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Programme Evaluation Organization

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Programme Evaluation Organization

The Programme Evaluation Organisation (PEO) was established in October 1952, as an independent organization, under the general guidance and direction of the Planning Commission (PC) 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 1st Plan and setting up of evaluation machinery in the States during the 3rd (1961–66) and 4th (1969–74) Plans. Gradually, with the extension of the programmes/schemes in a variety of sectors, viz., agricultural 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 CSSs.

The broad functions of the PEO include undertaking an evaluation of selected programmes/schemes under implementation, as per the requirement of the various Divisions of the PC, Central Ministries, and Departments of the Government of India. The evaluation studies are designed to assess –
(i) the performance,
(ii) the process of implementation,
(iii) the effectiveness of the delivery systems, and
(iv) the impact of programmes.

The objectives of the PEO:
(i) Objective assessment of process and impact of the development programmes,
(ii) Identifying the areas of success and failures at different stages of administration and execution, and analysis of reasons for success or failure,
(iii) Examining extension methods and people’s reactions thereto and deriving lessons for future improvement in the formulation and implementation of the new programmes/schemes.

Organizational Structure

The PEO is primarily a field level organization under the overall charge of the Deputy Chairman, PC. It has a three-tier structure:

First Tier: At the apex is the Headquarters at the PC, which is responsible for evolving suitable methodologies, including statistical designs for various type 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).

Second Tier: The middle link of the PEO represents Regional Evaluation Offices, which are 7 in number located at Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai.

Third Tier: 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., Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Shimla, Bangalore, Bhopal,
Patna, Thrivananthapuram and Ahmedabad.

Evaluation As Plan Scheme

The 10th Plan document pointed out that one of the most common reasons for the failure of programmes and schemes was 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 the evaluation capacity within and outside the government is limited. To make an evaluation, an effective tool for this, capabilities of evaluation organizations will have to be enhanced. The ‘Working Group for Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation System’ set up (late 2012) by the PC recommended to enhance the evaluation capacity and incorporate evaluation in the Plan Scheme.

The PEO also encourages State Evaluation Organisations (SEOs) to send the evaluation reports to the PC so that these reports can also be put on the Internet (now, it may be sent to the NITI Aayog—a decision yet to be taken by the government). By late 2014, the government decided to strengthen the PEO—further actions in this direction is awaited.

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