The Programme Evaluation Organisation was established in October, 1952, as an independent organisation, under the general guidance and direction of the Planning Commission with a specific task of evaluating the community development programmes and other Intensive Area Development Schemes The evaluation set up was further strengthened by the development of methods and techniques of evaluation in the First Five Year Plan and setting up of evaluation machineries in the States during Third Plan (1961-66) and Fourth Plan (1969-74). Gradually with the extension of the Plan Programmes/Schemes in a variety of sectors, viz., agriculture cooperation, rural industries, fisheries, health, family welfare, rural development, rural electrification, public distribution, tribal development, social forestry, etc., the evaluation work undertaken by the PEO was extended to other important Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
The PEO is primarily a field level organisation under the overall charge of the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. It has a three-tier structure with its Headquarters at Planning Commission, New Delhi. The middle rung is represented by the Regional Evaluation Offices while the next link are the Field Units known as the Project Evaluation Offices.
At the apex is the Headquarters at New Delhi, which is responsible for evolving suitable methodologies including statistical designs for various types of evaluation studies, organizing execution and monitoring of sample surveys, data processing, statistical analysis and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative data generated by the field units and also for bringing out the Evaluation Reports. The Organisation is headed by the Adviser (Evaluation). At the headquarters, Adviser is supported by a Joint Adviser, /Director (TC)/Senior Research Officer (TC) and 4 Directors / Deputy Advisers. The Directors / Deputy Advisers are responsible for designing and execution of evaluation studies and act as `Project Directors'. The Project Directors are assisted by Senior Research Officers, Research Officers and technical staff. Technical Coordination (TC) Division keeps liaison with all the field units, Administration, General Administration, Accounts Sections, Plan Coordination, other divisions of Planning Commission, Ministries/ Departments, Research Institutes, etc. It also priorities the schemes for study, attends to parliament questions/matters, Rajbhasha work, organizes seminars/ meetings and training programmes and maintains library.
The middle link of the PEO represents 7 Regional Evaluation Offices, that are located at Kolkata, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Mumbai. Each Regional Evaluation Office is headed by a Regional Evaluation Officer of the rank of Director/ Deputy Adviser and is assisted by two Research Officers, two Economic Officers and one Economic Investigator. The Regional Evaluation Offices are responsible for the supervision of the fieldwork; scrutiny and compilation of field data collected for Evaluation Studies and provide guidance to Project Evaluation Offices under their jurisdiction. They are also responsible for maintaining a close liaison with the State Governments and also providing technical guidance to State Evaluation Units in organising State level studies.
The Field Units, known as Project Evaluation Offices constitute the third tier of PEO. These are located in the capital cities of 8 major states of the country, viz.; at Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Shimla, Bangalore, Bhopal, Patna, Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad. Each Project Evaluation Office is headed by a Project Evaluation Officer of the rank of Senior Research Officer, who is assisted by one Research Officer, two Economic Officers and two Economic Investigators. Each PEO is under the administrative control of a Regional Evaluation Office. The Project Evaluation Offices in the Programme Evaluation Organisations are responsible for reporting the working and progress of the development programmes in their areas and for conducting evaluation studies under the guidance of their concerned REOs. They are also responsible for maintaining a close liaison with the State Governments under the overall supervision of Regional Evaluation Officer.
Organisational Structure of PEO is given at Annexure I. The State/UT-wise coverage of the PEO and its field units known as Regional Evaluation Offices and Project Evaluation Offices is given at Annexure II.
List of Officers at PEO headquarters, Regional Evaluation Offices and Project Evaluation Offices is given at Annexure III.
In order to guide the Programme Evaluation Organisation for prioritization of areas of research, methodologies to be adopted and establishment of linkages between PEO and various evaluation research organizations and academic institutions and follow up action on evaluation results, the Planning Commission had set up an Evaluation Advisory Committee (EAC) in Programme Evaluation Organisation. The EAC has been reconstituted as Development Evaluation Advisory Committee (DEAC) w.e.f. 29th November, 2004 under the Chairmanship of Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission. This Committee comprises of all the Members of the Planning Commission as Members and also four Members representing renowned Research Institutes/Universities. Adviser (Evaluation) is the Member Secretary of DEAC. The Terms of Reference of DEAC are as under:
The various evaluation proposals received by PEO are considered by Development Evaluation Advisory Committee, which recommends and prioritises the studies to be taken up by PEO. The methodology followed in the conduct of evaluation studies is as under:-
As soon as an evaluation study is entrusted to PEO, a Project Director is designated for the evaluation study. He interacts with the concerned Ministry/Department, subject division of the Planning Commission, implementing agencies and knowledgeable people for collecting the background material on the scheme. He also scans the internet for the literature survey in the subject area. In order to obtain first hand knowledge regarding the implementation mechanism of the project, the Project Director visits selected project sites for discussion with the grass root level officers. Parallely, the field officers of PEO also collect information relating to the implementation of the scheme and send it to the Project Director.
After collecting the basic information regarding the project, the Project Director articulates the study objectives in consultation with the concerned Ministry/Department and the senior officers in PEO and Planning Commission. Keeping in view the study objectives and hypothesis formed, the Project Director prepares draft design and schedules. Since the PEO takes the help of NIC for data entry and processing, consultations with NIC are also initiated at this stage itself. These draft schedules are sent to various field offices for pre-testing.
After receiving the pre-tested filled in schedules, the draft design is revised and the schedules are ready for launching the field survey.
In order to orient various field officers of PEO on the schedules prepared by the Headquarters, an Orientation Seminar is normally held at PEO Headquarters, which is attended by the field officers involved in data collection, experts from the implementing Ministry and implementing agencies. This seminar helps the field staff in getting detailed information regarding the project and also the techniques to be used for collection of specific information in order to meet the requirement of the objectives of the evaluation study. If necessary, the schedules are revised in the seminar keeping in view the observations of the experts and field teams. After the seminar is over, the field officers are given the revised schedules for launching the survey. They are also provided with a facility letter from Secretary, Planning Commission addressed to the Chief Secretaries of the sample states, requesting for helping the field staff for collection of data and providing other facilities required in the field.
Statistical inputs regarding the parameters of the scheme to be evaluated are used in order to select the sample for the evaluation study. Normally, the selection of states and districts is decided at the Headquarters level and the selection of blocks, villages, beneficiaries, etc. is left to the PEO field units.
The field officers of PEO canvass all the schedules and send to their Regional Evaluation Officers for scrutiny. The Regional Evaluation Officers also visit various sample units in order to help the field staff for collection of data as well as to ensure that the data being colleted is in accordance with the evaluation design. In order to ensure the quality of the survey data, senior officers from the Headquarter also visit some of the sample units. The Regional Evaluation Officers, as well as the officers from the Headquarter, prepare qualitative notes based on the observations of the field staff and give to the Project Director. These notes are very important since they reflect all such aspects of the scheme, data, which cannot be collected with the help of quantitative or structured schedules.
Field survey data received at the PEO Headquarters, is scrutinized and coded by the Project Director's team and sent to NIC for computerization. The Project Director also prepares the analysis plan in terms of tables and other computations and finalises the chapterisation plan. The analysis and chapterisation plan are discussed with senior officers of PEO so as to ensure that the objectives laid down for the evaluation study are fully covered by the proposed analysis plan. Based on the analysis plan, draft chapters are written and discussed internally in PEO. The Project Director also interacts with the subject divisions in the Planning Commission and other experts, if required for drafting the report.
The draft report prepared by the Project Director is circulated to the Subject divisions and other senior officers/knowledgeable persons concerned with the subject. The comments received from these officers are used for preparing the second draft which is sent to the concerned Ministry/Department for comments. After receiving the feed back from the concerned Ministry, the report is finalized and formally released to the media and journals.
The Cabinet Secretary advised (December, 2002) all the Ministries/ departments to carry out evaluation of all the ongoing schemes/ programmes/ projects which have not been evaluated so far. It has been further advised that it would be decidedly more useful if the impact assessment of the on going schemes is carried out by the Planning Commission or by an outside professional agency. In fact, the concept of periodic assessment should, henceforth, be adopted and in-built as a standard feature of new schemes.
The Tenth Five Year Plan Document points out that one of the most common reasons for the failure of programmes and schemes is the faulty and incomplete design of the programme/projects/scheme. Care and attention must be taken to formulate programmes, projects and schemes in a more systematic and professional manner. It is essential to strengthen the existing mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation, in order to make sure that plans are being implemented as envisaged and the impact is also as planned. The strategy proposed above would definitely contribute to efficiency in resource use and improved performances of plan programmes. But evaluation capacity within and outside the Government is limited. To make evaluation, an effective tool for this, capabilities of evaluation organisations will have to be enhanced. This, however, requires greater flow of physical and financial resources to the Evaluation Organisations established in various States/UTs and at Central level. The Working Group for Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation System set up by the Planning Commission has recommended to enhance the evaluation capacity and incorporate evaluation in the Plan Scheme.
In the meeting recently taken by the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission on 27.8.2004 and attended by the Members of the Planning Commission, the issue relating to limited evaluation capacity and problems being faced by PEO for enhancing the capacity was deliberated upon in detail. PEO is not only facing the problem of large number of vacant posts but also acute shortage of funds. To address this issue, it was suggested and decided to propose evaluation under plan scheme so as to ensure flow of adequate funds required for data processing & data storage, traveling, training and hiring of quality Research Institute for conducting evaluation studies at a faster pace. The PEO has accordingly prepared a proposal for Evaluation as a Plan Scheme which is under consideration of the Planning Commission.
In pursuance of the decisions taken in the internal meeting held on 21.8.2001 under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Planning Commission, a Working Group on Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation System for the Social Sector Development Schemes for the Tenth Five Year Plan was constituted under the chairmanship of Secretary, Planning Commission. Issues raised in the Mid-Term Appraisal of the Ninth Five Year Plan were considered to be starting points for formulating the focus and the thrust areas for the Working Group. The Working Group has submitted its report and has recommended various measures for improving monitoring and evaluation system of the Social Sector Development Schemes in the country. Implementation of E-governance and Information Technology
To provide ready access to the findings of the evaluation study a compendium (in 3 volumes) of Evaluation Studies conducted by PEO since it's inception in 1952 has been compiled, released and put on the Planning Commission's website. The fourth volume of the Compendium is under preparation. Besides, latest 5 evaluation study reports of PEO have been put on the website. The material of PEO put on the website is updated on regular basis and efforts are being made to further improve the display of PEO material.
All the 7 Regional Evaluation Offices of PEO have been provided with computers and Internet & E-Mail facility. FAX facility and additional computer have been provided to all Project Evaluation Offices during the current year. Besides, scanners are also being provided to all REOs/PEOs. The 8 Project Evaluation Offices have also been provided computers and E-Mail facility. To facilitate improvement in the quality of data and minimize biasness of the informants, a voice recording device has been provided to all REOs. Four SPSS packages are being installed in PEO for application of latest software in data processing, data entry and drawing of sample and application of various statistical methods. A comprehensive proposal for strengthening e-governance and information technology has been prepared and submitted to General Administration for implementation. The proposals are being implemented in phases by the Planning Commission.
The PEO is also encouraging State Evaluation Organisations to send the evaluation reports to Planning Commission, so that these reports can also be put on the Internet. In a recent meeting, taken by Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, it has been decided to reiterate all the States /UTs to send information on the evaluation studies conducted by State Governments. Members of the Planning Commission have addressed the Chief Ministers to make available requisite information in the prescribed proforma.
The Programme Evaluation Organisation has so far brought out 188 evaluation/ activity reports. Of these, 17 Study/Activity reports were brought out during the Ninth Five Year Plan period (1997-2002) and three studies and an Activity Report have been completed during the Tenth Five Year Plan. The report on evaluation study of 'Workforce Management Options and Infrastructure Rationalization in Primary Health Care Services' conducted by NCAER has been treated as released. Recently evaluated programmes by PEO are(i)National Project on Bio-gas Development;(ii) Functioning of Statutory Development Boards (SDBs) in Maharashtra. and(iii) Impact studies on Integrated Dairy Development Projects (IDDPs) in the states of Maharashtra, Nagaland & Orissa and 'Development Evaluation in PEO and Its Impact'.
Evaluation studies of 14 schemes viz. (i) Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS), (ii) Growth Centres Schemes(iii) Mid-Day Meals Schemes, (iv) Decentralized Training Programme, (v) Impact of CS Schemes in Anantnag, Kupwara, Rajouri and Doda districts of J&K, (vi) Decentralized Planning Process in Kerala, (vii) Sarda Sahayak Project in Uttar Pradesh, (viii). Schemes of National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation (NSTFDC), (ix) Special Central Assistance (SCA) to Tribal Sub-Plan and (x) Construction of Hostels for SC Boys and Girls , (xi) District Poverty Initiatives Project (DPIP), (xii) Grants under Article 275 (1), (xiii) Agro-Economic Research Centres (AERC) and (xiv) Modernization of Office System (MOOS) are under way.
During the year 2004, study designs for conducting evaluation studies of 5 schemes viz. Sarda Sahayak Project, Decentralized Planning Process in Kerala, District Poverty Initiatives Project, Construction of Hostels for SC Boys & Girls and Schemes of National Scheduled Tribes Finance and Development Corporation were prepared and field survey launched. Of these 5 studies, field survey has been completed in respect of three studies and for the remaining two studies, it is in progress. Collection of data of the study on Impact of CS Schemes in J&K and Decentralized Training Programme for Weavers was also completed. Data collected through field survey has been scrutinized, entered, cleaned and validated in respect of 3 studies viz. Sarda Sahayak Project, Decentralized Planning Process and DPIP. Final tables of the data pertaining to Sarda Sahayak Project and Impact of CS Schemes in J&K have been generated and for the remaining two studies viz. Decentralized Planning Process and DPIP, it is in progress. For data entry and generation of tables of the study on DPT, specialized agency has been associated and the same is in progress. The evaluation studies of the following schemes are in advanced stages of completion:
Preliminary data for preparation of the study design of the evaluation studies on Special Central Assistance to Tribal Sub-Plan, Grants under Article 275(i) and Modernization of Office System is being collected. The process of structuring questionnaires of these studies is in progress. A Committee has been set up to guide in the conduct of evaluation study on Agro-Economic Research Centres.
The following meetings/seminars were held during the year 2004 :-
(a) The third meeting of Reconstituted Evaluation Advisory Committee was held on 16th January, 2004 under the Chairmanship of Dr.S.P.Gupta, Member, Planning Commission. It was attended by the Members of the committee and Officers of PEO Hqrs. and Regional Evaluation Offices. The committee is constituted to guide PEO for prioritization of the schemes, methodology to be adopted, establishment of linkages between PEO & Research Organizations and follow up action on the evaluation results.
(b) The following Orientation Meetings were organized by PEO for discussion on study designs and questionnaires for launching field survey:
(c) A meeting on the report on 'Development Evaluation in PEO and Its Impact' was taken by Shri K.C.Pant, the then Dy.Chairman, Planning Commission on 31.3.2004. The meeting was attended by Dr.S.P.Gupta (Member), Secretary, Joint Secretary, Adviser (Evaluation/RD), Planning Commission and Officers of PEO & its field units. Adviser (Evaluation) made a Power Point Presentation on the contents of the report on 'Development Evaluation in PEO and Its Impact' consisting of two parts viz.
(d) Four review meetings were organized to monitor the progress and drafting of report on Evaluation Study on Impact of Centrally Sponsored Schemes in Jammu & Kashmir during the year 2004. These meetings were held at Jammu, Chandigarh and New Delhi. The meetings at Delhi were chaired by Adviser (Evaluation) and at remaining places by Director (TC). The meetings were attended by the Director (MHA), Director ( PRC), University of Kashmir, Srinagar and Director, REO, Chandigarh.
(e) First meeting of the Group set up by the Deputy Chairman to Review Working of PEO was held on 13.5.2004 in the Planning Commission under the chairmanship of Adviser (RD) and attended by Adviser (Evaluation), Directors, TC/Finance/GA/Admn. and the supporting staff. Issues relating to vacancy position, evaluation capacity, evaluation resources, capacity building, usage of evaluation studies and evaluation policy were discussed in the meeting and it was decided to prepare a brief note on these issues and action plan. The note was prepared by PEO and circulated amongst Members of Committee.
(f) Several meetings were held with the District Magistrates of Hamirpur, Jalaun, Mahoba, Raibareli and Unnao during the year 2004 for preparation and finalization of the District Plans under Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana.
(g) A meeting was held on 27.8.2004 in Yojana Bhavan regarding PEO activities and Action Plan. It was chaired by Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission and attended by Members (KSP/AS/VLC/BM/SH/BNY/AH), Adviser (Evaluation) and Officers of PEO headquarters. Adviser (Evaluation) made a Power Point Presentation on various activities, issues and Action Plan of PEO. Members and participants discussed various aspects concerning role functions and problems of PEO.
(h) Three meetings were held at PEO Headquarters, New Delhi during the year 2004 to decide modalities for collection of preliminary data and to prepare study design and questionnaires for carrying out evaluation study on Modernization of Office System (MOOS). The meetings were chaired by Adviser (Evaluation) and attended by Director (TC), Sr. Research Officer (TC) and the representatives of M/S IPAI engaged for conducting this study.
Besides, regular evaluation studies, PEO has participated and contributed significantly in other activities also. PEO's contribution in these activities is given below:-
PEO has been undertaking studies only at the requests of various Ministries/Departments and Divisions of Planning Commission. The implementation of the findings and suggestion made in the evaluation reports brought out by PEO rests with the concerned Ministries/Departments. It has been gathered that the findings and suggestions of PEO evaluation reports have been incorporated in varying degrees by the implementing Ministries/Departments. Based on the evaluation report of PEO on Mahila Samriddhi Yojana, the scheme was abolished. The Employment Assurance Scheme was thoroughly re-structured during 2001-2002 and the detailed guidelines for the re-structured scheme (Sampoorna Gramin Rozgar Yojana - SGRY) were issued in April, 2002 which incorporated many of the recommendations of the report by PEO released in April, 2000. The evaluation study of Non Formal Education Programme was taken up by PEO in the year 1997 and based on the recommendations of the PEO report the scheme was completely revamped and amalgamated in the new scheme entitled Education Guarantee Scheme and Alternative & Innovative Education (EGS&AIE). The evaluation of National Project on Biogas Development (NPBD) was taken up by PEO in 2001 and based on the observations and recommendations of the evaluation report, the Ministry of Non Conventional Resources formulated detailed guidelines for implementation of the programme during the year 2002-2003 onwards. The performance evaluation of statutory development Boards in Maharashtra was taken up by PEO and the report was released in April, 2003. The findings and observations of PEO report were acknowledged by office of the Governor, Maharasthra and the three development boards of Marathawara, rest of Maharashtra and Vidharbha. The evaluation reports on Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme (ARWSP), Functioning of Community Health Centres (CHCs), Functioning of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) assisted under Social Safety Net Programme (SSNP) and Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme have been found extremely useful and acted upon by the implementing agencies. The findings and recommendations of the recently evaluated scheme on Integrated Dairy Development Project are being acted upon by the Ministry and the Subject Division of the Planning Commission.
PEO (Headquarters) maintains its own library (Technical) where reference books on evaluation techniques to be adopted for designing/instrumenting of the studies and other publications related to evaluation are kept for allusion purposes. Copies of the evaluation reports are also kept in the library for reference purposes.