EvalTalk #2-2021

“Key Performance Indicators: Are they a realistic solution or unnecessary distraction for results management?”


The second EvalTalk for the year will touch on key performance indicators (KPI), and their place in the results management cycle.

Moderated by Dr Hari Ramalu Ragavan,  this session will convene a panel of international practitioners:

  1. Scott Bayley – International Evaluation Consultant; former Principal Consultant for Monitoring & Evaluation & Learning at Oxford Policy Management
    (OPM) for the Asia Pacific region
  2. Prasantha Abeykoon – Integrated Results Based Management/Monitoring & Evaluation specialist
  3. Nurshafenath Shaharuddin – Former Monitoring & Evaluation Officer with UNDP Malaysia, and current President of MES.

This session will be of interest to VOPE members and evaluators, will be held virtually on the following date:

Date: 3 October 2021 (Sunday)
Time: 5pm (1.5 hours) MYS time UTC+8

Zoom registration link or https://bit.ly/3kw5Yt2 

Note: Registration is free. The session will be interactive with participant interaction, and will be recorded for MES publicity and internal recordkeeping. Registration to participate in the session will indicate permission to be recorded.

About the Session

KPI has been a mainstay in performance management. It is considered integral in management theories and models. There is popular adage,  “what gets measured gets done”. This is provided you are doing the right thing in the first instance.

Generally, performance indicators are the means to show evidence of the changes brought about by an intervention program. The indicators are typically used to reflect the results such as outputs, outcomes and impact. Indicators are also used to measure and report on processes (activities/tasks) and inputs (expenditures). However, the wrong use or focus on indicators can result in distortions of purpose and goal displacements. 

Some of the critiques observed the experience from many countries shows that the use of KPIs can often be an obsession rather than a means to the end. They can often distract managers away from the real purpose of using such indicators to the technicality and dynamics of the indicators themselves. This causes potential distortions and misinformation on the substantive results to be measured and reported under a meaningful M&E system.

The EvalTalk #2 Session will discuss and explore the common practices with the use of KPIs. Special attention will be given to the pros and cons of the use of KPIs.  Panelists will also discuss real-life examples of the abuse and misuse of KPIs in performance management, based on their extensive experience in the field. The panel will also explore options and approaches to ensure the proper and efficient use of KPIs to leverage their usefulness for effective performance management.

The audience will also get an opportunity to share and discuss issues and challenges with the use of KPIs from their own experience.

What is EvalTalk?

EvalTalk is a public forum initiative on Evaluation hosted by the Malaysian Evaluation Society (MES), targeting those involved in evaluation in various capacities. The purpose of the sessions is to:

  • Raise awareness on the utility of evaluation as a strategic management tool on a multi-disciplinary basis;
  • Promote the institutionalization of evaluation into mainstream management practices across all sectors; and
  • Encourage and support developing countries to benefit from the adoption and strategic use of evaluation for improving development results.

UPDATE: Session Recording

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