo fought
for so that we can ensure that we continuously improve the quality of life,
especially in our beloved continent, Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen, this Indaba has a very important
theme which is about ‘opportunities and
challenges for using monitoring and evaluation evidence to accelerate economic
growth and employment in Africa’. I
am aware that robust debates have already been started by the leadership panel
that shared insights on a range of critical matters that affect our continent
and humanity. Allow me to add a few insights drawing from our experience of
implementing planning, monitoring and evaluation programmes in South Africa.
The National Development Plan
South Africa is implementing the NDP Vision 2030 as
the country’s overarching plan. The NDP dedicates the whole chapter on matters
of international relations, with a strategic intent to ‘create a better South Africa, contribute to a better and safer Africa
in a better world’. We are also
putting measures in place to ensure that as we implement the NDP we effectively
align our work and contribute meaningfully to the realisation of the
aspirations embodied in the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, the Africa We Want,
and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development championed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
I trust that through deliberations in this Indaba
there will be cross-fertilisation of ideas and peer-learning from each other to
ensure that our local and international development agendas do not become mere
rhetoric, but are used effectively as an opportunity to make a positive
difference in people’s lives in our respective countries so that we collectively
move Africa forward.
Monitoring and evaluation generates evidence that
informs us about the progress we are making in terms of implementing these
development agendas; the challenges we are facing; and options that we should
consider in terms of interventions to improve the quality of our policymaking
One of the critical measures that we have put in place
is to ensure that we are able to measure the progress we are making in
implementing these development agendas through producing credible evidence in
the form of statistics as coordinated by Statistics South Africa. However, much
more still needs to be done and as South Africa we stand to learn more from peer
countries that are present in this Indaba.
Monitoring the NDP
Ladies and gentlemen:
In South Africa we have a range of monitoring initiatives
that are aimed at generating information that helps us know if we are on the
right track towards the attainment of our development goals. Just to mention a
· Firstly, we monitor the
implementation of the National Development Plan Vision 2030 through the 5-year
Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF).
In this regard, Cabinet engages with monitoring evidence via reflection
on the government programme of action (the POA) at least 3 times a year. During
these engagements, Cabinet dedicates an entire week discussing each of the 14 priority
outcomes and makes strategic decisions regarding interventions that must be
implemented to improve policy implementation in specific targeted areas.
economic sector, for instance, government engages with matters of radical
economic transformation wherein some of the key interventions relate to how
government can move the economy forward by utilising key levers at its disposal
such as transformative procurement spending, development focus by the Development
Finance Institutions and State-Owned Companies, and better management of mining
and other licencing.
also adopted improvement plans like the 9-point plan and Strategic
Infrastructure Projects to reignite economic growth and also address structural
constraints in order to turnaround our economy to be more inclusive. We believe that through these strategic
interventions we will overcome the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty
and inequality that the NDP seeks to address in the long-term.
· Secondly, we provide delivery
support to special areas through Operation Phakisa, which is a ‘hurry up’
methodology adapted from the Big Fast Results approach of Malaysia. Through Operation
Phakisa we undertake detailed operational planning and monitoring with key
stakeholders in society drawn from the private sector, civil society, public
entities and all spheres of government in what we refer to as the Operation
Phakisa Delivery Labs.
So far we have
successfully initiated and implemented 7 such delivery labs. These are: (1). Oceans Economy; (2) Scaling
up the Ideal Clinic Realisation and Maintenance Programme; (3) Leveraging
Information Communication Technology (ICT) ICT in Basic Education; (4) Galvanising
Growth, Investment and Employment Creation along the Mining Value Chain and
Mining Related Communities; (5) Biodiversity; and (6) Agriculture, Land Reform
and Rural Development and (7) Chemicals and Waste.
For example, through the Oceans Economy delivery lab, a total of R24,5 billion
has been unlocked in investments. This global figure consists of R15,6 billion
of investments by government and R9.1 billion of private sector investments, as
well as R1,25 billion of private sector investments in the process of being
secured. A total of 6 517 jobs have been created.
· Thirdly, we regularly engage
communities through Izimbizo (community
meetings) and other frontline monitoring programmes to ensure that we are
listening to our people and take their lived experiences as evidence to improve
the quality of public services. We monitor development progress at the
coal-face of service delivery such as in hospitals, clinics, schools, police
stations, water reticulations points, transport, housing and other
infrastructure projects. This type of monitoring is also important for ensuring
the use of monitoring to bring about hope to the people that government is
indeed caring and has put plans and systems in place to improve their quality
are inspired by the incisive words of the great revolutionary, Amilcar Cabral,
who once said: “Hide nothing from the
masses of our people. Tell no lies. Expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no
difficulties, mistakes or failures. Claim no easy victories.”
We have established a National Evaluation System to
produce more in-depth and objective analysis of our policies, programmes and
systems to sharpen their design, efficiency, effectiveness, value for money,
impact and sustainability.
So far we have 59 evaluations in the National
Evaluation Plan covering about 10 billion US dollars’ worth of government
expenditure. Provinces and departments are also undertaking their own evaluations
as part of institutionalising the practice across government, with over 400
evaluations planned over a period of three years.
These evaluations allow us to go beyond what are
sometimes superficial monitoring reports to take a deep dive into what is
really happening in our programmes and services. I regularly present findings
of evaluations to Cabinet and just in the last month Cabinet has considered
evaluations on government action around Violence Against Women and Children,
Social Housing, Upgrading of Informal Settlements, and the National School
Nutrition Programme – illustrating a range of important policies and programmes
This work does help us make informed decisions on how
to improve our policies and service delivery in specific areas and to improve
Strengthening M&E and
Ensuring Consequence Management
Evaluation is a relatively new practice and we would
like to continuously develop it to meet our needs. There is still a gap around
using evaluations at municipal level, and some of the constraints relate to
cost and time it takes to undertake large and rigorous evaluations. We are also
exploring flexible, rapid and yet credible evaluative approaches to facilitate
Most importantly, I would like to see evidence from
monitoring and evaluation used to hold management to account and enforce corrective
measures. There must be proper consequent management where there are
transgressions. I hope that through this Indaba we can gather ideas on how to
strengthen this aspect of using evidence to ensure consequence management,
whilst also managing the negative unintended consequences of punitive measures
by providing better incentives.
As a lawyer by training, I believe that good
legislative instruments can go a long way to address this aspect and ensure
systematic institutionalisation and sustainability of monitoring and evaluation
practices in our countries.
The use of evidence does not happen in a vacuum. Good
leadership is fundamental for giving direction and ensuring that decisions are
informed by sound evidence. Through leadership, countries and multilateral
bodies are able to build sound institutions and bring along people in their
development path through participatory mechanisms that value collective wisdom,
fairness and equity. Important bodies like the UN, the AU and others emerged
out of decisions by leaders who realised that collective wisdom is the key
solution to improve our lot. This 1st Africa M&E Indaba might be
one of those key turning points in our journey of ensuring that monitoring and
evaluation makes a difference in the lives of our citizens.
I like insights from the most recent ‘World
Development Report (2017)’ produced by the World Bank, which summarised three
principles for rethinking governance for development, namely:
1. “Think not only about the form of institutions, but also about their functions… Commitment, coordination and cooperation are the key functions that underlie policy effectiveness…;
2. Think not only about capacity building, but also about power asymmetries…Power asymmetries can lead to harmful consequences and undermine the core functions of institutions through exclusion, capture and clientelism (as we say in South Africa, Batho Pele or People First);
3. Think not only about the rule of law, but also about the role of law…The report discusses three roles of law: in shaping behaviour, in ordering power, and in providing a tool for contestation.” As the legal fundis say, it’s not only about the letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law.
It is against this
background that I welcome all of you to this ground-breaking event, the 1st
African Monitoring and Evaluation Indaba. It is starting small, but the
partners present here are big enough to chart a way forward that can change the
quality of life in our continent for the better.
Lastly, I would like to reflect on some of what I
believe are the critical success factors that could help ensure that
decision-makers do use M&E evidence, namely:
· Keep it
Sometimes the challenge is that information is presented in a manner that is
very technical and not digestible to a decision-maker who has many other things
to do. So, the simpler the presentation of evidence, the better the chance of
its appropriate use for decision-making.
· Make it
fit-for purpose: recommendations and options for improvement should
address the problem in an intelligible manner that is linked to the strategic
agenda. For instance, it becomes easier
to take seriously evidence that is linked to the strategic and developmental
agenda of government than information that is merely academic in nature.
political decision-makers are sometimes viewed as people who only want to hear
good news. However, if analysis is rigorous enough and shows a balanced view of
the situation, evidence is likely to appeal to the decision-makers as unbiased.
In that way we inculcate a culture of ensuring that problems are not hidden,
but are addressed based on credible information.
Time is of
Pressures to make key strategic decisions are very high. So it is imperative
that evidence producers, including M&E systems, should gear themselves to
service the needs of decision-makers more comprehensively by producing
just-in-time quality evidence. Innovations in the field of modelling of social
media data and the 4th industrial revolution are providing
opportunities for solutions in this regard that complement traditional
approaches like evidence from research studies, evaluations, official
statistics and administrative data.
and gentlemen, I trust that this Indaba will not be a mere talk-shop, but a
serious opportunity to start a dialogue on critical matters of common interest
among the African countries and development partners. I am pleased to note that
there is provision in your programme for time to collectively reflect on
practical actions that will be taken forward post this event. This is very
thank you for taking time to join us this evening and I wish you all the best
in your deliberations in the course of this two-and-a-half days. In those few
words, I hereby launch the 1st Africa Monitoring and Indaba!