The AEC 2025 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework was endorsed by ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) at the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting in August 2016 and the AEC Council in September 2016 to help ensure the timely and effective implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025.
The Framework comprises of the following main components: compliance monitoring; outcomes monitoring and impact evaluation; and reporting, review and verification.
Compliance Monitoring measures implementation progress towards the achievement or delivery of key outputs that are aligned with the strategic measures in the AEC Blueprint 2025 and relevant AEC sectoral work plans (SWP).
While the “enhancement” of the M&E Framework for the AEC Blueprint 2025, compared to that of the AEC Blueprint 2015 is largely attributed to the inclusion of outcomes monitoring and impact assessment, “regular monitoring and reporting of implementation progress” i.e. compliance monitoring of the AEC Blueprint 2025 itself would likewise be enhanced using SWP as the main reference.
The AEC 2025 Consolidated Strategic Action Plan (CSAP), comprises key action lines from all relevant SWP which correspond to the characteristics and elements in the AEC Blueprint 2025, serves as a single reference document for the public on how ASEAN economic integration will be pursued from 2016 to 2025. The key action lines in the CSAP correspond to the characteristics and elements in the AEC Blueprint 2025. The AEC 2025 CSAP will be reviewed periodically to account for developments in each sector, including through the annual prioritisation process by the sectoral bodies.
The annual prioritisation exercise of the AEC 2025 measures, provides the opportunity for sectoral bodies to regularly review and update their measures for yearly implementation, ensuring their relevance. The primary purpose of the annual prioritisation process is to facilitate the setting of intermediary milestones and assessment of progress in support of timely implementation of scheduled measures.
Outcomes monitoring refers to periodic assessment of measures or approximation of changes in sectoral or broad economic indicators as benefits that have resulted from the implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025.
In the AEC, outcomes are measured through outcome-level key performance indicators (KPIs) that are in line with the strategic measures/objectives/goals in the AEC Blueprint 2025 and SWP as well as the broader economic landscape.
Regular monitoring of the status of these outcomes KPIs is important in providing necessary feedback to the relevant stakeholders so that appropriate decisions could be made, such as the prioritisation, sequencing, addition, or even phasing out of outputs and activities.
KPIs are measurable (quantitative and qualitative) indicators that will be drawn from various sources, including ASEAN Statistics’databases, as well as external databases. Apart from statistical databases, other sources of information could include data collected or surveys conducted that are related to ASEAN such as by business associations and chambers of commerce, academic and research institutions as well as regional and international organisations, and other ASEAN initiatives.
Impact evaluation takes outcomes monitoring one step further by measuring how regional economic integration strategic vision and goals affect/impact upon the broader socio-economic environment of the ASEAN Member States, as validated through empirical research/studies/surveys.
As a component of the AEC 2025 M&E process, impact evaluation is instrumental to testing the effectiveness of specific regional economic integration approaches to socio-economic development. Impact evaluations inform those involved at the policy/strategic-level in reflecting on and reviewing the existing approach/initiatives as necessary, and support stakeholders in providing constructive feedback and recommendations to the process.
Reporting, verification, and review
Reporting of the ASEAN economic integration progress and outcomes will be undertaken and tailored for a wide-range of audiences.
Some reports are directly and exclusively presented to ASEAN Member States to help them make informed decisions in relation to the AEC Blueprint 2025 and their respective sectoral workplans.
Some reports, however, will be made available to the public, such as the ASEAN Integration Report and the ASEAN Economic Integration Briefs.
Stakeholders’ feedback serves as a crucial verification mechanism in the M&E process. The AEC Blueprint 2025 has an element on enhancing private sector and stakeholders’ engagement in the AEC such as in providing feedback on the impact of the integration efforts, including through surveys and other collaborations with business councils.
Country Visits are also being conducted by AIMD to verify Member States’ compliance with respect to their regional economic integration commitments, discuss how regional initiatives affect national policies, and discuss actual implementation of regional initiatives at the country-level. Verification may also be informed by parallel assessments and studies by an independent authority or external parties.
Informed by the M&E activities, the AEC Blueprint 2025 will be reviewed periodically as decided by the AEC Council, but not more than every three years, unless otherwise agreed. Mid-term and end-term evaluations will be conducted to monitor progress and evaluate outcomes/impacts, including achievements and challenges in implementation. The sectoral bodies overseeing the implementation of sectoral work plans will likewise review their respective plans.