Original Research

Operationalising an effective monitoring and evaluation system for local government: Considerations for best practice

Paul Kariuki, Purshottama Reddy
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 5, No 2 | a240 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v5i2.240 | © 2017 Paul Kariuki, Purshottama Reddy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 2017 | Published: 16 November 2017

About the author(s)

Paul Kariuki, Democracy Development Programme (DDP), University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Purshottama Reddy, School of Management, IT and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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Background: Post-apartheid South Africa faces major challenges in ensuring that it provides high quality and sustainable services that meet citizens’ expectations. The public wants local government that is not only responsive to their needs but also provides high quality services equitably to all people irrespective of their socioeconomic status. Sadly, basic services delivery has been on a downward spiral, characterised by ongoing community protests in many local municipalities. The article premises that municipalities need effective monitoring and evaluation systems to operate optimally.
Objectives: The article sought to show that monitoring and evaluation is a critical development tool that needs to be supported by municipal political and administrative leadership to ensure that it functions optimally by offering citizen-responsive services.
Method: The study focused on KwaZulu-Natal province, the second largest province in South Africa, predominantly rural with a significant poverty and underdevelopment. The study utilised a mixed method participatory design, comprising quantitative and qualitative approaches.
Results: The study found that monitoring and evaluation capacity is low in the majority of municipalities besides the Metro. The municipalities were inadequately resourced with competent monitoring and evaluation human personnel, thereby stifling their capacity to deliver quality monitoring and evaluation services.
Conclusion: The article concluded that effective monitoring and evaluation in local government that is responsive to citizens’ needs is a non-negotiable imperative for government. It recommended that municipalities be adequately resourced with competent monitoring and evaluation human personnel. This is important for strengthening their capacity to deliver efficient monitoring and evaluation services.


Local government; monitoring and evaluation; local municipalities; South Africa


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