Chapter 5. Monitoring and evaluation framework

Designing and implementing open government initiatives requires resources and changes in the public administration. While these initiatives are intended to improve the relationship between government and its citizens, as well as enhance transparency and accountability, this can only be ensured and confirmed, and therefore the use of funds and efforts justified, through effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems. A solid M&E system is necessary for assessing if intended goals are achieved, for identifying challenges and obstacles, and for rectifying initiatives accordingly.

Monitoring refers to “a continuing function that uses systematic collection of data on specified indicators to provide management and the main stakeholders of an ongoing […] intervention with indications of the extent of progress and achievement of objectives and progress in the use of allocated funds” (OECD, 2009[39]). Therefore, it aims to ensure that the initiative is on track and that it is achieving the intended results, enabling initiatives to be to modified and adapted if necessary.

Evaluation refers to “the systematic and objective assessment of an ongoing or completed project, programme or policy, its design, implementation and results. The aim is to determine the relevance and fulfilment of objectives, […] efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability” (OECD, 2009[39]). Thus, it allows for the cost-effectiveness of an initiative to be measured, provides information to those implementing policy, as well as the larger public, on whether the initiative is achieving its intended impact, and allows for future initiatives to be enhanced.

M&E systems can therefore enhance the implementation of open government initiatives, and increase their visibility and impact. This requires, however, closing the feedback loop and using the M&E results to improve ongoing and future initiatives. In line with open government principles, M&E results should be made available to the public to enhance accountability and enable citizens to scrutinise government actions. Similarly, the public should be involved in M&E systems, especially as most open government initiatives intend to affect citizens and their perception of government directly.

A large majority of OECD countries (86%) monitor open government initiatives, yet only 59% evaluate these initiatives. Almost all countries that evaluate initiatives communicate the results. However, most countries have not put in place specific M&E systems regarding open government (except those required by the OGP), but are building upon the existing M&E frameworks of their public administration (OECD, 2016[2]). The OECD Recommendation on Open Government therefore suggests that countries:

“Develop and implement monitoring, evaluation and learning mechanisms for open government strategies and initiatives by:

  1. 1. Identifying institutional actors to be in charge of collecting and disseminating up-to-date and reliable information and data in an open format.

  2. 2. Developing comparable indicators to measure processes, outputs, outcomes and impact in collaboration with stakeholders.

  3. 3. Fostering a culture of monitoring, evaluation and learning among public officials by increasing their capacity to regularly conduct exercises for these purposes in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.” (OECD, 2017[1])

Lebanon has established an M&E system in the public administration that builds on internal monitoring and M&E conducted by an external institution, namely the Central Inspection Board (CIB). The internal monitoring system is based on key performance indicators (KPIs) and sub-KPIs, as is used for the digital transformation strategy and the action plan for implementing the Right of Access to Information law. Some of these KPIs refer to open government indicators such as “inclusive citizen/customer-oriented policy making”, according to the OECD survey. Table 5.1. shows the KPIs prepared for “citizens centricity” in the framework of the draft Digital Transformation Strategy.

OMSAR is supporting the public administration in applying these KPIs and in building the capacities of public officials and inspectors. It is also automating the methodology through the development of a web-based solution, which should facilitate reporting to the CIB. OMSAR also intends to create sectoral and organisational performance planning and monitoring units in all institutions. However, the public administration still faces challenges in monitoring its activities due to insufficient expertise and resources in the field. There is equally a lack of reliable data, the publication of results could become a more common feature and engaging citizens in the process is rare. The OECD survey found that OMSAR conducted citizen satisfaction surveys on e-government services in 2013 and surveys to prioritise digital transformation projects in 2019. This is a practice other institutions could build on, and the results should be made publicly available. Given OMSAR’s role regarding open government and supporting the public administration on M&E, OMSAR could work with those ministries that are to be involved in the open government sub-committee on building an M&E culture, expertise and indicators for the open government initiatives included in the open government action plan. The existing e-learning platform (see Chapter 4) could be complemented with a course on M&E focusing in particular on the M&E of open government initiatives and stakeholder engagement in M&E.

As per legislative decree 111/1959, all directors-general should submit biannual and annual reports to central control agencies (Article 7, item 4). According to Circular 40/1963, the CIB issued instructions on the conduct of inspection processes for public sector entities. OMSAR, together with the CIB, is currently enforcing this with six pilot ministries. The OECD survey found that one of the KPIs that should be included in these reports relates to open government. In order to strengthen the M&E of open government initiatives, OMSAR and the CIB could enhance their expertise in this field and develop specific indicators that build upon the existing KPIs and that evaluate the process, output, outcome and impact of open government initiatives. Such a pilot project could focus on the open government initiatives to be included in the open government action plan.

According to interviews with the CIB and other actors, vacancies among inspectors does not allow the CIB to effectively practice control mechanisms over the public administration. While it is important to reinforce their capacities, involving stakeholders in M&E could also support a more effective monitoring and evaluation of open government initiatives. In several OECD countries, civil society organisations are members of the open government steering committee, which enables them to monitor the implementation of initiatives.

  • Continue efforts to strengthen Lebanon’s M&E system by automating the process and providing capacity building for the public administration.

  • Apply open government principles to the M&E system by systematically engaging with all relevant stakeholders and publishing the results of M&E, including the results of the different institutions and the CIB.

  • Build an M&E culture and system regarding open government initiatives by developing indicators for the open government initiatives. These could then be included in the future open government action plan and complemented by an M&E learning course with a focus on open government and stakeholder engagement.


[7] Datos.gob (2020), Open Data Initiative of the Government of Spain, (accessed on 29 June 2020).

[8] Government of Lebanon (2019), Lebanon Digital Transformation: Strategies to Actions.

[4] OECD (2019), Budgeting and Public Expenditures in OECD Countries 2019, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[5] OECD (2019), Open Government in Argentina, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[6] OECD (2019), Open Government in Biscay, OECD Public Governance Reviews, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[3] OECD (2017), Recommendation of the Council on Open Government,

[2] OECD (2016), Open Government: The Global Context and the Way Forward, OECD Publishing, Paris,

[1] OECD (2009), “OECD DAC Glossary”, in Guidelines for Project and Programme Evaluations, OECD, Paris, (accessed on 29 October 2019).

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