Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh wants a concurrent evaluation office in his ministry to assess the performance of programmes run by the ministry.
Ramesh, who recently was made in-charge of the ministry's running programmes, which are worth close to Rs 1 lakh crore per year, including the Rs 40,000 crore NREGA, expressed his surprise over the lack of a system of “institutionalised concurrent evaluation”.
“There are impact assessments done, but these are not concurrent evaluations embedded into the programme structure itself. I believe time has come to put into place such a system,” added Ramesh.
In a letter to planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Wednesday, Ramesh proposed a Concurrent Evaluation Office (CEO) in his ministry.
The idea comes at a time when the plan panel is yet to form an Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) — a model on which Ramesh’s CEO idea is based. Ramesh wants CEO work “with and under the umbrella of IEO.”
The CEO would manage and coordinate the concurrent evaluation presently done by a large network of institutions in states.
Ramesh told HT that Ahluwalia approved his proposal that he now seeks to place it before the Cabinet.
Though the Planning Commission has a Programme Evaluation Office, the government felt the need of an independent evaluation office within the plan panel, but having an autonomous approach. The Cabinet has recently approved the IEO proposal.