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Monitoring Policy Impacts (MPI). Setting up and organizing MPI. EASYPol Series 059

Once a decision is taken to establish an MPI system, this module puts forward the aspects to be considered in organizing such a system and discusses possible institutional/organizational set ups. The following four organizational options are distinguished:

Setting up an MPI capacity

  1. at central government level, but not directly affiliated to a line ministry;
  2. as a special unit in a line ministry (e.g. Ministry of Agriculture);
  3. as a separate project-type unit;
  4. as an external institution (research institute, NGO, consulting firm).

Each of these options has special advantages and disadvantages. Which of the options is selected depends on the policy to be monitored, on the expectations from the monitoring exercise, on the prevailing conditions, on the available capacities and the resources made available for this purpose.

As general rules can be stated, that

  • The closer a monitoring unit is located to decision-makers, the better is the information flow. However, at the same time, there is an increased risk of political interference and biased monitoring results.
  • An independent and thorough assessment of policy impacts depends on availability of minimum research and analytical capacities, either within or outside government structures.
  • Policy impact monitoring is an explicit venture which requires special funding and respective financial allocations.
  • For economic and effectiveness reasons, maximum use should be made of existing capacities, data sources and information systems.

Find out more:

This paper is part of the FAO Policy series: EASYPol Resources for policy making (in agriculture, rural development and food security). You can find other EASYPol series' resources in the Resources section of this website, typing "EASYPol" in the free text search.

Metz, M.