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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) M&E system for governance - the case of a regional economic union

Title: The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) M&E system for governance - the case of a
regional economic union

Authors: Beverly Best, Elsa de Morais Sarmento

Function of lead author:  Head, Functional Cooperation and Programme Management Unit

Institution of lead author: Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

 

Relevance of the paper for the conference theme ‘Partnering for Success: how M&E Can Strengthen Partnerships for Sustainable Development’:

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) came into being on June 18th 1981, with the signing of the Treaty of Basseterre. The signing of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre (RTB) in 2011 expanded the mandate of the OECS Commission, pivotal to foster the sustainable development of its Member States. The RTB and the Protocol of the Eastern Caribbean Union provide the basis and establish the mandate to monitor and evaluate the implementation, performance and progress towards the OECS Economic Union. The OECS is now a ten member grouping comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Martinique are associate members of the OECS.

The benefits of a regional M&E system are strongest within a clear and coherent regional framework that is shared by Member States, the OECS and their main stakeholders. In 2013, the OECS developed a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework for assessing the path towards regional integration. Governance was one of areas to be first developed. This “partnership” M&E framework provides evidence on the extent to which regional and national programmes contribute to achieving regional objectives of integration, growth, reduction of poverty and social disparities, along with national objectives.

Effective governance implementation is paramount to fully realising the integration potential of the Single Market, in general, as well as within the progress towards an Economic Union, in particular. The purpose of assessing Governance within an M&E System is broad and refers to the M&E of the capacity of a regional institution and its Member States to carry out its declared mission, retaining its strategic priorities and implementing reforms effectively, so as to contribute ultimately to the attainment of regional sustainable development and the enhancement of citizens welfare.

Abstract

This paper provides an insight on the development of a framework for a regional M&E system to assess governance within the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). It illustrates how concepts and definitions must evolve and adapt to encompass broader considerations of governance, which can subsequently be used to benchmark and track governance performance within a regional organisation that is towards an economic union.

The paper focuses on the conceptualisation, design phase and monitoring of a governance M&E framework and expands on earlier theoretical concepts in two different fronts, governance (and specifically good governance) and monitoring and evaluation. It offers an original approach to assessing transnational governance by defining and framing the dimensions of the concept, suggesting steps, methods and indicators for institutionalising an M&E system for a regional institution and its member states. It attempts to frame the types of questions which are likely to be asked in such a broad context, opening up the floor to debate a wider scale M&E toolkit.