(Davao City, 07 December 2022).  The Regional Development Council of Davao Region, through its Regional Project Monitoring Committee chaired by the NEDA XI Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, CESO II, conducted the CY 2022 Davao Region M&E Forum on December 07, 2022, via Zoom videoconference and Facebook Live.

This year’s forum theme, “We M&E in Development Together”, highlighted the importance of participatory Monitoring and Evaluation to improve performance and sustain organizational learning and growth, incorporating gender perspectives in M&E, and gain valuable insights on how to assess evaluability of programs and projects and prepare an evaluation agenda. The forum also included the dissemination on the Updates of the Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (RPMES) Operational Guidelines.

The forum gathered a total of 132 participants from NGAs/Regional Line Agencies, State Universities and Colleges (SUCs), Government Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs), members of the Provincial, City and Municipal Project Monitoring Committees (PMCs), Electric Cooperatives, Water Districts, Regional Hospitals, and monitoring units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines – 10th Infantry (Agila) Division together with its Infantry Battalions and the Philippine National Police (PNP) – Police Regional Office XI along with its Davao City and Provincial Police Offices. Distinguished Resource Persons come from the NEDA – Monitoring and Evaluation Staff, Socio-Economics Research Division of PCAARRD-DOST, UN Women Philippines, and Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA) in East Asia and the Pacific, respectively.

NEDA Undersecretary, for Regional Development Group, and Chairperson of the National Project Monitoring Committee (NPMC), Carlos Bernardo O. Abad-Santos, in his opening message, emphasized that M&E programs and projects are critical in ensuring that the country is on the right-track to achieving the government’s 8-point Socio-economic Agenda. Undersecretary Abad-Santos is also delighted with this year’s Davao Region M&E Forum as it highlights relevant topics on Monitoring and Evaluation in the public sector, particularly on the RPMES Operational Guidelines as this enhances and capacitates various M&E stakeholders. He also looks forward to the new Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 and the Regional Development Plan 2023-2028 which will lay out the actionable steps in realizing the development goals for the medium term. He expressed that the annual forum is a welcome activity towards ensuring that we continuously learn from and adapt good practices in the implementation of programs and projects that are responsive to the development priorities laid out in the PDP and Davao RDP. He urges everyone to be advocates in using M&E as an effective mechanism to achieve the social economic goals through better informed planning, programming, budgeting, and implementation of government programs and projects.

OIC-Dir. Aldwin U. Urbina of the NEDA – Monitoring and Evaluation Staff, discussed the Updates on the Revised Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (RPMES) Operational Guidelines, the major revisions/enhancements, and the timelines of the remaining activities. The updating of the RPMES operational guidelines is a mandate of the National Monitoring Project Monitoring Committee (NPMC) by virtue of Executive Order 93, s. 1993 to improve the implementation of RPMES in response to M&E reforms initiated by the government over the past few years.

Dr. Ernesto O. Brown, of the Socio-Economics Research Division of PCAARRD-DOST talked about Conducting Evaluability Assessments and Crafting Evaluation Agenda. In his presentation, he emphasized the importance of Evaluation specially in the design and implementation of government programs to bring effective development as the latter provides systematic process for collecting data to assess whether a program remains to be the best policy response for a specific issue or intended outcome.

Mr. Gilbert R. Guevarra of UN Women Philippines shared his experiences and what their organization have done in terms of gender-responsive monitoring and gender-responsive evaluation. He stressed that when gender is tracked in monitoring, it will be useful for exposing inequalities, improving understanding of the changes happening in different groups, tracking the performance of partners, and holds the stakeholders accountable for meeting gender-related programs and projects.

Mr. Adel V. Briones of Affiliated Network for Social Accountability (ANSA) East Asia and the Pacific discussed about Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation particularly on Social Accountability as an approach to good governance, the social accountability process as a guide in citizen monitoring activities, and the enabling conditions of social accountability. In addition, he also shared about the Public Finance Management (PFM) Framework and its relation to social accountability.

In relation to the Regional Project Monitoring and Evaluation System (RPMES), the RPMC XI informed the partner agencies and LGUs that the operationalization of the IPA-LAMDAG XI System has already commenced last November 2022. Some agencies have already enrolled their programs, activities, and projects (PAPs) in the System. And as part of the Region’s transition to this web-based platform, the Secretariat shall conduct a follow-through hands-on training by the 1st quarter of 2023 to further capacitate the agency/LGU focal persons in the preparation of the RPMES forms under the IPA-LAMDAG XI System.

Arniel A. Alderite, NEDA XI