PlanComm launches IEO, will submit first report in 3-4 months

Tags: IEO, PlanComm, News
The Independent Evaluation Office, which will assess public programmes, will submit its first report on the public distribution system and maternal mortality in the next 3-4 months.

"We are working on government's programmes - the PDS and the programme to reduce maternal mortality. We will submit our interim report on the two programmes during this summer," Director General of Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) Ajay Chhibber told reporters after the Planning Commission launched the body today.

The Union Cabinet had approved setting up the IEO in November 2010 to undertake impartial and objective assessment of various public programmes and improve the effectiveness of public interventions.

Chhibber, who is the first DG of the body, had taken charge in August last year.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia who was also present on occasion said that the body would help to improve the effectiveness of the flagship schemes and other government programmes.

Asked whether IEO would have elected members on its board in future like in the other countries, Ahluwalia said the IEO is a new concept in India and will evolve with time.

In some countries like Mexico, a large number of members of such bodies are elected.

The National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL) is operational as a decentralised public organisation for the purpose in Mexico.

It is mandated to measure poverty at national, state and municipality level and to assess social programmes and policies.

CONEVAL is a part of the executive. Its board has 8 seats. The majority of Board members (6) are academic researchers elected by all the states, representatives from municipalities, congress and the executive.

The IEO was established in pursuance of the Presidential address to the Joint Session of both Houses of Parliament in June 2009 to establish the body at an arm's distance from the government to assess outcomes and impact of the major flagship programmes.

The IEO is an independent office attached to the Planning Commission under a governing board chaired by the Deputy Chairman of the Commission.

It is funded by the Commission and has a full-time DG in the rank and status of Member of Plan panel as its head.

It has full functional autonomy to discharge its functions. The IEO also advises the Commission and the implementing agencies in developing appropriate management systems consistent with the evaluation objectives.

The IEO is set to strengthen the existing evaluation process by drawing the best resources available from leading research organisations. Its findings are required to be reported to the central government and put in public domain.

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