The Delhi government will create a 'Policy Impact Fund' for better budgeting and improving the implementation of government programmes, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said today. Participating in a lecture series at Delhi secretariat on 'evidence-based policy making and monitoring and evaluation', Sisodia announced the new fund with an annual allocation of Rs 5 crore, 0.01 per cent of the Delhi budget. Eminent economists and co-founders of J-Pal, Prof Abhijit Banerjee and Prof Esther Duflo of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) delivered key note lectures in the event. "The fund is to generate highest bar of evidence on how well policies are functioning and how can they be made more more effective," Sisodia said. Prof Banerjee said that an evidence-based approach requires systematic collection, timely review, detailed analysis and effective use of data related to the performance of government programmes and schemes. Prof Duflo gave presentation on two recent education evaluations in Delhi conducted by her. Sisodia, sharing his experience at governance, quoted an example to emphasise on the need to replace conventions and randomness in policy-making with evidence-based planning at the micro-level. "Don't know if those people are alive or not, but shockingly every year the Delhi government was allocating some money to buy Opium," he said referring to the 'Opium Purchase' head under the Revenue department allocation. Opium was being purchased since 1952 to rehabilitate the refugees from Afghanistan, he said.
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