Getting Results in Public Policy: Monitoring and Evaluation with Evidence Supplied by the Civil Society

Evidence clearly demonstrates that implementation of public policies in Serbia leads to broken promises. Although the Government Work Programme sets goals and planned activities, these goals are often left unachieved in practice, while there is no mechanism to measure the activities’ results or impact. In contrast to Serbia, the decision makers in countries with a more developed political culture are under constant public scrutiny that demands effective policies, credible and reliable data and evidence-based policy making in general.
Bearing in mind the context of democratic consolidation and economic transition in Serbia, holding the policy makers accountable through institutionalised mechanisms and practices seems to be an imperative. Moreover, monitoring the implementation of reforms and evaluation of their effects are particularly important in accession negotiations with the European Union, since the effective and sustainable implementation of the acquis will essentially determine the very dynamics of the negotiations, and eventually Serbia’s membership in the EU. In fact, 20 recommendations of the recently published screening reports on Negotiating Chapters 23 and 24 emphasised the need to develop or improve mechanisms for monitoring the progress of reforms, while seven recommendations stressed the necessity to improve evaluation mechanisms for particular policies within these chapters.
The results of this research reveal similar conditions in other policy areas. Therefore, systematic M&E would be a powerful asset and an integral part of properly designed and implemented government policies.