BUDGET MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTING
The Ministry of Budget and Planning is saddled with the responsibility of budget monitoring, evaluation and reporting. The purpose of monitoring and evaluation in budget and project management is to address one or more of the following concerns:
- Effectiveness: is the budget or project achieving its objectives and targets?
- Efficiency: is the budget or project being implemented in an efficient manner that justifies continued funding?
- Relevance: are the projects in the budget still relevant to the needs of the State?
- Impact: to what degree have the beneficiaries of the project been affected positively or negatively, or has there been any change in behavior resulting from the project implemented?
- Response: what has been the degree of acceptance and cooperation from the target beneficiaries (this will indicate if the project is addressing the needs of the beneficiaries and if it was properly designed)?
- Causality: What factors or events have impacted on the implementation and performance of the budget or project?
Hierarchy of Objectives in Monitoring & Evaluation
The monitoring and evaluation of the State budget or projects should consider and report performance at various levels of objectives and targets including input, activity, output, outcome and impact.
Inputs: are resources allocated to the implementing unit for an expected level of output. The inputs or resources may include money, men and machines budgeted for the achievement of the desired level of output. Input monitoring and evaluation is necessary because it is the bases for achieving other levels of objectives of the budget or project.
Activities: the various tasks of government carried out to deliver the required services; these are either carried out directly by government officials or contracted out to outside experts within basic government rules and regulations. They are all carried out at the implementing agency level.
Outputs: the expected levels of services or goods to be created based on the units of inputs; they consist of targets set to be achieved (example completed primary Health Clinic with basic diagnostic equipment, 10 bedded ward block, consulting clinic, 4 flat quarters, etc.).
Outcomes: The expected benefits of the outputs created and delivered using a given unit of input (Functional primary health clinic used by the over 1,200 inhabitants of the village for their health care needs).
Impacts: The ultimate improvements in living standard of a community from the services provided directly or indirectly (example reduction in maternal mortality and under-five mortality).
Monitoring and Evaluation Tools
The State Government should devise tools for effective monitoring and evaluation of the budget and projects. These tools may include log frames, work plans and progress reviews.
The Log Frame should define the logic of the budget or project, and clearly state the linkages between cause and effect, the levels or hierarchy of objectives (inputs, output, outcome and impact) and how they can be achieved and measured over time. It should state the targets, indicators, milestones and their means of verification, the assumptions to the budget or project, the risk inherent in the budget or project and how those risks could be mitigated.
The Work Plan should state, in a schedule and sequenced manner, what is to be done in the course of the budget or project cycle:
- The activities to be carried out and their outputs;
- Their planned start and completion dates;
- The person(s), organization and / or institution to carry out the activity; and
- The cost of the activities.
The Progress Review will examine work actually done and should provide answers to the following questions, are:
- Inputs available as planned?
- Activities being carried out in accordance with the work plan?
- Outputs being achieved as envisaged?
- There changes that have been made to the activities in the course of the implementation?
- There problems and difficulties encountered during implementation?
- There remedial actions taken or planned?
Budget Performance Reporting
The MoBP shall through the budget control mechanism generate the necessary budget performance data to compare actual expenditure with budgeted figures. The MoBP shall review the budget performance data with a view to identifying variances and outline reasons for the variances; and produce appropriate monthly, quarterly, mid-year and annual budget performance reports.
The Quarterly Budget Performance reports are to be consolidated, analyzed and forwarded to the EXCO with definite recommendations (the reports are to be forwarded on or before 21st of the subsequent month after the reporting period). The budget performance report will show the variance in personnel cost, overhead and capital costs as well as revenue collections under various sources; and circularized to all the relevant MDAs to inform them of their performances and steps to be taken to ensure that the budget is implemented as intended.
The Mid-Year performance report shall be generated from a review of the budget from the beginning of the fiscal year, say (January-June). This will be carried out by the budget committee every July/August to inform members of the public how far and how well or not the state budget has performed.
There will also be an annual budget performance report at the end of the fiscal year; which will show how much the approved budget was consistent with the implemented budget; and how much of the objectives of the budget were realized; and lessons learned.
The essence of budget reporting is to:
- Formally inform management of the progress and challenges being faced with budget implementation so that remedial actions could be taken on time;
- justify request for further funding, as the office responsible for budget management and control is adequately informed and convinced that monies released earlier have been judiciously utilized as planned;
- serve as an audit and evaluation trail for validating the compliance with plans, procedures, rules, regulations and laws guiding budget or project implementation;
- serve as a reference or precedence for future budget formulation or project design and implementation; as such reports provide experiences and records of successes, failures, lessons learned and good practice; and
- provide reports to external stakeholders like project sponsors (e.g., donors, and development partners) on how their resources have been managed.
Stakeholders in the Budget Process
- Civil Society Organizations/ Non-Government Organizations (CSO/NGOs)
- Organized Private Sector
- Trade and Labour Unions
- International Development Partners
- Professional Organizations
- Traditional & Religious Institutions
- The State Legislature
- Community Development Associations
- Youth Organizations
- Associations of Physically challenged persons
- Gender and Social Groups
- Local Governments