Effectiveness of evaluation practices in supporting regional development planning in Indonesia: The cases of DI Yogyakarta and West Sumatra Provinces

Author: Dwi Ratih Suryantining Esti

Esti, Dwi Ratih Suryantining, 2021 Effectiveness of evaluation practices in supporting regional development planning in Indonesia: The cases of DI Yogyakarta and West Sumatra Provinces, Flinders University, College of Business, Government and Law

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This research examines the effectiveness of evaluation practices in supporting regional development planning in Indonesia using two case studies at the provincial level. Many publications on the topic of evaluation practice already exist, indicating its importance in evaluation literature. However, there are no studies that have discussed the effectiveness of evaluation practices, with all the prerequisites, in planning processes and particularly in the context of developing countries. On the other hand, in many countries, including Indonesia, there has been a growing call for public policy in regional development planning to be more evidence-based. Consequently, there are major gaps in the literature about what occurs in government agencies with regard to evaluation practice and its role as part of research-based evidence in regional development planning. Therefore, this research will assist in filling a major gap in the literature by revealing the processes, elements of context, and mechanisms through which evaluation practice works to improve its effectiveness. Realist methodology was selected for this study to better understand causal mechanisms within a given context of the research. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions with major stakeholders in the provinces of West Sumatra and DI Yogyakarta were conducted to help identify the key mechanisms and elements of context which influence the effectiveness of evaluation practice in regional development planning. This research found that considerable inadequacies in practice undermined the effectiveness of evaluation in case study locations, leading to the utilisation of evaluation predominantly for reporting or accountability purposes rather than for learning and improvement. An important contribution of this study is the working definition of an effective evaluation practice in regional development planning context where effectiveness is categorised into procedural, transactive, substantive, and normative effectiveness based on the Effectiveness Framework developed. Even though no single, general strategy can be applied in ensuring effective evaluation practice across all contexts, the intervention theories developed through this research highlight important areas for attention when designing evaluation practice. Future efforts should prioritise contextually sensitive, evidence-informed strategies, in order to optimise the role of evaluation practice in supporting regional development planning. These findings are expected to make a valuable contribution to the literature, stimulate discussions, and encourage further research in this key area of governance. They also have significant implications for theory and practice in this field.

Keywords: effective evaluation, effectiveness framework, effectiveness of evaluation practices, evaluation in planning, evaluation in Indonesia, evaluation effectiveness, evaluation in regional development planning

Subject: Policy and Administration thesis

Thesis type: Doctor of Philosophy
Completed: 2021
School: College of Business, Government and Law
Supervisor: Associate Professor Noore A. Siddiquee