1. Genesis of the existing M&E system: role of M&E advocates or champions; key events which created the priority for M&E information (e.g., election of reform-oriented government, fiscal crisis).
2. The ministry or agency responsible for managing the M&E system, and for planning evaluations. Roles and responsibilities of the main parties to the M&E system â e.g., finance ministry, planning ministry, president's office, sector ministries, parliament or congress. Incentives for the stakeholders to take M&E seriously â strength of demand for M&E information. Possible existence of several, uncoordinated M&E systems, at the national and sectoral levels. Importance of federal/state/local issues to the M&E system.
3.The public sector environment and whether it makes it easy or difficult for managers to perform to high standards, and to be held accountable for their performance. Are public sector reforms underway which might benefit from a stronger emphasis on the measurement of government performance, such as a poverty reduction strategy, performance budgeting, strengthening policy analysis skills, creation of a performance culture in the civil service, improvements in service delivery such as customer service standards, government decentralization, greater participation by civil society, or an anti-corruption strategy?
4. The main aspects of public sector management which the M&E system supports strongly, such as: (i) budget decision-making; (ii) national or sectoral planning; (iii) program management; (iv) accountability relationships (to the finance ministry, to the President's office, to parliament, to sector ministries, to civil society).
5. Actual role of M&E information at the various stages of the budget process â such as policy advising and planning; budget decision-making; performance review and reporting. Possible disconnect between the M&E work of sector ministries and the use of such information in the budget process. Existence of any disconnect between the budget process and national planning. Opportunities to strengthen the role of M&E in the budget.
6. Extent to which the M&E information commissioned by key stakeholders (e.g. the finance ministry) is used by others, such as sector ministries. If not, what are the barriers to utilization? Any solid evidence concerning the extent of utilization by different stakeholders (e.g., a diagnostic review or a survey). Examples of major evaluations which have been highly influential with the government.
7. Types of M&E tool which are emphasized in the M&E system: regular performance indicators; rapid reviews or evaluations; performance audits; rigorous, in-depth impact evaluations; other. Scale and cost of each of these types of M&E. Manner in which evaluation priorities are set â are they focused on 'problem programs', pilot programs, high-expenditure or high-visibility programs, or are they based on a systematic research agenda to answer questions about program effectiveness?
8. Who is responsible for collecting performance information, and for conducting evaluations (e.g., ministries themselves, or academia or consulting firms)? Any problems with data quality or reliability, or with the quality of evaluations which have been conducted. Strengths and weaknesses of local supply of M&E. Key capacity constraints and the government's capacity-building priorities.
9. Extent of donor support for M&E in recent years. Donor projects which support M&E at whole-of-government, sectoral or agency levels â provision of technical assistance, other capacity-building and funding for the conduct of major evaluations, such as rigorous impact evaluations.
10. Conclusions: overall strengths and weaknesses of the M&E system. Its sustainability, in terms for example of vulnerability to a change in government. How dependent is it on donor funding or other support? Current plans for future strengthening of the M&E system.