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Nuts & Bolts: Cabo Verde’s M&E System—Experiences of a Small State

By: Fernando Blanco and Christian Borja-Vega

Cabo Verde, a small island state off the coast of West Africa, has been significantly affected by the global economic crisis due to its heavy reliance on foreign investment, and it's economy's vulnerability to external shocks. In response, the government of Cabo Verde (GoCV) developed a strategy to strengthen its operational transparency and accountability to make the country more attractive to international investors. As part of this strategy, GoCV has been developing a government-wide monitoring and evaluation system since 2009 to track progress on economic and social indicators. These efforts have shown promising results, and, although the system is still evolving and has challenges to overcome, it represents a significant achievement for a country of Cabo Verde’s size and income level.

Cabo Verde's government-wide monitoring and evaluation (GwM&E) system aims to help incorporate the principles of results-based management and provide incentives for institutional transparency and project assessment along with efficient mechanisms to track project disbursements and procurement.

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Cabo Verde has performed in an exemplary manner in terms of public sector governance. Substantive reforms have reduced corruption and improved the quality of business transactions. Close Quotes

African Economic Outlook, 2012

The GwM&E system is a key element in building Cabo Verde’s statistical capacity across all sectors, and, in fact, its foundations were laid in the mid-1990s when Cabo Verde began making government data publically available after adoption of a new law on the National Statistical System (NSS). After the first Statistical Development Plan was executed from 1998 to 2001, a formal statistical system began to take root, and the formation of the NSS led to improvements through the implementation of new technological platforms, organizational arrangements, and strategies.

These actions required standards for newly produced NSS data and higher-quality control guidelines applicable to the multiple stakeholders in charge of feeding data into and managing the NSS. While donors often provide financial and technical assistance for conducting surveys and censuses, this assistance is demand driven and the GoCV is actively participating in setting the agenda and implementing the surveys.

The GwM&E system, as a part of the necessary reforms to improve the GoCV’s transparency, is expected to help the country monitor progress on economic and social indicators and attract much needed foreign investment, particularly in the context of Europe’s waning economy.

This note discusses the institutional framework, advances and challenges of Cabo Verde's government-wide monitoring and evaluation system, and suggests steps to help sustain and develop this system going forward. Read the full note here.