Dr. Ajay Chhibber to-day joined as the first Director General of Government of India’s Independent Evaluation Office. IEO will conduct independent evaluations of plan programs – especially flagship programs - and assess their effectiveness, relevance and impact. It has the freedom to conduct independent evaluations on any program which has access to public funding or implicit or explicit guarantees from the Government. It has the authority to make all it's findings public without any interference from the Government. The work program of the IEO will be prepared through an open process of consultations, including feedback from the civil society and made public for all to see.
The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has been set up to:
- help improve the effectiveness of government policies and programs by assessing their impact and outcomes.
- set guidelines and methodology for all evaluations done by various departments and agencies and encourage a culture of openness and learning in government systems.
- connect India to the best international evaluated evidence in development practice and knowledge to learn from others success and mistakes.
The Director General (DG) of the IEO is at the level of a Union Minister of State with a term of 3 years extendable to 5 years. The IEO staff will be selected by the DG without any interference. Adequate budget, as requested by the DG, will be provided to the IEO as an independent budget line.
The IEO will prepare the Terms of Reference for all independent evaluations, which will be conducted by selected institutes and researchers selected on competitive basis. The choice of evaluation techniques and the methodology for each evaluation will be set by the IEO based on a set of criterion, including the objectives of the evaluation, the availability of data and the time frame of the evaluation. The criterion for selection of the evaluators will be determined for each evaluation and will include cost, competence and objectivity and independence as judged by IEO.
IEO will provide guidance to any agency or department of the government to improve the quality of it's self evaluation and monitoring system. Such support is intended to bring all evaluations under a common internationally accepted methodology, help achieve better development outcomes and encourage a culture of learning in the government.
IEO will make available through it's web site and other public avenues, independently evaluated findings on programs and policies of relevance to Government of India. The Evaluation Reports of the IEO will be submitted to the Parliament and the Prime Minister’s Office.
It will also make internationally available findings from independently and professionally evaluated Indian programs in the spirit of south- south learning and cooperation. IEO will represent India as it's independent evaluation authority in international fora on development effectiveness and will endeavor to improve India's evaluation systems in line with international best practices.