EVALUATION CAPACITY BUILDING AND EVALUATION INDEPENDENCE AMONG PUBLIC BENEFIT ORGANIZATIONS IN HOMA BAY COUNTY, KENYA
Purpose of the study: This study aimed at determining the effect of evaluation capacity building (ECB) on evaluation independence among Public Benefit Organizations (PBOs) in Homa Bay County as a quest to find solution to lack of evaluation independence.
Statement of the problem: Most internal evaluations in organizations are assumed to be independent and devoid of influence. Literature however reveals cases of evaluators being confronted by stakeholders to alter or misrepresent their evaluation findings. A study by Pleger, Sager, Morris, Meyer and Stockman (2017) comparing findings from USA, UK, Germany and Switzerland found that even in these developed countries, evaluators are confronted with attempts to modify their findings. Kenya being a developing country is not left out. HomaBay County for instance has recorded weak M&E structures and political interferences in its projects (Homa Bay CIDP, 2013-2017). In view of these, Independence of evaluations is at stake. The fear is that unless a solution is found, interferences are likely to continue hence threaten the credibility of evaluations. Since projects in HIV and poverty eradication that PBOs in HomaBay mostly deal with have wide implications and draws interests of vast number of stakeholders, it is critical that they observe evaluation independence. The study was also pegged on the fact that the state of evaluation independence in these PBOs is unclear and remains undocumented.
Study Methodology: A descriptive research design was adopted for the study. The target population comprised 39 PBOs in Homa Bay County. Data was collected using semi structured questionnaires from all the 51 M&E staff working in these PBOs who served as respondents.
Results of the study: The findings indicated that Homa Bay County PBOs are committed to building evaluation capacity and that their evaluations are moderately independent. ECB aspects including M&E financing, stakeholder participation and evaluation environment were found to positively and significantly affect evaluation independence. Staff development however showed no significant influence on evaluation independence at 0.5 significance level.
Conclusion: ECB positively and significantly affect evaluation independence thus attest to be a promising solution to lack of evaluation independence.
Recommendations: The study recommended that PBOs invests more in ECB to guarantee evaluation independence as a prerequisite for credible evaluations.
Keywords: Evaluation Capacity Building (ECB), Evaluation Independence, Public Benefit Organizations (PBOs), Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).
Baastel. (2014). Review of the UNDP Evaluation Policy, 2014 (UNDP Final Report). Quebec (Gatineau), Canada: Le Groupe-conseil baastel ltée.
Blomqvist, J. (2014). Governing at a distance: Non-govermental organizations´ strategic responses to donor pressure (Master´s thesis). Lund University, Nepal
Caffrey, L., & Munro, E. (2017). A systems approach to policy evaluation. Evaluation Journal, 23(4), 463-478
Chikere, C. C., & Nwoka, J. (2015). The Systems Theory of Management in Modern Day Organizations. A Study of Aldgate Congress Resort Limited Port Harcourt. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 5(9), 1-7
Frey, B. (2018). The SAGE encyclopedia of educational research, measurement, and evaluation (Vols. 1-4). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Fummey, S. L. (2016). Studies on Exploring Critical Success Factors for Stakeholders Management in Construction Projects in Ghana (Master’s thesis). Kwame Nkurumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi; Ghana.
Greene, J. C. ( 2015). Evaluation as A Socio-Political Intervention. SpazioFilosofico2015 ISSN: 2038-6788, 87-95
Harrison, J. S., Freeman, R. E., & Cavalcanti Sá de Abreu, M. (2015). Stakeholder Theory As an Ethical Approach to Effective Management: Applying the theory to multiple contexts. Review of business management, 17(55), 858-869
Homa Bay County Integrated Development Plan, 2013-2017. Retrieved from: http://www.homabay.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/CIDP- DOCUMENT- HOMA-BAY-COUNTY-GOVERNMENT.OCT_.2013.pdf
Hudib, H. (2018). The Role of Evaluation Policy in Organizational Capacity to Do and Use Evaluation (Doctoral thesis) University of Ottawa, Canada
Karani, F. N., Bichanga, W. O., & Kamau, C. G. (2014). Effective Use of Monitoring and Evaluation Systems in Managing HIV/AIDS Related Projects: A Case Study of Local NGOs in Kenya. Science Journal of Business and Management, 2(2), 67-76.
Kithinji, C. (2015). Evaluation capacity building, monitoring and evaluation activities, organizational change and result utilization in non-profit organizations in Meru counties of Kenya (Doctoral dissertation). University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Kithinji, C. (2019). Evaluation Capacity Building and Improvement of Monitoring and Evaluation practice among NonGovernmental Organizations in Central Eastern Counties of Kenya. European Scientific Journal, 15(8), 177-202
Legorreta, P. C. G. (2015). The Hidden Politics of Evaluation: Towards a Smarter State? (Doctoral thesis). The University of Sheffield, England.
Lemma,Y. (2017). Practices and challenges of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of primary healthcare projects .The case of CCRDA – Ethiopian Civil Society Health Forum members (Master´s dissertation). Addis Ababa University College of Business and economics, Ethiopia.
Mapitsa,C. B. & Khumalo, L. (2018). Diagnosing monitoring and evaluation capacity in Africa. African Evaluation Journal, 6(1), 1-10.
Morkel, C., & Ramasobama, M. (2017). Measuring the effect of Evaluation Capacity Building Initiatives in Africa: A review. African Evaluation Journal, 5(1), 1-12
Muiga, M. J. (2015). Factors influencing the use of monitoring and evaluation systems of public projects in Nakuru County (Master´s dissertation). University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Muriithi, A.N. (2017). Effect of job description on employee performance at the ministry of water and irrigation (Master´s dissertation). University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Mushori, J. (2015). Determinants of effective monitoring and evaluation of county government funded infrastructural development projects, Nakuru east constituency, Nakuru county, Kenya (Master´s thesis). University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Naidoo, I. (2018). Evaluation, a driver for democracy and development towards Sustainable development Goals in Africa. evaluation Matters, 8-17.
Njeru, I. M., & Wanyonyi, S. (2018). Influence of monitoring and evaluation strategies on performance of medical camp projects in hospitals in Kenya: a case of Embu north sub county. International Academic Journal of Information Sciences and Project Management, 3(1), 61-73.
Omondi, S. O. (2016). Influence of capacity building programs on project performance in non-governmental organizations in Kenya: A case of the Danish refugee council. (Masters dissertation). University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Perrin, B. (2018). How to Manage Pressure to Change Reports: Should Evaluators Be Above Criticism?. American Journal of Evaluation, XX(X), 1-22.
Picciotto, R. (2013). Evaluation Independence in Organizations. Journal of Multidisplinary Evaluation, 9(20), 18-32.
Pleger, L., Sager, F., Morris, M., Meyer, W., & Stockman, R. (2017). Are Some Countries More Prone to Pressure Evaluators Than Others?. Comparing Findings from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. American Journal of Evaluation. 38(3), 315-328
Shihemi, R. (2016). Influence of monitoring and evaluation tools on projects performance of building and construction projects in Kenyan public universities: A case of the University of Nairobi (Master´s dissertation). University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Social Impact. (2016). White Paper: Independent Evaluation: An endangered Species in U.S Development Assistance?. Social Impact Inc.
United Nations Development Program. (2016a). Evaluation and Independence: Existing evaluation policies and new approaches (Report for the UNDP Independent Evaluation Office (IEO)). New York, USA: Sager, F. and Pleger, L.
United Nations Development Program [UNDP]. (2016b). The UNDP Evaluation Policy (DP/2016/23) New York, U.S.A.
United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO]. (2015). UNESCO evaluation policy. Proceedings of Executive Board (196 EX/24.INF) http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002322/232246e.pdf
Usman, N. D., Kamau, P. K., & Mireri, C. (2014). The Impact of Policy and Procedural Framework on Project Performance within the Building Industry in Abuja, Nigeria. International Journal of Engineering Research &Technology, 3(5), 2086-2091
Wanjiru, V. M. (2016). Influence of stakeholder engagement on performance of street children rehabilitation programmes in Nairobi County, Kenya (Master´s dissertation). University of Nairobi, Kenya.