GOVERNMENT says Monitoring and Evaluation (M and E) systems across different ministries were weak and needed urgent strengthening.

Acting Secretary to Cabinet Patrick Kangwa said there was urgent need to strengthen monitoring and evaluation in all ministries in order for developmental efforts made by government to yield results.

Mr. Kangwa however noted that government was already making efforts towards upgrading government monitoring systems.

“Despite this challenge of weak M and E systems, efforts are underway to strengthen the whole system as evidenced by the launch of Management monitoring system today,” Mr. Kangwa said.

He said Government was also committed to strength the establishment of management information systems which was line with ‘smart Zambia vision’ initiated by President Lungu.

Mr. Kangwa also warned permanent secretaries that the Office of the Secretary to the Cabinet did not expect any data gaps in any ministry in 2019.

He further said the Director of Finance should never provide funds for M and E programmes to any ministry that had not submitted reports for 2018.

Meanwhile, United Kingdom Department for International Development (UKAID) said there was need to close the gap on data if the country was to provide service to people.

UKAID Zambian representative Cormac Quin said development could not be achieved with data gaps in any sector.

“You cannot provide service to the poor people when you only collect 20 percent of data on M and Es,” Mr. Quin said.

The Ministry of National planning was also of the idea that emphasis should be placed on Data collection on Monitoring and Evaluation systems.

The National Panning Ministry Permanent Secretary, Mushima Mulenga said there was need to sensitize people so that M and E would become part of their daily routine.

“M and E is not aimed at punishing people, the purpose is learning how to monitor and evaluate what government is doing and being able to apply what is learnt,” he said.

He noted that there was no longer need to focus on capacity because as far as the planning ministry was concerned, capacity was already there.

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