National and international specialists and government officials emphasized that evaluations and monitoring of public policies promote transparency and accountability, through learning that will enable initiatives for the country’s development.
These conclusions were reached during the First International Forum on Evaluation for Development (FIED 2023), organized by the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development and held from the 18th to the 20th of this month.
The forum’s closing ceremony was led by Vice President Raquel Peña; Minister of Economy, Planning and Development, Pável Isa Contreras, and Vice Minister of Planning and Public Investment, Luis Madera Sued.
Vice President Peña expressed that it was a privilege to have in this forum the presence of Dr. Michael Kremer, Nobel Prize in Economics 2019, who through his research has developed new perspectives, methodologies and evaluation tools.
“The evaluation of public programs and policies is an investment in the future of our nation. It helps to ensure that resources are used effectively, that there is transparency and accountability, and that public policies evolve, to meet the needs of our people in a timely manner and where, as a State, they need us,” he said.
Peña pointed out that this not only benefits citizens, but also strengthens democracy and trust in our government institutions.
“In this administration, headed by President Luis Abinader, we recognize the importance of evaluations for development as sources of evidence for public policy makers. The rigorous and objective process of conducting them contributes to strengthening the formulation of public policies based on scientific data, both future and existing,” said the Vice President of the Republic.
She highlighted the importance of promoting and strengthening evaluation capacity in institutions, which implies a sustained investment in the training of professionals, and ensures that organizations have the necessary competencies and tools to carry out rigorous evaluations.
Summary of the conference
In a summary of the conference, the Minister of Economy said that “we have reached the end of our First International Forum on Evaluation for Development (FIED 2023), which we are concluding today with the full conviction that the foundations have been laid so that, in the future, the Dominican Republic will become a point of reference in terms of evaluation in the region”.
Isa Contreras said that he would run out of time to describe the wealth of specialists who participated. “We can only emphasize that today we are leaving with a space for dialogue created, with the consolidation of relations with the Development Innovation Lab and the motivation of public institutions to carry out evaluations, as well as the establishment of the relevance of evaluation in the process of building social welfare, and therefore improving the quality of life of the people,” said the minister.
Meanwhile, Vice Minister Madera Sued presented the monitoring and evaluation dashboards available to the public on the Ministry of Economy’s website. They contain indicator dashboards, reports and methodological guides, which can be accessed by anyone.
He pointed out that the information will help social oversight with indicators that determine the performance of the State,
“It will improve the definition of public policies this dashboard with 442 active indicators that monitor the performance of 116 institutions that contribute to the achievement of 30 public policies,” explained Madera Sued.
Specialists participating in the forum highlighted the importance of following up on what is being done and knowing the impact and progress of the programs, based on the evidence and data provided by the evaluations.
In this sense, the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Miguel Ceara Hatton, the academic and researcher, Jaime Aristy Escuder, and the director of the Dominican Observatory of International Trade, INTEC, Magdalena Lizardo, agreed in a panel moderated by Minister Isa Contreras.
Likewise, the Vice Minister of Economic and Social Analysis of the Ministry of Economy, Alexis Cruz, together with the resident representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in the country, Inka Mattila; the economist of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Steve Brito, and the resident representative of the World Bank, Alexandria Valerio, valued the importance of evaluating public policies and their impact on the development of the Dominican Republic.
In turn, FIED 2023 served as a training scenario with the workshop National Evaluation Systems in the region. The workshop was moderated by the Vice Minister of Planning and Public Investment, Luis Madera Sued, together with speakers Arlette Pichardo, professor at the National University of Costa Rica, and Eddy Garcia, head of the Evaluation Unit of the Ministry of Planning of Costa Rica.
Likewise, the head of the Social Statistics Unit of the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), Xavier Mancero, and the Deputy Director General of the National Statistics Office (ONE), Augusto de los Santos, addressed innovation in the generation of estimates for decision making.
Similarly, Mabeli Díaz, in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Economy; Claudia Macías, Deputy Director of J Pal, Latin America; and Catherine Rodríguez, professor at the Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, agreed that the evaluation of the impact of public policies contributes to the reduction of poverty.
During the forum, the importance of evaluations in the children and education sector was highlighted by the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Felipe Díaz; the Executive Director of the Dominican Institute for Evaluation and Research of Educational Quality (IDEICE) of the Ministry of Education, Carmen Caraballo, and the Professor of the University of Los Andes, Colombia, Catherine Rodríguez.
The deputy ministers, José Ramón Holguín, of Monitoring and Government Coordination of the Ministry of the Presidency, and Luis Madera Sued, of Planning and Public Investment of the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, together with the general director of the Single System of Beneficiaries (SIUBEN), Jefrey Lizardo, highlighted the role of information systems and data production in the execution of public policies.
The Evaluation Officer of the World Food Program (WFP), Michala Assankpon, and the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Ministry of Economy, addressed the Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in the Latin American and Caribbean Region.
The Monitoring and Evaluation tools of the Ministry of Economy were also presented by the team in charge of this area. The results of the National Evaluation Capacities Index and the diagnostic survey of national Monitoring and Evaluation capacities were also presented by María Celeste Ghiano, Evaluation consultant of the World Food Program (WFP) and part of the Evaluation team of the Monitoring and Evaluation area of the Ministry of Economy.