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Abstract

Pakistan, officially The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is the fifth most populous country in the world, with a population of 226 million people (World Population Review. (2021). Pakistan Population 2021 (Live). https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/pakistan-population. Accessed on 30 January 2023.). Located in South Asia, Pakistan was created as a Muslim-majority country in 1947 during the partition of the Indian subcontinent (Nations Online, 2021). To better understand the role of evaluation in Pakistan, it is important to establish the general context for the country and understand the country’s political and economic systems.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Administratively, there also exist two autonomous territories, and one federal territory within Pakistan.

  2. 2.

    The relationship between Federal and Provincial governments is such that if a hydroelectric power station is to be constructed in a province, the Federal government is required to consult to the concerned Provincial governments before taking a final decision for its construction (Rana, 2020).

  3. 3.

    This has been renamed as Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives after the 2018 General Elections in the country.

  4. 4.

    Ehsaas is an instrument through which the Government aims to build a welfare state and address the needs of the extreme poor, orphans, widows, the homeless, the disabled, the jobless, poor farmers, labourers, the sick who risk medical impoverishment, the undernourished, students from low-income backgrounds, and poor women and elderly citizens.

  5. 5.

    Project Life Cycle Stages and Project Proformas, Manual for Development Projects, Planning Commission of Pakistan, https://www.pc.gov.pk/uploads/archives/Manual-Projects-2021.pdf. Accessed on 3 February 2023.

  6. 6.

    The Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission (PMIC), a constitutionally formed body mandated to inspect and monitor the public-funded projects, conduct inquiries into malpractices and mismanagement and seeks the Prime Minister’s approval on its recommendations.

  7. 7.

    The Board also coordinates with the finance department regarding provincial Annual Development Programme and development schemes (Ministry of Planning, Development & Reform 2019).

  8. 8.

    http://mecsindh.gov.pk. Accessed on 24 January 2023.

  9. 9.

    Annual Development Plan (ADP) is announced each fiscal year by each province’s respective Minister to outline its development plan, areas of focus for welfare, and budget breakdown for upcoming programmes and schemes.

  10. 10.

    The monitoring reports can be accessed by the relevant departments at any time (Government of Sindh, 2020).

  11. 11.

    However, the Parliament, specifically the Senate, does rely on a system of committee which serves as a political nerve ending to gather information on development projects. The Committee raises questions on issues of public importance. The Senate has a committee dedicated to “Planning Development and Special Initiatives”. Furthermore, Committee hearings are held to investigate implementation of programmes (Senate of Pakistan, n.d.).

  12. 12.

    The office of the Auditor General introduced performance auditing in 1981. As of today, there are no guidelines dedicated to evaluation. The office does not single out evaluation as the differences between auditing and evaluating processes come from the academic disciplines from which they evolved. Auditing is from accounting (Auditor General of Pakistan, 2012).

  13. 13.

    Economy refers to the “acquisition of resources at the lowest cost keeping in view the objectives of the organization. It implies that the resources should be acquired at the right cost, at right time, at the right place, in the right quantity and of right quality” (Auditor General of Pakistan, 2012).

  14. 14.

    Efficiency refers to “optimum utilization of resources keeping in view the objectives of the organization. It implies maximizing output from the given resources or minimizing input for the given outputs” (Auditor General of Pakistan, 2012).

  15. 15.

    Effectiveness refers to the extent to which the objectives that were established have been achieved.

  16. 16.

    Outputs are the results produced by the organisation in response to inputs, outcomes include the external effects produced by the organisation in the short to medium term, while impacts refer to long-term effects of the outcomes on the society.

  17. 17.

    When the 18th Amendment of the Constitution was unanimously passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan.

  18. 18.

    For the purpose of this section, the term CSO, NGO, and NPO can be considered as being used interchangeably in order to be consistent with the government documents on this matter, as there is prevalence of the words NGOs/NPOs rather than CSOs.

  19. 19.

    A major hindrance to the public demand for evaluations is the lack of information for ordinary citizens. In absence of demand for transparency and accountability from the citizens, which acts as a disincentive for government departments to make such activities a regular part of their operations cycle. As mentioned above, the infrequent demand for evaluations, especially around the performance of high-profile individuals leading departments, picks up the pace close to elections but fizzles out once the next government is in place.

  20. 20.

    CERP, due to its global network, is able to engage with a world class faculty from a diverse set of institutions (including, but not limited to): Harvard University, Duke University, London School of Economics, Warwick University, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others (CERP, 2021a).

  21. 21.

    The training programme features cutting-edge blended-learning pedagogy, combining online modules targeted towards civil servants and other policy decision-makers—with class sessions and localised case-based exercises led by 40 Harvard trained local instructors. The curriculum consists of seven modules (1) Systematic Approaches to Policy Decisions, (2) Descriptive Evidence, (3) Impact Evaluations, (4) Cost–Benefit Analyses (5) Aggregating Evidence, (6) Commissioning Evidence, (7) Using Data Systems (CERP, 2021b).

  22. 22.

    In just 2020, this course trained 149 participants working in the government sector, development sector, research organisations, and private sector organisations.

  23. 23.

    Recently, EvalYouth Pakistan organised their first webinar on “Evaluation Landscape in Pakistan” which focused on the current structure of monitoring and evaluation at federal and provincial levels, the challenges faced by the practitioners, government officials, and other stakeholders and the efforts by the government and individual organisations in enabling the environment for evaluation.

  24. 24.

    In Pakistan, the evaluation market is not regulated by a certification system; nor is there an overarching professional arbitration board entrusted with evaluations.

  25. 25.

    Single National Curriculum is a step towards creating one system of education for all, in terms of curriculum, medium of instruction, and a common platform of assessment, so that all children have a fair and equal opportunity to receive high-quality education.

  26. 26.

    An international development and communication consulting firm providing advisory and implementation services to bi/multilateral donors, UN agencies, public entities, and non-profit organisations.

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Correspondence to Amna Aaqil .

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Appendix A

Appendix A

See Fig. A1 and Table A1

Fig. A1
A hierarchy chart of the governmental structure with three divisions. The Executive branch includes the Prime Minister and associated members. Parliament consists of the President, the Senate, and the National Assembly. The Judicature comprises the Supreme Court and related entities.

(Source Author’s own illustration. National democratic foundation [n.d.])

Governmental structure of Pakistan

Table A1 Overview of (additional) institutes and organisations and their M&E capacity building portfolio

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Aaqil, A., Mahmood, A., Shoaib, A., Jamil, S. (2023). Evaluation in Pakistan. In: Stockmann, R., Meyer, W., Zierke, N. (eds) The Institutionalisation of Evaluation in Asia-Pacific. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-36918-6_9

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