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4. Set-up and follow-up of indicators
Purpose
To provide stakeholders with a means of measuring progress towards their shared goals.
Rationale
Indicators are usually part of what are known as Performance Measurement Frameworks, a core element of Results-Based Management. The increasing interest for measurement in policy making responds to the need of basing decision-making on actual evidence of what works and what doesn’t. In that regard, PMFs enable informed decisions and provide the necessary insight to undertake action in one direction or another. Such insight is usually the result of a complex process of data collection, collation, analysis and interpretation that determines the effectiveness and efficiency of those actions with regards to their expected outcomes.
Indicators are thus essential for a dialogue approach that seeks to base its deliberations upon reliable evidence. There are three key types of indicators, each one linked to INSPIRED orientations:
Policy indicators are those that refer to the objectives of the policy at stake. They are usually the responsibility of policy makers, who are supposed to include them in their plans and strategies and to make use of the State’s statistical system to keep track of them. However, this is not always the case and policies are often being promoted without a proper measurement framework. Instead of just seeing this as a flaw of the policy process, the INSPIRED dialogue process invites its stakeholders to seize it as an opportunity, as they can fill that vacuum by proposing a basic set of policy indicators and put pressure on policy makers by confronting them with the resulting evidence.
Process indicators measure the extent to which the key features of the dialogue process are being followed, both by the dialogue facilitator and by the participants themselves. Inclusiveness and participation can be assessed in different manners, but their measurement needs to be done in a swift and flexible way that doesn’t divert the participants' attention from the core of their joint work. To this end, EPD has developed a digital monitoring tool that allows the Dialogue Host to keep track of these two key dimensions.
Partnership indicators allow the Dialogue Host/dialogue facilitator to assess the links between the different stakeholders involved and the kind of cooperation that is taking place amongst them. These indicators usually follow a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods and can be translated into a network graph that will then showcase the degree of centrality of the different stakeholders, the frequency of their interactions.
Outcomes
  • Evidence base of the dialogue process improved.
  • Stakeholders are empowered through a better understanding of measurement and monitoring techniques.
  • Shared understanding of what counts –and should thus be counted– brokered through technical discussion.
  • Collectively accepted measurement framework to assess progress in the policy at stake (especially relevant for the Monitoring and Alignment phase).
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