Monitoring and Evaluation is a management tool that tracks and assesses the
performance of the public sector, thereby contributing to service delivery outcomes.
Although it has been practised and has been relevant for many years, it is a fairly
new applied concept to public sector organisations internationally. Stemming
mostly from the lack of a clear and understandable minimum legal reporting
framework, the results of performance management/monitoring has been highly
subjective in the past. Furthermore, there was little or no assessment or evaluation
of the impact of performance on the organisation or society in general. In addition,
the information needs of the community to assess service delivery from different
spheres of government were not clearly understood. With the implementation
of various legislated frameworks on performance monitoring and evaluation of
late globally, different stakeholders are provided with the means to ensure that
service delivery is monitored and evaluated, thereby providing positive outcomes
or impacts on society at large.
The establishment of a dedicated Department of Performance, Monitoring
and Evaluation within the South African Presidency has been viewed as a fi rm
commitment by the Government to address the on-going service delivery challenges.
The policy, practice and systems relative to monitoring and evaluation have in turn
cascaded to the three spheres of government thereby ensuring that it is integrated
into all aspects of public sector governance. The Performance Management System
(PMS) legislated for in South Africa will assist the municipality in monitoring and
evaluating the implementation of its IDP which is also a legislative requirement. It
will lead to increased accountability, continuous learning, and informed decision making
as well as provide an early warning system of impending deviations from the
plan. The ultimate aim of performance management is to ensure improved service delivery.”The IDP and Performance Management process appear to be seamlessly
integrated. The IDP fulfils the planning stage of performance management.
Performance management fulfi ls the implementation management, monitoring and
evaluation of the IDPs” (Van der Waldt 2007:124).
eThekwini City Council is one of the eight metropolitan municipalities in
South Africa. It is a major port and industrial centre in the Province of Kwazulu
Natal and is viewed as being “one of the best run and financially strongest
municipality on the continent.” (KwaZulu Natal Province- Department of Economic
Development and Tourism 2011:8). The article expounds on the eThekwini
experience, reflecting on how through its institutional re-arrangement/process reengineering
and automation resulted in an effective monitoring and evaluation tool
for all levels of management in the organisation. It will also reflect on how the
Municipality has implemented legislation on performance information in order to
add value to the organisation and provide an evaluation tool for key stakeholders
at the local sphere namely, the political and administrative component and local
communities. It will also highlight some of the key challenges encountered in the
implementation of the system and furthermore how they can be addressed.