Lectures within the III module of the 2014 Public Policy School were held on Saturday and Sunday, May 17 and 18, 2014. The lecture entitled “Evaluation of Public Policies” was presented by Dragisa Mijacic, Executive Director of Institute for Territorial Economic Development (InTER) from Serbia.
At the beginning of the first working day the basic definitions of public policy and the policy cycle were reviewed. These topics were already discussed within I and II module, but since they represent starting point for the discussion on the evaluation of public policies, they were given another look. During a group exercise the participants tried to identify public policies in the articles from Montenegrin, Serbian and foreign newspapers, as well as to assess which of the six stages of the policy cycle (problem definition, defining policy options, the selection of possible solutions, the concept of public policy, implementation and monitoring of public policies, evaluation of public policies) have the identified public policies reached.
Based on the presented results, it was concluded that the most present in the media is the stage of defining policy options and the selection of possible solutions, because this is what politicians are mostly dealing with. On the other hand, the stage entitled the concept of public policy is the least present. When it comes to the stage of implementation and monitoring of public policy, the media are mostly interested in the problems of implementation, while the attention of the decision makers and the media is not focused on the evaluation of public policies.
During the lecture special emphasis was put on differentiation between politics and policy, monitoring and evaluation, and between “input”, “output” and “outcome”. It was pointed out that, despite the tendency of NGOs to engage in evaluating public policies, without cooperation with the government, which would provide the necessary quantitative and qualitative data, it is impossible to produce a credible document for this purpose. On the other hand, monitoring of public policies can be successfully done on the basis of the data found in the media. Consequently, civil society organizations more often engage in this kind of policy work. Thereafter, the logical framework matrix was thoroughly discussed.
Through a more detailed look into the stage of evaluation of public policies, participants learned more about different definitions and purposes of evaluation, as well as types of evaluation (formative, summative, prospective, ex-ante, mid-term, final, ex-post, periodic, ad hoc) and criteria for evaluation.
Part of the seminar was devoted to the evaluation of public policies in Montenegro, through consideration of examples of ex-ante evaluations under the Regulation on establishing the methodology for the preparation of a strategic plan for the development of local self-government.
The second day was finalized by considering the following topics: the Regulatory Impact Assessment – RIA, the evaluation of public policies in a multi-user environment, as well as the key questions of evaluation of public policies.
As the special emphasis was put on the practical application of knowledge, in addition to working in groups, students had the opportunity to discuss how the statistics and analysis may lead to improvement of public policies on the basis of the short documentary movie presented during the seminar.
Public Policy School is the project supported by the Commission for Allocation of Revenue from Games of Chance and implemented by Institute Alternative (IA) in collaboration with Centre for Research and Monitoring (CeMI).