What and why
As captured in the ESCAP Action Plan to Strengthen Regional Cooperation on Social Protection in Asia and the Pacific, governments should consider setting achievable national targets, including intermediate targets, based on country contexts within the indicator frameworks of SDG 1.3. To achieve this, governments should establish effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanisms for accountable, transparent, and efficient service delivery.
An effective M&E system should be participatory and facilitate the regular collection, disaggregation, compilation and analysis of data to be shared with public to support transparency. Feedback and evidence on whether schemes are working can support governments to consistently improve their social protection schemes and allow for a comparison of different schemes as well as a better understanding of what works, why and for whom.
Governments should establish concrete mechanisms to monitor how social protection schemes are achieving their unique objectives and targets. This is key to track the performance of the scheme, linked to measurable inputs, processes, outputs, outcomes and impacts (see Figure 11-1). Monitoring performance is essential to ensure that governments continue to learn from their own experiences and make improvements.
Governments must ensure that the M&E process is laid out in a clearly defined work plan, supported by agreed performance indicators and targets with roles and responsibilities attached to each of them. Targets may be linked to track overall scheme design, such as the proportion of children between a defined age group who receive benefits; or, they may be linked to processes, such as the proportion of payments received within a defined timeframe. To track indicators, governments can apply a variety of tools and approaches, including check-list based quality benchmarks and apply these during special investigations and spot checks, as well as internal and external audits. Closely monitoring the administration of schemes, and cross-checking this with complaints and appeals (Milestone 8), will allow governments to better isolate and address any issues or inaccuracies in delivery.
FIGURE 11‑1 Social protection sector results frame
Governments should ensure regular production of internal reports and analysis of scheme and system performance to ensure continuous learning and support for improvements. An effective management information system (MIS) and a single registry should generate regular monitoring reports for a wide range of scheme performance indicators (see Milestone 10). This could, for example, help monitor the number of people who receive a benefit within the entire system, compared to the extent of coverage stipulated in national legislation. Such a mechanism can also provide the information required to quantify impacts on poverty and inequality, living standards and local economies, when analysed together with household and economic survey data. Assessments can be made as to the quality, value, effectiveness and importance of schemes and systems based on the evidence provided. This should inform decisions on their design, direction, continuation, as well as resource allocation, which should ultimately lead to their improvement. Detailed performance reports that link delivery to measurable results can also be used to secure budget allocations.
ILO Recommendation 202 stipulates that this consultative approach should monitor progress through the regular collection, compilation and analysis of data to be published disaggregated by gender on a regular basis. This should be achieved through the regular convening of national consultations that bring government, civil society and the private sector together to assess progress and discuss policies for the further extension of social security. This can be complemented by further consultations through nationally defined mechanisms, including expert group meetings, interviews, questionnaires and surveys designed to facilitate further feedback and contribute to accountability.
Reporting on scheme performance, expenditure and feedback from beneficiaries and other actors should be disseminated widely. This is key for knowledge sharing and regional monitoring of social protection as well as for transparency purposes, accountability and building public trust. Regular financial reports, including budget and expenditure tracking, conducted regularly using comparable and consistent methods can also help to build confidence in the financial viability of the scheme. Results may be published as performance reports (progress and evaluation reports with findings, lessons learned and recommendations), sector reviews or other publicly available documents.