African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development: Expanding Thought Leadership in Africa

Submitted by jyuan@worldbank.org on Tue, 04/12/2016 - 17:35
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This Bellagio Forum was held to encourage fresh thinking in support of the Made in Africa Approach to Evaluation program being established by AfrEA. It arose from a realization that the ongoing emphasis on “building” or “strengthening” evaluation capacities on the continent without encouraging the active promotion of “new thinking” about evaluation theory and practice will eventually impoverish the profession and practice in Africa. This lack - or low profile - of thought leadership1 in evaluation in Africa has to be addressed: to date, evaluation innovations from Africa have been rare or largely invisible in shaping national, regional or global evaluation thinking and practices.

Considering development contexts, frameworks and trends, and their implications for the evaluation profession provides a starting point for such thought leadership. There is a symbiotic relationship between development and evaluation3 . Influential evaluation findings lead to new development approaches. As development strategies evolve, so do evaluation approaches. The African evaluation profession therefore occasionally needs to take stock of how the development context is influencing – or should influence – the direction of their theory and practice.

Some groundwork was done in preparation for, and at this forum. Participants discussed the development-evaluation interface and its implications for evaluation in Africa over the next decade, engaging with

• the unfolding context for development and evaluation
• the core belief in the value of ‘Africa rooted evaluation for development’
• first steps towards a framework for Africa rooted evaluation,
• the notion of ‘Africa driven evaluation for development’; and
• potential strategies for action, change and influence.

(The goals and comprehensive rationale for the conference are articulated in the conference proposal).

As noted above, development and development evaluation are inextricably linked. Creativity and entrepreneurship are demanded from both. It is the premise of the participants in this meeting that desirable African futures can be supported through the appropriate use of evaluation cognizant of these principles and values. A better understanding is needed of these issues in development evaluation, as well as new perspectives that acknowledge inherited legacies, confront the present and work with future aspirations. In this manner Africans can make an essential and significant contribution to global knowledge on evaluation for development.

Pdf as plain
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AFRICAN THOUGHT LEADERS FORUM ON
EVALUATION FOR DEVELOPMENT
EXPANDING THOUGHT LEADERSHIP IN AFRICA
14th to 17th November 2012
THE BELLAGIO CENTRE
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword – Zenda Ofir 6
Emerging themes 11
Next steps after the Bellagio forum 16
Annexes
Photographs 20
Trigger Paper - Contemporary Development Challenges for Africa and their
Implications for Evaluation 23
Trigger Paper - Made in Africa Evaluation: Uncovering African Roots in
Evaluation Theory and Practice 32
Trigger Paper - Institutionalisation of Evaluation In Africa:
The Role Of The African Evaluation Association (AFREA) 39
Online comments received from evaluators in Africa in preparation for the forum 43
Forum Statements and Position Paper Abstracts 46
Delegate Profiles 52
Forum Agenda 57
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6
FOREWORD – ZENDA OFIR
This Bellagio Forum was held to encourage
fresh thinking in support of the Made in Africa
Approach to Evaluation program being
established by AfrEA. It arose from a realization
that the ongoing emphasis on “building” or
“strengthening” evaluation capacities on the
continent without encouraging the active
promotion of “new thinking” about evaluation
theory and practice will eventually impoverish
the profession and practice in Africa. This lack -
or low profile - of thought leadership1 in
evaluation in Africa has to be addressed: to
date, evaluation innovations from Africa have
been rare or largely invisible in shaping
national, regional or global evaluation thinking
and practices.
2
Considering development contexts, frameworks
and trends, and their implications for the
evaluation profession provides a starting point
for such thought leadership. There is a
symbiotic relationship between development
and evaluation3
. Influential evaluation findings
lead to new development approaches. As
development strategies evolve, so do evaluation
approaches. The African evaluation profession
therefore occasionally needs to take stock of
how the development context is influencing –
or should influence – the direction of their
theory and practice.
Some groundwork was done in preparation for,
and at this forum. Participants discussed the
development-evaluation interface and its
implications for evaluation in Africa over the
next decade, engaging with

1 Thought leadership is a current buzzword used here for
lack of a better term. We define it as someone who engages
deeply with specified issues – which can be theory and/or
practice - who is proven to understand them in depth, who
interprets them for others, who uses this deep understanding
to innovate, and who is able and keen to share novel, often
radical thinking and new directions that inspire others.
These latter characteristics distinguish a thought leader from
the conventional notion of an ‘expert’. A thought leader
tends to set directions in theory and/or practice, and is
usually sought after as strategist, mentor or advisor.
2 Of course this does not imply that nothing has been done.
The statement reinforces that very little of note has been
systematically captured in the public domain, as confirmed
by Alkin and Carden, 2012.
3 When reference is made to “evaluation” it implies the field
of work, and the profession. This includes monitoring which
is an aspect of the broad field of evaluation, but it is not the
same as evaluation practice. Where it is important to
distinguish between the two, M&E or the specific terms are
used.
• the unfolding context for development
and evaluation
• the core belief in the value of ‘Africa
rooted evaluation for development’
• first steps towards a framework for
Africa rooted evaluation,
• the notion of ‘Africa driven evaluation
for development’; and
• potential strategies for action, change
and influence.
(The goals and comprehensive rationale for the
conference are articulated in the conference
proposal).
As noted above, development and development
evaluation are inextricably linked. Creativity
and entrepreneurship are demanded from both.
It is the premise of the participants in this
meeting that desirable African futures can be
supported through the appropriate use of
evaluation cognizant of these principles and
values. A better understanding is needed of
these issues in development evaluation, as well
as new perspectives that acknowledge inherited
legacies, confront the present and work with
future aspirations. In this manner Africans can
make an essential and significant contribution
to global knowledge on evaluation for
development.
The unfolding context for evaluation in
Africa
Africa’s great diversity - in geography,
demography, ethnicity, culture, development
trajectories and many others - prevent sweeping
generalizations. Yet there are common macro
trends that shape the development context and
consequently have the potential to shape the
evolution of evaluation on the continent.
Recent studies as well as key events and
contributions such as the various presentations
at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid
Effectiveness held in Busan in the Republic of
Korea as well as subsequent meetings informed
parts of this analysis, which will be sharpened
and published in the near future.
The following describe some of the most
significant aspects, and their implications for
evaluation and thus priorities requiring attention
from the African evaluation community. They
point to areas in need of improved evaluation
theory, frameworks and models, or practices. In
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other words, these are areas where African
thought leadership in evaluation and the
mastery of related evaluation practices are
needed.
Living in a highly complex, networked
world
We live in a highly interconnected, increasingly
complex world. Global policies and strategies,
designed around global priorities demanding
increasingly urgent action – climate change,
food and water security, financial crises,
poverty, human security, individual privacy,
cyber security, migration, pandemics, and more
– impact on regions and countries. Long,
sometimes nearly untraceable value chains
controlled by massive global companies,
financial flows such as foreign direct
investment, aid and remittances reveal both the
vulnerability of global, regional and national
systems and the interdependence of countries
and societies. Policy coherence is an
increasingly complex yet important matter;
policy frameworks and interventions, the
partnerships that make them work, and the
results, whether negative or positive are highly
intertwined. National and regional development
policies and strategies have to account for, and
are influenced by global priorities and
pressures, while multiple diverse actors and
partnerships are engaged in making them work
(or frequently in this highly competitive world,
in preventing them from working).
Technologically, the explosion in mobile
telephone use and the significantly enhanced
broadband connectivity of many countries are
increasing Africans’ connections to one another
and to the rest of the world.
This situation indicates that for development to
be successful, policy regimes and strategy
implementation cannot be designed and
managed in isolation from global to
(sub)national levels. This means - among others
- that in order to play any significant role in
development, the evaluation profession in
Africa has to produce thought leaders in, and
become adept at
• assessing the extent and impact of policy
and strategy coherence (or lack thereof)
from global to (sub)national level
• evaluating within the domains of key global
priorities, such as those listed above
• understanding and resolving the macromicro
disconnect4, and
• focusing on relationships, and evaluating
collaborative efforts such as convenings,
networks, coalitions, partnerships and
platforms.
Geopolitics, the competition for resources,
power and influence
The increasing complexity within which
development has to take place is starkly
displayed by the ongoing shifts in power,
influence and resources - from West to East and
from North to South. In this multipolar world,
global institutions and policies are under
pressure from an increasingly confident and
assertive South. New alliances are formed, new
ideologies explored, new frameworks and
models pursued, new priorities established and
new geopolitical struggles exposed. Soft power
and cyber power are overtaking conventional
notions of hard power, with the ubiquitous
media increasingly victims of spin, and truth
and facts frequently disposed of in order to suit
ideology and argument. Defense, diplomacy
and development (the ‘3Ds’5) are becoming
intertwined. Unpredictable, sometimes unseen
or little understood forces and events bring
instability and uncertainty on the one hand
while on the other, new opportunities arise.
In all this, Africa is now a centre of attention,
and will continue to be so over the next decade.
It has many strategic resources that are
imperative for the energy, military, electronics
and other major global industries. It has
abundant fertile land, yet diminishing water
resources. It has a growing consumer base. The
middle class is larger, better informed and more
demanding. Governance systems and political
leaders in an increasing number of African
countries are under pressure to be accountable
and to employ effective strategies for stability,
security, economic growth and the use of
resources for national benefit. Models of
governance beyond Western-dominated
discourses are being tested, with benevolent
(semi-) autocratic rule becoming increasingly
visible. With educated and exposed Africans’
growing pride, confidence and understanding
come increasing efforts to explore the fusion

4 The disconnect between ‘evaluated as successful’
development interventions at sub-national level and
development progress at national level – a phenomenon
that can be found up to the global level.
5 Reference IDS article Keizer and Engel.
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between local experiences and knowledge
systems and other systems of ‘knowing’ in order
to replace or enhance current dominant
discourses.
Thus the recent convulsions in international
relationships and systems indicate that
development interventions will increasingly
have to consider new and unconventional ideas
and approaches amidst the tensions brought
about by an ongoing struggle for both soft and
hard power. At the same time leaders at all
levels – and in both the North and South – are
being confronted by increasing demands for
stability and prosperity, and also for
accountability for performance and ‘value for
money’ spent on aid or development.
For the African evaluation community this
highlights the need for more intense
engagement with – and better tools to do so -
i.a. the following:
I. the (i) international and local politics and
pressures that shape aid contributions to
development, and (ii) the politics of
evaluation within an aid-driven
environment
II. the beliefs and value systems underlying aid
and development interventions (or key
concepts such as leadership, ‘community’,
‘empowerment’, good governance,
institution building), and their evaluation
III. the role of power relations and power
asymmetries in development and in
evaluation frameworks and interventions
IV. mutual accountability in aid programs – in
other words, accountability for donors and
development financiers as much as for
other stakeholders
V. the unexpected and often negative
consequences or results following from
(often well-intentioned) interventions
VI. development frameworks, models,
discourses and practices originating in Latin
America, Asia and Africa, and the lenses
through which they can be evaluated
VII. thought leadership with respect to
evaluation frameworks, models, discourses
and practices originating in Africa - thus
rooted in African understandings while
drawing from elsewhere, and led and
managed from within Africa.
Demographics, democratization and
economic development
Africa has a growing number of success cases
related to policy reform for economic growth
and good governance. The latter refers to
policies and institutions - irrespective of
ideology and form – that are striving to, and/or
largely succeeding in tackling pressing
economic, political and social (and to some
extent environmental) challenges on a path
towards national prosperity and citizen
wellbeing.
Coupled to increasing competition among
world powers for resource exploitation
contracts and trade partnerships, foreign direct
investment and key infrastructure developments
are some of the factors that have enabled Africa
to achieve a consistent growth rate of more than
5% over the past decade. The ever-increasing
consumer base – an estimated 128 million new
households may enter the middle class over the
next decade – enhances this potential. The
middle class is usually better informed,
educated and connected, enhancing
opportunities for entrepreneurship and
innovation. They are also more aware in the
political sphere, with increasing expectations of
governance institutions based on effective and
transparent operation, and accountability for
national wellbeing.
On the other hand, as economic and human
development indicators show, Africa still faces
massive challenges in this regard. The
ecological and ethnic diversity within countries
continue to pose major challenges. Ignorance
and inappropriate politicking raise the spectre
of unrealistic demands and expectations among
civil society. Protests and too-rapid transitions
to democracy can initiate or exacerbate
instability and shape economic and social
disaster. The benefits of growth are easily
captured by economic or political elites, giving
rise to massive inequalities between for
example men and women, rural and urban
societies, and ethnic or religious groups. In spite
of decreasing fertility rates and increasing
economic growth rates, the African population
is expected to double by 2050, posing new
challenges.
With the largest working age population in the
world, Africa is thus ripe with potential but only
if education and appropriate, sustainable job
creation can keep pace. This appears
increasingly unlikely unless Africa’s strengths
are mobilized in a highly effective manner, for
example through secondary and tertiary
beneficiation and the judicious cultivation of
new trade opportunities, entrepreneurship and
innovation.
As evaluation shifts from being donor driven to
being driven from within Africa, it is important
to ensure the expertise required to evaluate
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efforts to address some of the most serious
challenges faced by the continent. Africa’s
economic and societal progress and of its
ecosystems remains under threat from the
pressures noted above, while the sustainability
of development efforts and the resilience of its
people and their systems are encouraging but
certainly not assured. Evaluators have to be
clear – and refrain from being naïve – about
those broader contexts, norms and values that
frame development efforts. They should also be
clear about the norms and values that they hold
in their evaluation work. They need to question
more frequently not only whether an
intervention reaches its goals, but the goals
themselves - given the context in which they
have been identified.
This! means! that! evaluators! in! their! practice!
need!to
i. consider during evaluations the
diversity of the stakeholders as well as
contexts, thus ensuring that
development is not seen as being only
about average effects on a population
ii. be cognizant of the macro, evolving
political and economic contexts within
which interventions – and their
evaluations - are planned and
executed,
iii. be explicit about the norms and values
that drive particular interventions, and
their evaluations, and
iv. ensure that the approaches and
methodologies exist to evaluate (within)
the complexity of such situations, and
of efforts to find “big solutions” to
regional challenges.
Vulnerability and resilience
Societies are increasingly vulnerable in an
interdependent, connected and competitive
world. Changes in one country, whether
political, economic, financial, social, in health
status or in the environment, can affect regions,
or the whole world. Shocks, both natural and
man-made, appear to be more frequent or more
significant, with climate change increasingly at
the forefront. Value systems are shaken by
exposure to foreign cultures, and groups judged
‘inferior’ by others tend to lose their confidence
and self-esteem when they acknowledge that
classification. As inequality grows across parts
of the world, and differences are exploited
along ethnic and religious lines, fragmentation
and conflicts increase. Many fragile nations
remain in a state of extreme poverty,
disempowerment or perpetual conflict, while
unbridled corruption across the world, at macro
and micro levels, further weakens institutions.
Countering vulnerability, and enhancing the
resilience of individuals, communities, societal
systems and nations are increasingly part of the
development narrative. This requires that the
African evaluation community become more
expert in
i. cultivating a culture of evaluative
thinking, and of evaluation-driven
action in society
ii. better understanding the concepts of
‘sustainability’ and ‘resilience’, and
how to evaluate for it
iii. engaging with the unintended
consequences of development efforts
iv. avoiding the mindless and/or contextdivorced
application of critical notions
such “democracy”, “human rights” and
“equity”, and
v. evaluating critical aspects related to
vulnerability and its mitigation, such as
the role of power in development and
in evaluation; of ‘empowerment’ efforts
given on-going vulnerabilities; the
effects of macro issues such as climate
change, increasing instability as a result
of joblessness, multi-faceted, multidirectional
corruption; and the
development of governance and
institutional systems.
New sources and instruments for aid and
development finance
The financial crisis has resulting in shifts in
development finance that are likely to be felt
only over the next decade. The most visible
international source of development funding
has been the development aid (now called
‘international development cooperation’)
provided by the group of OECD countries.
While the aid streams will continue, in part due
to the important contribution of aid to ‘soft
power’, they are likely to become increasingly
marginalized by other actors, financing sources
and types of financing instruments.
New actors include the BRICS and Gulf States
which, as the recent engagements Accra and
Busan showed, have diverse and nonconventional
approaches to development
cooperation and finance. Coupled to the fact
that the power over poor countries of the global
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institutional regime of past decades6 is
decreasing, these new modalities, if continued,
are bound to have a significant influence over
how development using international financing
is done. No less important is the growing, still
somewhat invisible influence of the private
sector, and of models that speak more to private
sector approaches than to conventional aid
regimes, such as impact investing and social
bonds.
The global evaluation community – those who
see themselves as practicing evaluators, who
attend conferences and engage with the body of
knowledge around evaluation theory and
practice – is largely unaware of these shifts, and
losing ground to consulting companies with
closer ties to the private sector. This has the
potential either to improve or devalue
evaluation practice significantly in these arenas.
It depends on how the global and African
communities of evaluators respond. In practice,
evaluators and evaluation thought leaders in
Africa have to
i. study and engage with these new actors
and instruments – also in line with a
stronger focus on the role of the private
sector and South-South collaboration in
development - in order to better
understand their definitions,
approaches and impacts
ii. create and/or master relevant
development and evaluation
frameworks, models and methodologies
iii. ensure a focus on potential unintended
(negative) consequences and results
during and following experimentation
with new financing modalities and
funding instruments
iv. understand how to evaluate
partnerships, coalitions and platforms
in this type of dispensation.
The search for evidence, impact and
influence
Pressure on national resources, coupled to the
ongoing power shifts across the world, has
increased the urgency with which authorities
seek both influence and effective solutions for
pressing aid and development challenges. In a
world increasingly driven by soundbytes and
short attention spans, quick results or ‘impact’
and reductionist approaches are frequently
valued, especially in the aid environment, at the
expense of more realistic development

6 Consisting(of(the(IMF(and(international(finance(
institutions – list(and(reference
trajectories for solutions to complex challenges
that can sustain in the long run. A technocrat
driven focus on ‘influence’ through ‘evidencebased
policy making’ raises endless debates
about the merit of methods and how decisionmakers
can best be influenced, mostly without
sufficiently questioning the basic premises and
values underpinning these notions.
African evaluators therefore need to
i. refrain from being too reductionist in
their own methodologies while also
evaluating for too-simple solutions, at
the same time ensuring that they can
work with systems and complexity
when helping to design “theories of
change” based M&E systems
ii. be clear on what is “credible
evidence”, and what it could mean in
terms of ethics and impact if poorly
produced evidence, or ideology-driven
evidence is pushed for use by policymakers
iii. help shift the emphasis from an almost
exclusive engagement with impact
evaluation, towards (i) equally critical
aspects such as evaluation for
sustainable development and
resilience, and (ii) strategies to
empower, through evaluative practice,
a variety of stakeholders participating in
the development initiatives.
Innovation, technology, intellectual
property and the knowledge society
Africa is a frontrunner in adapting technological
innovations to their context, as demonstrated by
the world leading M-Pesa mobile phone
banking system in Kenya. There is a growing
focus on the continent on innovation,
entrepreneurship and the use of information and
knowledge – both international and indigenous
– for the solving of intractable challenges on the
continent. The mobile technology explosion is
one of the reasons for the movement towards
“big data”, while cyber security and the
protection of individual right to privacy as well
as intellectual property rights are increasingly of
concern. In a knowledge economy people feel
overwhelmed with information, yet recognize
the need for knowledge and for understanding
how to deal with complexity and evidenceinformed
decision-making.
This means that African evaluators also have to
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i. focus more on efforts to synthesize
knowledge produced through
evaluations
ii. understand and use the large data sets
and new techniques that can support
evaluation data collection, yet also
recognize and counter the ways in
which these can be misleading and
misused
iii. be in a better position to evaluate
“innovation” – and to innovate in
evaluation itself.
In summary
There are currently reams of documents
emerging analyzing global and African contexts
over the next decade. The analysis above has
been cognizant of several and will keep
evolving. Although there are many implications
for the evaluation profession in Africa,!several
main!aspects!requiring!attention!emerge.$
In essence, in addition to the
1. dire need for sufficient capacities and
the application of evaluation standards
in order to conduct good quality
evaluations across the board
2. thought leadership in evaluation
theory and practice, by many
disciplines and sectors, and the
application of the resulting synthesized
new knowledge are urgently needed in
order to position Africa as a continent
from which innovative frameworks,
models and practices in evaluation
emerge that are suitable for the
challenges faced by the continent
3. while in parallel, strategies are needed
to enhance the influence and power of
the profession and the work of its
thought leaders in development.
Thought leadership in theory and practice is
urgently needed in priorities that include
i. understanding the role of changing
and complex contexts in evaluation,
and using systems thinking for
holistic solutions
ii. the role of norms and values in
development and in evaluation
iii. the need for Africa rooted and Africa
led evaluation
iv. policy coherence from national to
global levels, to be analyzed in
tandem with the micro-macro
disconnect
v. mutual accountability in
development financing programs
and in development interventions
vi. evaluation beyond an obsession
with “impact”, to include a stronger
focus on “managing for impact”
(which includes ongoing monitoring
for impact, learning and adaptive
management); concepts such as
vulnerability, sustainability and
resilience; and a nuanced
interpretation of “value for money”
vii. engaging with sensitive issues such
as macro political trends, the often
mindless rhetoric around concepts
such as democracy and human
rights, and the ongoing obscuring of
truth in ‘evidence’, and their role in
the effectiveness of development
strategies
viii. searching for unintended
consequences and unexpected
impacts
ix. synthesis that produces useful
knowledge
x. evaluation in priority content areas,
such as
• climate change, food and water
security
• human security
• power and empowerment
• relationships, especially in
partnerships, coalitions,
networks, platforms
• creativity, innovation and
entrepreneurship
• institutional systems for good
governance, including the
elimination of corruption
• impact investing, social bonds
and other influences of the
private sector.
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EMERGING THEMES
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AFRICA ROOTED EVALUATION FOR
DEVELOPMENT: THE CORE CONCEPT
WHAT IS “AFRICA ROOTED
EVALUATION”?
Evaluation theory and practice have largely
evolved from Western worldviews,
perspectives, values and experiences. Over the
past decade, in several parts of the world such
as among the New Zealand Maori, people from
Hawai’i, First Nations in the USA and Canada,
and most recently in some parts of Asia,
evaluators have started to explore new ways of
thinking
about,
defining,
framing
and doing
evaluation.
Although
there is
great
diversity in
Africa, there are many common threads that
highlight the potential for departure from
Western perspectives – notions of the individual
versus the collective; the power distance in
societal hierarchies; and understanding of
causality and the control of outcomes.
“Indigenization” is a term used to describe “the
blending of an imported discipline with the
generation of new concepts and approaches
from within a culture” (Adair et al, 2001). To
date most efforts to “Africanize” evaluation
have been modifications of Northern rooted and
driven practices. If evaluation is truly “Africarooted”,
conceptual frameworks will emanate
from the religion, cultural traditions, norms,
language, metaphors, knowledge systems,
community stories, legends and folklore, social
problems, social change, public policies, etc. of
the culture, rather than from some universalistic
or “developed world literature” (Adair et al,
1993, quoted by Chilisa and Malunga).
The concept of Africa rooted evaluation still
needs careful definition. But initial efforts to do
so thus refer to evaluation theory and practice
that is grounded in African philosophical
assumptions about the nature of reality, drawing
from African perceptions of the nature of being
(“I am because we are”), from African
worldviews and belief systems and ways of
knowing, and informed by Africans’ evolving
values and aspirations.
The “Africanization of evaluation” from this
perspective therefore refers to a process of
placing African philosophy, worldviews,
knowledge systems and values at the center of
the evaluation process.
As pointed out by Chilisa and Malunga, three
categories of African philosophy are evolving
with distinct epistemological assumptions
(Kaphagawani, 2000) from which Africa rooted
evaluation can draw: (i) ethno-philosophy
which emphasizes knowledge as the
experiences of people encoded in their
language, folklore, stories, everyday
experiences, songs, culture and values, and the
importance of teamwork, cooperation,
collectiveness, community spirit, and consensus
building; (ii) philosophic sagacity emphasizes
the role of sages in the construction of
knowledge; (iii) nationalistic-ideological
philosophy that comprises concepts such as the
African renaissance and Africanization.
A first tentative effort was made by Chilisa and
Malunga to propose an Africa Rooted
Evaluation Tree with (as a start) two branches:
(i) a ‘decolonizing and indigenizing evaluation
branch’ to recognize the adaptation of the
accumulated Western theory and practice on
evaluation to serve the needs of Africans; and
(ii) a ‘relational evaluation branch’ that draws
from the concept of ‘wellness’ as personified in
African greetings and the southern African
concept of “I am because we are”. The wellness
reflected in the relationship between people
extends also to non-living things, emphasizing
that evaluation from an African perspective
should include a holistic approach that links an
intervention to the sustainability of the
ecosystem and environment around it.
Evaluation in Africa will therefore focus on the
contributions of development to the wellbeing
of individuals, their relatives and others around,
as well as of non-living things. There is an interdependence
between the individual, the
community and what surrounds them that have
Evaluation theory and
practice have largely
evolved from Western
worldviews, perspectives,
values and experiences
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to be accounted for in development and in
evaluation.
This concept
by Chilisa and
Malunga
proposes that if
evaluation is to
be “Africa
rooted”, at the
very least it
should (i)
analyze the
extent to
which it contributes towards the realization of
the “ideal community”, with indicators that
refer to the principles of “ubuntu” (i.e. the
relational evaluation branch); and (ii) ensure
that both Western and African priorities and
indicators are recognized, and that both strive
to put the African ideal community at the center
(i.e. the decolonizing and indigenizing branch).
These first thoughts can be further explored as
the idea of “Africa rooted evaluation” takes root
among thought leaders in Africa.
The imperative for “Africa rooted
evaluation”
The participants agreed that standard evaluation
frameworks and ‘lenses’ frequently do not
capture the complexities and realities of the
African context, thus undermining the
credibility, utility and use of the results.
Unspoken taboos remain largely undetected
under the standard evaluation radar, and
continue to haunt evaluation practice. Existing
models and practices thus tend to miss out on
critical cultural, societal dimensions that
ultimately become ‘killer’ barriers to the
realization of the aspirations of a project,
program or policy, and to the sustainability of
development efforts and results.
An ‘Africa-sensitive’ evaluation lens on theory
and practice will bring greater credibility,
authority and profile to African evaluation and
to development efforts. It will help enhance the
use of evaluation, and help build appropriate,
useful development knowledge. It will help
promote ownership and a culture of
responsibility, learning and accountability in
development through evaluation.
Chilisa and Malunga note that Africa-rooted
evaluation approaches have always existed
through the work of African sages – the
indigenous knowledge holders in the oral
tradition - as well as through the work of
African scholars who have written extensively
on African philosophies. It is now time to make
them more visible, identifying them in the
everyday things that Africans do to judge and to
produce evidence for their judgment. This will
give them much-needed space in academic and
practice discourse.
Africa led evaluation for development
The Forum also concluded African evaluation
should be “Africa driven” or “Africa led” and
not only “Africa rooted”.
Effective development has to deliver dignity,
peace and prosperity for Africa and its people.
Given the unparalleled development challenges
facing the continent, African evaluation has to
play a much stronger role through innovative
and progressive actions that have integrity of
purpose, perspective and process, as well as
utility. Evaluation with its roots in Africa has to
be explored and its potential developed side by
side or integrated with Western designed and
other types of approaches. In addition, all
evaluation approaches need to mastered by
African evaluators and, where possible, further
developed through innovations in theory and
practice as Africa-led contributions to global
evaluation knowledge.
This means that for effective development,
Africans have to play a greater role in the
evolution of evaluation theory and practice on
the continent. This will require dynamic and
engaged
African
thought
leadership
across
disciplinary,
sector and
country
boundaries.
The encouragement and promotion of African
thought leadership in evaluation theory and
practice are therefore paramount at this stage of
the development of evaluation on the continent.
Furthermore, if African evaluation is to play a
much stronger role through innovative and
progressive actions that have integrity of
purpose, perspective and process, as well as
utility, informed and empowered citizens will
need to advocate for its effective use and hold
leaders accountable for performance and
responsiveness to citizens’ needs.
African civil society therefore has to take greater
ownership of evaluation, just as it should take
greater responsibility for managing national and
local resources, and holding leaders to account.
Evaluation is still limited to specialists working
Evaluation in Africa will
therefore focus on the
contributions of
development to the
wellbeing of individuals,
their relatives and
others around,
Africans have to play a
greater role in the
evolution of evaluation
theory and practice on
the continent.
14
in civil society and the public sector, yet Africa
is a continent full of untapped potential, in
particular among its women and young people.
Evaluation has the potential to contribute
significantly to their lives if it can serve to
cultivate a culture of learning, innovation,
strategic leadership and accountability.
African evaluation should therefore not be the
sole responsibility of managers, evaluation
specialists and scholars - but a way of life for its
citizens.
This will
likely
require new
modes of
collaboratio
n between
the public,
private and
‘people’
sectors for a
more inclusive and effective approach to
evaluation. It demands mastery of important
existing M&E approaches and methods,
innovation in evaluation theory and practice,
and a better positioning of evaluation as a
credible, value adding profession.
In all of this the African Evaluation Association
(AfrEA), its affiliated national associations and
the Africa CLEAR centers can play a key role,
especially in mobilizing scholars, organizations
and networks on the continent and beyond
around goals and strategies that can achieve the
above. As example, AfrEA has developed a
strategy with the following components, several
of which are highly complementary to the intent
and achievements of this Bellagio forum:
i. The development of Africa “rooted”
evaluation education, research and
internship program
ii. The launch of the African Evaluation
Journal (AEJ)
iii. Helping to develop and strengthen
national evaluation associations
iv. Mentoring in evaluation in
collaboration with EvalMentors
v. Strengthening AfrEA’s institutional
capacities.
vi. Biannual conferences
vii. Policy advocacy and lobbying for
evaluation
viii. Media and citizenship engagements.
AFRICA ROOTED and AFRICA LED
EVALUATION FOR DEVELOPMENT –
POTENTIAL STRATEGIES
The cause of evaluation in Africa rests on its
contributions to genuine development strategies
that reflect the needs of stakeholders and benefit
from engagement with both development and
evaluation discourses. New strategies have to
be designed to facilitate a focus on Africa
rooted and Africa led evaluation. This Bellagio
Forum was only the first small step of many that
are needed to move these ideas forward.
The following elements of a larger strategy were
proposed at the Forum. The organizing partners
will in a separate effort articulate in greater
detail these and other proposals for action:
1. Developing capacities for innovation in
African evaluation, while respecting the
principles of capacity development as an
endogenous process. Such strategies can be
based, among others, on government goals
for evaluation that go beyond
responsiveness to challenges, to
determining accountability for value for
money, with key goals that include
• governance and accountability to
citizens and to those who provide
support
• the development of learning nations
and groups for informed reflection,
innovation and change
• stimulation of African thought
leadership in evaluation, in particular
through analytically oriented
institutions (research and evaluation
centers; universities) to enhance their
role as independent evaluation
institutions, centers of expertise and
think tanks on evaluation
• knowledge development and
contributions to global knowledge.
2. Expanding the pool of evaluation
knowledge generated from within Africa
could include the following specific
actions:
• Generate, compile and classify a
transparent repository of knowledge on
African evaluations
• Map capacity building initiatives in
evaluation in Africa
• Move the compiled repositories and
maps to the wider African public
• Gauge demand from specialist
universities, think tanks and evaluation
African evaluation
should therefore not be
the sole responsibility
of managers,
evaluation specialists
and scholars - but a
way of life for its
citizens
15
projects to partner in order to generate
original knowledge, by drawing lessons
learnt and best practices on the theory,
perception and application of Africarooted
evaluation
• Document and disseminate results in of
strategies to improve the status of
evaluation, and capacities on the
continent
• Document and disseminate the
approaches and results of research into
evaluation theory and practices done
on the continent.
3. Catalyzing a strong, movement towards
'thought leadership' that can enhance the
evaluation profession in Africa, and support
development policy and strategy:
African evaluators and other stakeholders
need to commit to advancing monitoring
and evaluation theory and practice. More
specifically, they need to engage better with
• key frameworks, policies and strategies
at national and regional levels;
• international aid and other global
policy and regimes that influence
African development;
• the diversity of new actors and
development funding modalities;
• the belief- and value-laden nature of
both development and evaluation;
• evaluation theory and practice rooted
in Africa.
Civil society could play a leading role in
canvassing ideas and fostering thought
leadership in development evaluation by acting
as a ‘broker of evaluative knowledge’ among
different sectors. Such movements require notfor-profit
actors that are credible, with a
measure of independence. Dynamic,
continuous dialogues could take place guided
by evaluation thought leaders within a liberal
thinking space in order to inform policies and
enable institutionalized, sustainable, effective
systems in government, including in evaluation.
16
NEXT STEPS AFTER THE BELLAGIO FORUM
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 17
In order to give life to the initiative, to ensure
that this Bellagio meeting is not a “once-off”
event, and prevent these first efforts to become
mired in heavy time and resource intensive
processes, the following relatively simple steps
are under consideration:
1. Stimulate interest and innovation:
Shape and develop the Forum inputs
into a series of concise, useful products
(including video) for different purposes
and audiences – from civil society to
academia to influential policy makers.
The products need to create awareness
and support, including through clearly
articulating intent, and defining and
stimulating debate and thinking on key
concepts. It should support the “Made
in Africa” strategy of the African
Evaluation Association. Publishing a
special edition of the African Evaluation
Journal is only one of the possible
academic avenues that can be pursued
in this context.
2. Engage a virtual thought leadership
forum: Establish a network / community
of practice of African evaluation
“thought leaders” (on theory and
practice) who are prepared to advance
work on key concepts related to Africarooted
and Africa-led evaluation. This
(ongoing) “Thought Leaders’ Forum”
will meet once a year and collaborate
on worthwhile “evaluation for
development” related projects – also
using new technologies and social
media for this purpose. They should not
only be evaluation specialists and
should include influential African
thinkers. This will be hard to achieve in
the absence of clear incentives, but not
impossible. A PopTech style approach
to virtual or face to face gatherings
could be one of the mechanisms for
engagement.
3. Map (and later on engage) key
individuals, organizations,
networks/coalitions and initiatives: Key
actors on the continent need to be
identified and engaged who can be part
of, or support (in principle) the Forum
and who can both help develop and
use its products - from the AU organs to
academic and development practitioner
networks, to evaluation associations.
Important linkages to actors outside the
continent can also be established. It
will be necessary to purposefully
include unconventional actors, e.g. for
South-South engagement, private sector
linked initiatives, and development
effectiveness platforms. Connections
with AfrEA’s “Made in Africa” initiative
need to be nurtured, as well as with
academic units of highly specialist
evaluators.
4. Ensure some form of (limited)
coordination, with a repository: This is
needed to ensure vision and
momentum for the forum but without
getting bogged down in structures. It
will have as part of its charge to help
enhance – with others - the profile and
influence of the work on important
national, regional and global platforms.
5. Provide examples of what such a
forum can contribute: Interested
individuals and organizations can
immediately be mobilized to engage in
two useful activities: (i) Work with a
foundation or donor on a few of their
evaluations in order to see what it
would have meant to have an “Africa
rooted” and “Africa led” approach. (ii)
Analyze key documents emanating
from African decision-makers to
determine their implications for
evaluation and the evaluation
profession.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 18
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 19
ANNEXES
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 18
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 23
Contemporary Development Challenges for
Africa and their Implications for Evaluation
Robin Moore
University of the Witwatersrand
Zenda Ofir
International Evaluation Advisor
Trigger papers have been commissioned with a view to encouraging a rich and effective debate at the
forum. Representing a collation of the authors’ own wisdom while making use of evidence from
recognised academic sources, we hope that they respond effectively to the questions at hand in our
evolving development context. They are intended to be forward looking, providing a platform that moves
us beyond the elementary steps in the development/evaluation debate and encourages innovation
through exploring crucial issues at an advanced level.
Part One: What are the most important
development challenges for Africa in the
next decade?
This short paper intends only to distinguish the
parameters of key debates currently circulating
in the contemporary development environment,
but does so in an effort to reflect the broad
trends of thought and aspiration that
characterise narratives about our future. These
are offered for debate and disagreement, to
open our discussions.
Framing conditions
This section of the paper commences with a
discussion of five interlinked epochal
developments that together constitute the
framing conditions for development in Africa.
Any broad strategies for development (and the
evaluation of these) will, we argue, need to take
these conditions into account as they compute
the contexts of intervention, the resources at
hand and the purposes to be served. Naturally,
these framing conditions will have varying
implications for different contexts.
The first framing condition is the role that
Africa’s resource wealth is anticipated to play
into the future. The continent’s growth rates
have strengthened remarkably over the past
decade, doubling its performance over that of
the 1980s and 1990s. For example, Angola’s
economy grew faster in the 2000s than any
other economy in the world. Although the
growth has been somewhat uneven, projections
forecast that 128 million households could lift
into middle-class consumer patterns in the next
decade (McKinsey Global Institute, 2010;
Swilling, 2012). The demand for
Africa’s mineral resources grew significantly
since around 2000, especially as a result of
industrial expansion in China, India, Russia and
other emerging economies, as well as escalating
demand for strategic minerals from the West. It
was the continued buoyancy of this demand
that protected Africa’s growth rates from even
steeper declines during the world economic
meltdown (Swilling, 2012; UNECA, 2012).
Analysts suggest that the demand for Africa’s
minerals will continue and indeed escalate, and
that mineral commodities are in a ‘super cycle’
of sustained increased prices, with the promise
of improved tax revenues for Governments who
are able to take advantage of these price-levels
(UNECA and AU, 2011). The concomitant
implication, however, is the ability and
determination of Governments to counter the
pernicious dynamics that have often rendered a
country’s mineral wealth a ‘curse’ rather than a
blessing – including an over-dependence of an
economy on these resources with a resultant
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 24
lack of diversification, and a tendency for the
yield from these resources to be captured by
political and economic elites, rather than being
invested in broader-based developmental
goods.
The second framing condition (already implied
above) is the shift in the global economic
centre of gravity eastwards and southwards.
While the United States remains the strongest
economy globally, projections estimate China’s
rise to this position in the foreseeable future.
The financial meltdown of 2008, the deep
indebtedness of the traditional centres of the
world economy and the continuing Eurozone
crisis have inhibited growth on the African
continent, but at the same time exposed the
relative strength of the Asian economies and a
range of other emerging countries, some in
Africa. Although Africa’s growth dipped from
around 6% to 2.5% in 2009 (ADB, 2010), it’s
recovery from these levels is already evident.
The countries with the strongest GDPs tend to
be the resource-exporting countries (but tend to
have the least diversified economies), while the
more diversified economies of Egypt, Tunisia,
South Africa and Morocco are powerful engines
of growth on the continent. Ghana, Kenya and
Senegal are diversifying quickly and their
investments in innovation are reflected in their
growing trade within the continent (McKinsey
Global Institute, 2010; Swilling, 2010). It is
clear that food will be increasingly seen as
valuable a strategic resource into the future as
minerals and oil are. This is reflected not only in
the recent global price escalations, but also in
how some countries are buying up stretches of
the best arable land in Africa in order to ensure
bespoke supplies for their own populations. The
implications of this shift in the global centre of
economic gravity includes a changing set of
primary customers for Africa’s resources,
together with a changing set of conditionalities
for the exchange of those resources. The terms
of trade with China, for example, may be quite
different from those with Scandinavia. Similarly,
Africa needs to see its trading partners (not only
in terms of commodities, but the full range of
tradables) increasingly located in the South, and
on the African continent. What opportunities
does this open for trade regimes more beneficial
to the development and diversification of the
economies in Africa, and in the South more
broadly? Finally, the current fragility of the
economies of the US and the EU is already
having an impact on how these countries see
their development relations with the South, not
least in the levels of development aid available
for disbursement, but also in the purposes of
aid. There are implications here for the
character that these relationships acquire into
the future. For example, the DfID White Paper
of 2009 speaks of ‘our common prosperity’, ‘our
common security’ and ‘our common climate’
(Maxwell, 2009). Are we encountering an era in
which capital (or at least some players)
comports itself differently in the future, with a
greater eye to more equitable development and
sustainability? These shifting power gradients
have implications for how development projects
should be conceived, and how they are
evaluated. See for example the stance reflected
in the African consensus position on
development effectiveness taken at Busan in
2011 (AU and NEPAD, 2011).
The third framing condition is the wave of
democratisation and citizen activism that is a
feature of the recent history of the continent. An
unprecedented number of countries on the
continent are conducting increasingly
meaningful multi-party elections, with growing
levels of social inclusiveness (UNECA, 2009).
The political sphere in Africa is widely
contested and fluid, and although armed
conflict and coercive strategies are still evident,
electoral politics represent the predominant
arena for contestation. Having said that, the
phenomenon of the Arab Spring has vividly
illustrated the growing levels of citizen activism
that have arisen together with accelerating
levels of urbanisation. The activism arises from
increased expectations from the growing middle
classes, or from those with a sharper view of the
inequities of wealth distribution (OECD, 2012).
A study by the African Development Bank has
attributed this revolution in the Arab world,
aside from a rejection of long-term political
repression, to the twin demands for jobs and
economic justice. The study traces the growth
of unemployment among relatively welleducated
youth, as well as a decline in real
wages in what was a “functional distribution of
income away from labour” (ADB, 2012: 11).
The ubiquity of ICTs, together with social media
and the internet, contribute to a restructuring of
social order away from hierarchical structures
and towards social laterality and concomitant
demands for greater levels of accountability and
governance transparency (Rifkin, 2011). Allied
to this is the phenomenon of resource
nationalism, voiced as both a popular demand
and as a growing set of regulatory measures to
better capture and redistribute the yield from
the extractive industries (UNECA, 2012). The
levels of militant activism currently underway in
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 25
(for example) Nigeria around the petroleum
industry, or in South Africa around the platinum
and gold mining industries, are indicators of a
likely groundswell for a more equitable social
contract in relation to natural resources. This
discussion of citizen activism is not to come
down on one side or the other in the debate on
the role of authoritarian rule in achieving
developmental ends in a developing society
context (for example, Khan, 2005), but rather
only to observe the organic rise of citizen
activism in Africa as a factor at play in the
arena.
The fourth framing condition is that it is no
longer sufficient to be planning and providing
for the state of affairs as they are now, but rather
the imperative is to cater also for the
eventualities of the future. A feature of the
contemporary era is our realisation of how
globalised the potential disruptions to our
societies can be. There is now little doubt that
climate change is a reality, is reflected not just
in the dramatically shrinking ice-caps at the
poles but in the climatic conditions that
influence food crops, water supplies,
settlements and the livelihoods of millions.
Some analysts predict that Africa will be
particularly severely affected, with
consequences for human security in all
respects. Agriculture provides a substantial
proportion of the continent’s GDP, at both
subsistence and commercial levels, and
changing climatic conditions can radically alter
yields, not only because of changing rainfall
patterns, but also because of unprecedented
crop diseases or insect infestations. Equally, the
vitality of the globe’s various economies are
profoundly implicated in one another, and
disarray in one context inevitably bleeds into
others. Both economic and political instabilities
provoke human migrations, sometimes resulting
in armed conflict, but almost always
accompanied by destitution that has
implications for the contexts of transit and
arrival. The mobility of populations (whether
affluent or otherwise) has also brought with it
the mobility of pandemics of disease, and we’ve
seen the swiftness with which newly mutated
organisms can wreak havoc in societies. We
have learned also that while some eventualities
of the future can be predicted, others cannot. A
vital capacity for societies is alertness for the
unforeseen, and well-trained rapid response
capabilities. This has implications for the kind
of training that is provided in Government
circles, as well as in civil society. This
disposition, together with robust social
institutions, contribute to the levels of resilience
that we have available to deal with the
eventualities of the future.
The fifth framing condition is the salience of
technologies and innovation in enabling
African economies to diversify and expand in
sustainable and inclusive directions. Swilling
(2012) reviews and synthesizes a range of
contemporary studies that consider the cyclical
nature of the global economy and the role that
technology plays in these cycles. He finds a
common perspective in a number of different
quarters that points to an imminent future where
the driving force behind technological
innovation will be responses to the rising prices
of resources and the threats of resource
depletion. These innovation imperatives will be
to decouple economic activity from its current
levels of dependence on natural resources and
non-renewable sources of energy, in particular
by generating technologies of radically greater
efficiency. If the evidence of climate change
remains unconvincing to some policy-makers,
the hard economics of the commodities markets
will drive the investments in alternative
technologies. Already the fields of
biotechnology, information technology,
alternative energies, nanotechnology and
biomimicry promise a significant shift in
relationship between growth and resource
consumption. However, the projection is that
the bulk of technological innovation (and the
value to be derived from this) will be situated in
the developed world, and small pockets of
advanced developing countries. There is little
enthusiasm about Africa’s capacity to contribute
to the new wave of leading edge technical
innovation. Yet, the imperative for innovation
(economic and social) lies at the heart of
Africa’s developmental future, since the current
distributive order and pattern of livelihoods is
clearly not sustainable. Although resources
count for only about a quarter of Africa’s GDP,
they represent some 80% of Africa’s exports,
tying the continent into a particular relationship
with the global economy. The imperative is not
to transition from a resource-based to a lowtechnology
economy, but rather to inject a
dynamic of innovation into every level of
activity, from selected niche-advantage
technology fields at the most sophisticated end,
to transformative adaptations that boost
livelihoods in rural smallholdings. Kenya’s
success in innovating cell-phone banking, and
rolling it out to reach all corners of the country,
stands as just one fine example of Africa’s
capacity to leapfrog successive generations of
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 26
technology and produce a world-leading
innovation that has made a difference in the
lives of millions. What would it take to deepen
and intensify Africa’s capacity for innovation
and technological mastery, in all fields of
endeavour and levels of economic
sophistication?
Developmental Imperatives
What developmental vision for the continent
arises from the various commentaries that have
informed this overview? Any brief summary of
such a vision must necessarily generalise, and
thus overlook the dramatically diverse contexts
distributed across the continent, for which very
different pathways may be available. The vision
is initially an economy-driven one, seeing that
as the fundamental means by which livelihoods
and human fulfilment can be changed for the
better. But the economic vision carries
entailments for the capabilities of Governments,
for social contracts within societies, for
regulatory regimes across continental regions,
and for the value systems that animate societies
and individuals.
The vision for the medium-term future of the
continent (the next decade or two) is one where
a strengthening consensus across Africa is for
collective efforts to direct the continent’s
resources towards more sustainable ends,
including economic activities that have a
planning time horizon beyond the affordances
of the mineral and natural resources that
currently sustain the growth of many countries,
and including the factors that make for the
longer-term fulfilment of societies, like
education and health systems. Whether the
resources are minerals, tobacco or grain, the
rents derived from these must be directed more
effectively towards the diversification of the
continent’s economies (including downstream
beneficiation), towards industries that are more
inclusive of the broader population, towards
increased intra-continental trade, and towards
high quality social services. What models are
already available on the continent, and
globally, for how this can be done?
This has implications for the significant
strengthening of the capacity of states to
negotiate fair deals with the extractive
industries (or agribusiness) and their clients, and
to distribute the yields into long-term provision,
whether these be in the form of infrastructure or
social institutions like education and health.
The adoption of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV)
in 2009 by the African Union Heads of State
and Government constituted a significant step
in this direction, and reflects earlier intentions
(for example in the Lagos Plan of Action, and
NEPAD’s mining chapter) to link the minerals
industries with other sectors of the economy.
What regulatory frameworks, and industrial
strategies, either at country levels or regionally,
would assist in extracting and retaining better
levels of value from resources?
The proliferation and growth of other
dimensions of African economies – whether
these are downstream value-adding activities to
existing industries, or entirely diversified
activities like manufacturing, service industries
or cultural industries – will rely on the
increasing capacity of the state to (at the very
least) deliver services and provide the enabling
conditions for diverse industry to flourish. Some
would argue that a distinctively African model
of the developmental state is required, a model
that is resonant with the contemporary
conditionalities of the continent and the globe
(Routley, 2012). Are there current examples that
might provide insights for an indigenous model
of the developmental state for the 21st Century?
Botswana and Rwanda are examples that often
provoke debate.
Regional agreements and co-operation need to
extend beyond economic issues and embrace
the social dynamics of Africa in the production
of a social justice charter for the continent, or
some means by which civil protection is more
effectively assured to vulnerable constituencies.
This charter would need to indicate the rights,
responsibilities and freedoms of the peoples of
Africa, including perspectives on gender issues
and religious freedoms. The diversity of our
societies has been deepened by the mobility
(voluntary and forced) of populations, as well as
by the intergenerational diversity of perspective
that have deepened as a consequence of our
changing social structures. Issues of identity can
quickly deteriorate into pretexts for conflict
(rather than celebrations of strength in diversity),
especially in resource-stressed environments or
societies of deep inequities. The charter would
need especially to consider the tides of human
migration that are a factor of both the fragility of
some of Africa’s states and the
entrepreneurialism of its peoples. Can the AU
provide a platform on which the contested
views of social identity and human rights can be
discussed and adjudicated?
The continent must cultivate its disposition
towards innovation, as an urgent and
redemptive requirement for its capacity to fulfil
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 27
the imperatives outlined above. We take an
inclusive view of the notion of innovation as
“being the capacity to generate, acquire and
apply knowledge to advance economic and
social purposes” (Marcelle, 2011 in DST, 2012:
97). In other words, innovation includes the
ability to adapt knowledge from other contexts
and apply it in locally appropriate ways, as well
as the ability to generate entirely novel
technologies. Equally, innovation applies to
how we adapt the functioning of public
services, economic systems and social
institutions to better suit contemporary and
future purposes. While some innovation
generates entirely new technologies, much of it
is necessarily about hybridity, in that our
solutions will almost always be how we
incorporate the future to address the present,
blends of the local and the imported, the known
and the new. Innovation is something that is
practiced in all settings, no matter how modest
or sophisticated, and needs to be the means by
which all corners of society can transform their
futures for the better (DST, 2012). There is much
evidence of innovation in even the most
vulnerable of communities (rural and informal
settlement dwellers would not survive without
these capacities), but we don’t do enough to
identify the essential creativity of the human
spirit and disseminate it for use more broadly.
Equally, Africa is fully capable of driving
leading-edge technologies in powerful ways; we
need the political determination to set the
agenda, and drive it to fruition. Obviously there
is much that can be done deliberately to foster
innovation, whether through education and
training, or through regulatory systems, but the
role of inspirational leadership is vital,
appealing as it must to the agency of citizens to
take control of their lives and work against the
structures that inhibit human fulfilment. This is
an outward-looking and forward-looking vision
of development that admits to no limitations to
what can be achieved in Africa, by Africans.
Part Two: What are the implications for
evaluation theory and practice, and for the
profession?
Evaluation and development are in a symbiotic
relationship. The one draws from, and evolves
with the other. Ideally, well-performed
evaluation should lead, or at least give some
direction to development. It provides evidence,
reasoning and insights that are integrative and
rooted in practical realities. Yet such evidencebased
(or evidence-informed) evaluationinspired
development is seldom achieved.
Policy-making continues to be a highly political
process, and across the world the use of
evidence in such processes is not always well
understood or is sharply contested.
In Africa in particular, evaluation is a young,
although fast-growing, profession that still has to
develop the credibility and visibility as an
essential and critical support for understanding
how development can best be done. In spite of
the encouraging statements in the recent
AU/NEPAD Busan preparation paper on the
African Consensus and Position on
Development Effectiveness, it is not yet owned
and cultivated by African stakeholders as a
useful, indeed fundamental, input into their
work.
The vast majority of evaluators are engaged in
the evaluation of aid programmes (now most
often called development cooperation) or of
philanthropy interventions. More recently the
emphasis has shifted to “development
effectiveness” in which aid is of varying
importance depending on the extent of a
country’s dependence on external support.
Thus if used, the work of African evaluators – or
of evaluators working in Africa - can affect vast
numbers of people, often the most vulnerable
and marginalized. This means that it is a
profession that requires a very high level of
specialised expertise and integrity in order to
“do no harm”.
Imperatives for the African Community of
Evaluators
The framings and imperatives for development
laid out above have significant implications for
evaluators in Africa. The following is an attempt
to capture some of the most important without
claiming to be comprehensive. It is meant to
stimulate discussion about the most critical
issues facing the evaluation profession in Africa
as it continues to grow for the benefit of the
continent.
African evaluators need to engage with key
frameworks, policies and strategies at national
and regional levels. Evaluation in Africa is still
primarily project driven because of the nature of
(primarily) aid and philanthropy interventions.
This leads to a “micro-macro disconnect” where
successful projects do not necessarily translate
into successful development. There are also a
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 28
host of pertinent national and regional7 policies
and strategies that, if implemented, will shape
development in Africa over the next decade.
We, as African evaluators need to be able to (i)
use these frameworks in our work, (ii) evaluate
them, and (iii) use professional experience and
evaluation evidence to challenge and enrich
them (including, if appropriate, in the context of
a uniquely African developmental state).
This means (among others) that African
evaluators should understand better how to
address the micro-macro disconnect. This
includes understanding better how to evaluate
for the scaling of development interventions,
How to assess the merit, value and coherence
of the strategic initiatives at these different
levels, how to consider the effect of the power
relations and asymmetries related to their design
and implementation, and how to help design
locally-owned M&E systems to support them.
To date, evaluators and evaluation associations
have been largely absent from national and
continent-wide discussions on critical
development issues. We do not have sufficient
credibility and profile to play a significant role
in such critical processes, and have yet to use
national efforts as well as the regional and
global evaluation architecture to strengthen our
position.
African evaluators need to engage with
international aid and other global policy and
regimes that influence African development. As
noted throughout this document, African
development is also strongly influenced by
global policy regimes (trade, financial
regulation, migration, security, etc.)8 and by
global politics – both of which are often not in
Africa’s best interests. Propaganda transmitted
in the old and new media, and the fast
movement of news and information where
soundbites take the place of reasoned argument
and evidence, have the potential to give
credence to interested perspectives and
distortions and overshadow more informed and
accurate analyses.. Their effects will grow as
resource competition grows. African evaluators

7 Such as the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM);
Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme
(CAADP); Programme for Infrastructure Development in
Africa (PIDA); Consolidated Plan of Action for Science and
Technology; Environment Action Plan (EAP); Minimum
Integration Plan (MIP); African Action Plan: 2010-2015;
African Mining Vision; AU Gender Policy; and more.
8 Refer to the extensive writings of Robert
Picciotto on this topic.
need to have the capacities to understand these
dynamics and the profile that enables them to
address them. This includes the ability to
engage with global and regional forums that
influence important policy regimes, to evaluate
their effect on African development, and to
ensure that both the (potential) positive and
negative consequences of global policies and
strategies and their implementation are well
understood and communicated to African
decision-makers.
African evaluators need to engage with a
diversity of new actors and development
funding modalities. Power and financial shifts
in the world over the past decade have resulted
in a very different development landscape.
New, often non-Western models of
development and of development financing
have increased and are rapidly gaining traction.
Aid percentages – both absolute and relative to
other sources of funding - are going down while
financial flows from philanthropy, the private
sector and emerging economies are increasing.
Foreign direct investment and instruments such
as impact investing and social development
bonds are increasingly important. The African
evaluation community is un(der)prepared for
these developments, and other actors such as
auditors or major management consulting firms
are increasingly active in the evaluation of these
new efforts .
Two of the main challenges this poses to the
evaluation community are a stronger focus on
(i) the principle of “do no harm” and assessing
unintended (negative) consequences; and (ii)
making explicit the values that underpin
development and evaluation approaches.
African evaluators need to engage with the
belief- and value-laden nature of both
development and evaluation. Citizen activism,
the striving towards democratisation (in a
manner that suits different development
models), an increasing confidence in local
solutions, and assertions of pride in local
identity require African evaluators to examine
and make explicit the beliefs, values and
principles that underlie frameworks for
development, as well as those that inform
evaluation, and their implications.
This also highlights the importance of seeking
indigenous approaches to, and models for,
development and evaluation, while continuing
to draw from the best international advances.
Societies that value, for example, communityoriented,
collective leadership and traditional
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 29
hierarchies, rather than individual-oriented,
egalitarian social structures, will require very
different evaluation frameworks and
methodologies.
African evaluators need to understand how to
monitor and evaluate (pathways towards)
concepts and goals essential to achieving
effective and sustained development. Key
documents on global, Africa-wide and national
development strategies emphasize the
importance of capacity strengthening and
empowerment, sustainability9
, growth with
equity and increasingly also of resilience. In
spite of both development and evaluation
rhetoric there is either little expertise worldwide
in the monitoring and evaluation of these
concepts, and/or limited efforts in Africa to put
existing knowledge in practice. In spite of its
importance there is a particular dearth of work
on the monitoring and evaluating of resilience
(at the level of the individual, community,
country, continent or planet) in the face of
shocks such as conflict or disaster, and of
slowly evolving situations such as increasing
impoverishment or climate change. And
although much more is known about
monitoring and evaluating empowerment and
capacity, this knowledge is often poorly applied
in evaluation practice.
Such issues require extensive expertise in
working with complexity, systems,
relationships, unintended outcomes and the
salience of context – all areas in which
capacities on the continent need to be
developed. Yet the current strong emphasis on
specific types of impact evaluation continues to
have the potential to divert attention and
resources away from building a knowledge base
on these extremely important issues.
African evaluators and other stakeholders need
to own and advance monitoring and evaluation
theory and practice. For all the reasons above,
monitoring and evaluation need to be
developed and owned by Africans, and used for
their own benefit. It should not be imposed
from outside or seen as only useful to others.
What is done elsewhere should inform and
enrich African evaluation, and vice versa. It is
therefore crucial for the African evaluation
community to strive to ensure that its capacities
and approaches are as relevant, high quality

9 In the sense of transformative change and the
sustainability of positive development outcomes and
benefits
and visible as they can be in support of the
development of the continent. For these reasons
the objectives and initiatives of the new “Made
in Africa” initiative of the African Evaluation
Association (AfrEA) deserve praise and support.
In Summary: Some Key Priorities for the
Evaluation Profession in Africa
The mastery of critical monitoring and
evaluation approaches and methods: In the
light of the above, evaluators in Africa need to
master – and clearly display and communicate
their mastery – of important concepts and
methodologies not yet commonly found in
capacity-strengthening efforts on the continent.
These include, among others, challenging and
sometimes controversial issues such as
sophisticated work on systems-based
monitoring and evaluation, theories of change
and theory-based (impact) monitoring and
evaluation for adaptive management (This
rather than rigid, over-simplified logframes).
Equally, we need to strengthen our attention to
the politics and values underlying development,
evaluation and of the use of evidence and in
dealing with the micro-macro disconnect.; We
need to build our capacity to use new
technologies and to draw on large data sets in
our evaluations. Crucially, we need increasingly
to be able to marshal and synthesize the
evidence from monitoring, from self-evaluation
and from independent evaluation to achieve
enhanced learning, accountability and
knowledge generation.
In other words, our skill-set includes but is not
limited to the monitoring and evaluation of (i)
policies and strategies, and their alignment and
coherence, from local to global levels; (ii) the
scaling of pilot efforts; (iii) approaches to
empowerment and institution strengthening; (iv)
efforts at innovation for development; (vnew
development financing mechanisms for
development, such as impact investing ; and (vi)
sustainability and resilience. Evaluators also
need to be committed to, and astute in seeking
and finding the truth behind rhetoric and
propaganda.
Innovation in monitoring and evaluation theory
and practice: Mastery of both basic and
advanced aspects has to be complemented by
research on, and innovation in, monitoring and
evaluation on the continent. Little has been
done in this regard, or otherwise has low
visibility (Carden and Alkin, 2012).
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 30
Here, the development and evaluation
architecture – including related and other
professional associations, and organizations
such as CLEAR and other academic centres -
can play a critical role. Communities of practice
that draw from a wide range of sectors and
actors can promote and coordinate initiatives
aimed at cultivating thought-leadership and
innovation in both evaluation theory and
practice. This is also where “ Made in Africa”
evaluation and indigenous frameworks for
monitoring and evaluation can bring new
perspectives to the international evaluation
body of work, or can complement work on new
ideas for the developmental state in Africa. But
for sufficient profile in a world still dominated
by knowledge generated in the West, whatever
is done should be systematically documented
and disseminated in many different formats for
different purposes using tailor-made influencing
strategies.
Positioning the evaluation profession in Africa
and globally: The evaluation profession in
Africa is vital for development. The immediately
useful, integrative and strategic nature of
evaluation should attract some of the best
people from the continent. The community of
evaluators should be strong, capable and well
positioned for influence at all levels -
community, national, regional, Africa-wide and
globally. We should be able to communicate its
utility as individuals and as a collective, and its
contributions in an authoritative, evidencebased
or evidence-informed manner. We
should be able to hold our own on any local,
national, regional or international platform, and
elicit respect and authority.
This requires what is now called “thought
leadership” in theory and practice,
complemented by “practice leadership”. These
are not elitist or exclusionary terms. Instead,
they are integral to how the continent crafts its
future on its own terms, to increasing levels of
prosperity and social justice.
REFERENCES
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African Development Bank Group.
African Union and NEPAD, 2011. African consensus and position on development effectiveness: Aid
reforms for Africa’s development. Document prepared for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid
Effectiveness, Busan, Republic of Korea.
DST, 2012. Final Report of the Ministerial Review Committee on the Science, Technology and
Innovation Landscape in South Africa. Department of Science and Technology of South Africa.
Khan, M. H., 2005. Markets, states and democracy: patron-client networks and the case for democracy
in developing countries. Democratization 12 (5): 705-725.
Maxwell, S. 2009. Eliminating world poverty: building our common future. Development Policy Review,
2009, 27 (6): 767-770.
McKinsey Global Institute, 2010. Lions on the Move: the Progress and Potential of African Economies.
McKinsey Global Institute.
OECD, 2012. Perspectives on Global Development 2012: Social Cohesion in a Shifting World. OECD
Publishing.
Rifkin, J., 2011. The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, the
Economy and the World. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
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States and Inclusive Development Research Centre, University of Manchester.
Swilling, 2010. Africa 2050 – Growth, resource productivity and decoupling. Paper produced for the
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Swilling, M. 2012. Just transitions and the next long-term development cycle: some warnings from the
African continent. Paper presented to the International Conference on Sustainability Transitions,
Denmark, August 2012.
UN Economic Commission for Africa, 2009. African Governance Report II. Oxford University Press.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 31
UN Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union, 2011. Minerals and Africa’s Development.
The International Study Group’s Report of Africa’s Mineral Regimes. UNECA.
UN Economic Commission for Africa, 2012. Mineral resources for Africa’s development: anchoring a
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2012.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 32
Made in Africa Evaluation: Uncovering
African Roots in Evaluation Theory and
Practice
Bagele Chilisa,
University of Botswana Research and Evaluation Unit
Chiku Malunga,
CADECO
Trigger papers have been commissioned with a view to encouraging a rich and effective debate at the
forum. Representing a collation of the authors’ own wisdom while making use of evidence from
recognised academic sources, we hope that they respond effectively to the questions at hand in our
evolving development context. They are intended to be forward looking, providing a platform that moves
us beyond the elementary steps in the development/evaluation debate and encourages innovation
through exploring crucial issues at an advanced level.
Introduction
Africans fall within the category of people who
have suffered slavery, colonisation and
marginalisation, and, in fact, they are “still
being colonised” and marginalised. This
colonisation alienated people from their own
culture – their ways of knowing – and held
them captive to Western theory and practice.
The theory and practice of evaluation today has
its origin in the “development industry” and
academia of the global North. This paper will
discuss the rationale for African-rooted and
African-driven evaluation practice and theory,
two conceptual models of the African
evaluation tree and the African ideal
community before discussing how these can be
actually applied in practice through presenting
a case study. The paper will conclude with
reflections on implications on actual theory and
practice of evaluation in Africa and globally.
Why African rooted and African driven
evaluation?
Today the world’s formerly colonised – a
category that includes Africans and other
indigenous populations in North America and
Australasia – are exploring ways to decolonise,
indigenise and imagine knowledge theory and
practice in every academic discipline and
practice that is informed by their world views.
With regard to the debate on a “Made in Africa
Evaluation”, there are arguments that the
ground breaking books on indigenous research
(Smith, 1999, 2012; Wilson, 2012; Chilisa,
2012) and others can inform Africa-driven
evaluation theory and practice. This argument is
made on the premises that evaluation
encompasses the construction of knowledge
and that the African World views and ways of
knowing can form the basis for such knowledge
construction. It is for this reason that it is argued
that an African-driven evaluation theory and
practice can draw from the evolving postcolonial
indigenous paradigm to articulate
epistemologies and values of an African-driven
evaluation.
Another view is that one can define a made-inAfrica
evaluation as one that is driven by
African philosophical assumptions about the
nature of reality, knowledge and values. The
argument to deny the existence of African
philosophy is now redundant. As elucidated by
Sogolo (1993: xii), African philosophy “is part of
our total package of liberation from the apron of
Western intellectual colonisation.” It is an
engagement of discourses that claim back lost
identities and create spaces for significant
selfhoods as well as writing back and talking
back to the West in modes couched in the
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 33
histories, cultures, linguistic and life
experiences of the Africans (Eze, 1997; Sogolo,
1993).
From this perspective, African philosophical
assumptions about the nature of reality form the
basis for a made-in-Africa evaluation – one that
draws from the African perception of the nature
of being. On the question of what is a person,
the common answer is “I am because we are”, a
phrase expressed by the Zulu of South Africa as
Umuntu ngumuntu nagabantu, and by the
Bakalanga of Botswana as Nthu nthu ne bathu.
The people referred to are the living as well as
the dead and the unborn (Louw, 2001). The
dead are the ancestral spirits who form part of
the African extended families and are
connected to the people and talk to the people
in their daily experiences. African perceptions
of reality thus include a spiritual belief system.
The philosophical assumption of an African
value system ties in well with the African
perception of reality, which emphasises respect
for others and oneself “nthu nthu ne bathu”.
While ontological and axiological assumptions
are general to African philosophy, four
categories of African philosophy are evolving
with distinct epistemological assumptions
(Kaphagawani, 2000) that can inform the
construction of knowledge in a made-in-Africa
evaluation, namely: ethno-philosophy,
philosophic sagacity and nationalisticideological
philosophy Ethno-philosophy
emphasises knowledge as the experiences of
people encoded in their language, folklore,
stories, everyday experiences, songs, culture
and values, and the importance of team work,
cooperation collectiveness, community spirit,
and consensus building. Philosophic sagacity
emphasises the role of sages in the construction
of knowledge. The nationalistic- ideological
philosophy comprises concepts such as the
African renaissance and Africanisation (Chilisa
and Preece 2005). Africanisation and therefore
“Africanisation of evaluation” from this
perspective refers to a process of placing the
African world values at the centre of the
evaluation process.
We would like to proceed with caution and
humility, and say that the struggle to Africanise
academic disciplines – including the discipline
of evaluation – is gaining momentum and that
our efforts draw heavily from the experiences
and practices of the African sages (indigenous
knowledge holders) that are imprinted in the
oral literature. We also draw from other African
scholars who have written extensively on
African philosophies, in order to make an
African-driven evaluation approach visible. In
other words, African-driven evaluation
approaches have always existed and our efforts
are to name them and make them more visible
and conscious. We should not fall into the
Western deficit of theorising about ourselves
and claim that Africa-driven evaluation
approaches do not exist. Our argument is that
we are valorising and boldly naming African
evaluation approaches that are evident in the
everyday things Africans do to judge, and also
to produce evidence for their judgment. The
real problem is not that African-driven
evaluation and development practice have
failed, but rather they have not been given a
chance and space in academic and practice
discourses.
While a number of efforts are being made to
“Africanise” the theory and practice of
evaluation today, we are still facing an uphill
task in translating these efforts into widespread
practice, especially on the continent, as the
evaluation knowledge and practice gatekeepers
are still mostly from the North. In terms of
practice, the few efforts that are available are
mostly mere modifications of Northern rooted
and driven practices.. Adair, et al. (2001) used
the term indigenisation to describe ‘the
blending of an imported discipline with the
generation of new concepts and approaches
from within a culture.” To that extent, there has
been an Africanisation of evaluation as
measured by cultural reference, which is
defined as the extent to which the evaluation
process emanates from the culture in which it is
conducted. Cultural reference is measured by
mention of “country, its customs, norms or
behaviours not found in the West” (Adair
1993:152).
There is also culture-based justification and
conceptual bases for evaluation as measured by
the extent to which the conceptual framework
for the evaluation emanates from the religion,
cultural traditions, norms, language, metaphors,
indigenous knowledge systems, community
stories, legends and folklore, social problems,
rapid social change, or public policies of the
studies culture, as opposed to conceptual
frameworks from some universalistic or
“developed world literature” (Adair et al.,
1993). An indigenised evaluation methodology
is also used.
There are arguments that this indigenisation or
Africanisation does not go deeply enough to
qualify as African rooted and African driven.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 34
Scholars who take this view argue that the
challenge for practitioners and academics on
the continent is not to identify and describe
from practice, for such a practice does not exist.
Instead it is to identify and describe according
to who we are/were as Africans, how we
understood development and how we
monitored and evaluated it.
Africa rooted and African driven
evaluation model - the African evaluation
tree
Africanisation of evaluation requires placing
African worldviews at the centre of the
evaluation process. We propose an Africandriven
evaluation tree that has two branches:
the decolonising and indigenous branch; and
the relational evaluation branch and ideal
community stem.
The decolonising and indigenising
evaluation branch
For this branch, we invoke a Batswana proverb
“dilo makwati di kwatololwa mogo ba bangwe”
meaning “we learn from one another,”, and an
African proverb, “knowledge is like a baobab
tree, no one person can embrace it alone”.
These proverbs serve to celebrate the adaptation
of the accumulated Western theory and practice
on evaluation to serve the needs of Africans.
We live in a global village. No one can exist
alone. The continuing adaptation of Western
approaches to make evaluation serve the
Africans is a commendable effort that deserves a
visible branch in the African-driven tree.
An African decolonisation and indigenisation
evaluation should have five key elements:
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 35
• A critical analysis of the history of
evaluation and evaluation outcomes of
past related projects in a given context
• A critique of past and related projects
from the communities’ perspective
• Development of community-owned
standards for evaluation of project, and
integration with project blueprint
standards - integration of indigenous
and imported evaluation standards.
• A combination of community
indigenous methods and adapted
Western methods, in order to collect
evidence of merit and worth
• Dissemination of evaluation outcomes
approaches that are inclusive of
community indigenous dissemination
approaches.
Relational evaluation
A relational evaluation approach is drawn from
the everyday greeting practices of the majority
of African communities and from the Southern
African axiom nthu nthu ne banwe, meaning “I
am because of we are.” In most African
communities, evaluation of wellness of one
another is an on-going process that marks a
clear difference between Western and African.
A typical greeting involves people asking each
other about their wellness, the wellness of their
children and those related to them, including
non-living things. Among villagers, during the
planting season, the greeting might extend to
asking about crops and, during the harvest
season, asking about the crop yield. Relational
evaluation valorises evaluation approaches,
even one that is evident in the everyday
evaluation of wellness that comes out through
the way people greet each other.
The African extends the relationship of people
not only to human beings but also to non-living
things. The Southern African metaphor on
totems illustrates this connection of human
beings to non-living things and reminds us that
evaluation of projects from the African
perspective should include a holistic approach
that links the project to the sustainability of the
environment. The Bakalanga of Botswana are
connected to each through the sharing of
totems. These totems are symbolically
represented through non-living things, for
example, a heart or living things, for example,
animals such as elephants and lions. Men and
women are addressed using their totems as a
sign of respect for their identity. My totem is, for
instance, a crocodile and that of my mother is a
chibelo (a bird). I have an obligation to respect
a crocodile and chibelo, never at anytime
participating in killing anyone of these two
living things (Chilisa 2005, Chilisa 2012).
People sharing the same totem have values that
they share that are celebrated through rituals.
Evaluation of development programmes in
Africa is about the contribution of projects to
the quality and wellbeing of the people. But in
addition, with the everyday practice of Africans,
the wellbeing of relatives and those around,
including things, is as important as one’s well
being. Thus Africans will usually say they are
“not that well” if a relative is not well.
According to Carden and Alkin (2012), “there is
much that can be done to strengthen the
evaluation practice in LMIC through definition
and articulation of work that is done
informally.” We believe that the everyday things
that demonstrate how people make value
judgment are as important in building
frameworks for evaluation practice as what
evaluators do in the field.
A relational evaluation includes the following
critical elements.
1. Critical analysis of the history of
evaluation and evaluation outcomes of
past related projects in a given context
2. Critique of past and related projects
from the communities perspective
3. Description of community involvement
in the development of project goals
4. Community development of holistic
standards that incorporates
environment elements that connect
people with the project and integration
with project standards as articulated by
donors.
5. Presentation of the ubuntu, which
emphasises the role of belongingness,
togetherness, interdependence,
relationships, collectiveness, love and
harmony to build community
relationships. For example, age
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 36
regiments in Botswana provided a way
of grouping people and monitoring and
evaluating their progression and quality
of life. The regiments were given a
group name and members became
responsible for one another and for
upholding the values communicated to
them during the traditional intervention
that introduced them to adult life.
6. Presentation of established, formalised
community and stakeholders
relationships.
7. Holistic construction of evaluation
knowledge to produce evidence,
through:
a. Listening to metaphors on the
environment that have a
relationship to the project
b. Valuing community knowledge
and using it as a basis for
further improvement and
sustainability of projects.
8. Explanation of both community-set
standards and stakeholders’ standards
to evaluate worth and merit.
9. List and explanation of core values
based on an I/we relationship
a. Value validity
b. Fairness
c. Reflexivity based on an I/we
relationship
d. Community as knowers and
community as evaluators
e. Evaluators and funding agents
establishing long lasting
relationships with
communities.
The Ideal African Community
Development Evaluation Framework
The two branches of the African tree model –
decolonisation and indigenisation, and
relational – illustrate the deconstruction that
current evaluation theory and practice need to
go through before arriving at truly Africanrooted
and African - driven theory and practice.
The complementary model of the ideal African
community begins to describe what such a
practice would look like. An African lives in
and for the community. The individual cannot
exist without the community and the
community cannot exist without the individual.
The conscious interdependence between the
individual and the community is what
characterizes that which is essentially African.
This model is built on the concept of ubuntu
(described earlier), which, in simple terms,
means community, and the essence of being
human. The ideal African community
development/evaluation model can be
described by five interrelated and
complementary ubuntu principles.
• Sharing and collective ownership of
opportunities, responsibilities and
challenges – Ants united can carry a dead
elephant to their cave; a rooster may
belong to one household but when it
crows, it crows for the whole community; a
lit candle loses nothing by lighting another
candle.
• The importance of people and relationships
over things – It is better to be surrounded
by people than by things.
• Participatory decision making and
leadership – Taking action based on one
person’s views is like provoking wasps in a
nest; no matter how blunt, a machete
should never be held by a mad person.
• Loyalty – The river that forgets its source
will soon dry up.
• Reconciliation as the goal for conflict
management and resolution – Those who
live in peace work for it.
The five principles describe the ideal
community and they result in concrete material,
social and spiritual benefits. African societies
used these as basis for their assessments of
community/societal progress.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 37
How would the two models – the African
evaluation tree and the ideal community – look
in practice? The case study below, though not
consciously built on the explicit knowledge of
these models, but rather intuitively, gives some
idea.
Utooni Development Organization (UDO),
Machakos, Kenya - A pioneering case in
African rooted and driven evaluation
practice
In 1978, when faced with perceived
government, NGOs and donor neglect, Joshua
Mutikusya and a few friends started an initiative
aimed at addressing the critical shortage of
water in the Utooni, Machakos area. Because
they had no training in development studies or
community mobilisation, they had no model to
base their work on. Organically, the model that
emerged was built on “mwethya” philosophy, a
local version of ubuntu with elements of
decolonisation, indigenisation and relational
branches. There were no formal monitoring and
evaluation systems but progress was measured
according to what really mattered to the people,
identified as:
1. How well did the people work together
and how did each group or individual –
men, women, youths, etc.– contributing
to the initiative?
2. Was the initiative affecting relationships
positively or negatively?
3. How well shared was the decision
making and leadership in the initiative,
and what were their effects on the
people and the initiative?
4. How well was the initiative building on
the sense of self-esteem, solidarity and
loyalty to the community?
5. What conflicts were arising from within
the community and with which
outsiders, and how well were these
handled in the interest of the progress
of the initiative?
Though running contrary to most contemporary
targets and numbers of Western-driven
evaluation processes, a recent evaluation
showed the accomplishments of the initiative.
• Constructed 1,500 sand dams at an
equivalent cost of Kshs 1.7 billion with a
total value of water in each sand dam
estimated at Kshs 10 million. Each sand
dam had an average of 1,000 beneficiaries.
• Dug a terrace to manage erosion was
estimated at 1.5 million meters.
• Decreased the distance for getting water
from 10 km to 1 km, each way.
• Decreased the time required for getting
water from an average of 12 hours to 1
hour.
• Significantly increased the number of
farmers planting trees, digging terraces,
planting indigenous drought-resistant crops,
practicing no till and zero grazing.
• Significantly increased the variety and yield
of the food being produced.
The key evaluation practice, referred to as
“lighting a fire”, was based on the African
proverb “a people who cannot light their own
fire are easy to defeat.” In practice, this meant
regular meetings of all stakeholders to review
and discuss the progress of the initiative, striving
towards an ideal community, based on the five
key indicators above, and inspired and driven
by their definition of development – their
definition of development is a good change
characterised by children living better lives than
their parents.
Implications for Monitoring and Evaluation
What implications could the models and the
case presented above have on the current
understanding and practice of evaluation? In
order to be more relevant to Africa and indeed
to the whole of humanity, its evaluation theory
and practice must be built on the African
evaluation tree and have its beginning and end
in the idea of “the ideal community” which is
the essence of being human. Evaluations must
look beyond just numbers and things; they must
be truly human. Recognising this, in evaluating
development initiatives, there are two key
questions to be asked.
• How well is this development initiative
built on the African evaluation tree and
how well does it contribute towards the
realisation of the ‘ideal community?
The key indicators of the ideal
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 38
community are the five interrelated and
complementary principles of ubuntu.
• In the dialogue between Northern - and
African-rooted and -driven evaluation
theory and practice, how do we ensure
that both the measures of the measurer
(Northern) priorities and indicators) and
the measures of the measured (African
priorities and indicators) recognise and
put the African ideal community at the
centre? Currently, most development
indicators are mainly constructed in
Western terms. While this has its
legitimacy, it is also very important to
listen to what is important to the
measured as well as to the measurers,
because it is the people who live in the
hut who know that there are bedbugs
there.
References
Adair, J.G. Puhan, N.B., & Vohra, N. (1993). Indigenisation of psychology: Empirical assessment of
progress in Indian research. International Journal of Psychology,28(2), 149-169.
Chilisa, B., & Preece, J. (2005) Research methods for adult educators in Africa. Cape Town, South Africa:
Pearson.
Chilisa, B. (2005) Educational research within postcolonial Africa: A critique of HIV/AIDS research in
Botswana. International Journal of Qualitative Studies, 18(6), 659-684
Chilisa B. (2012) Indigenous research methodologies, Sage, Los Angels.
Diamond, J. Collapse, 2005: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive, Allen Lane, Penguin Group:
London
Kaphagawani, D.N. 2000. “What is African philosophy?’. In Philosophy from Africa, eds. P.H. Coetzee
and A.P.J. Roux, pp. 86-98, Cape Town: Oxford University Press.
Louw, D.J. “Ubuntu: An African assessment of the religious order’, 2001, retrieved 27 September 2001,
http://www.bu.edu/wcp/papers/Afrlouw.htm.
Malunga, C. Understanding Organizational Leadership through Ubuntu, Adonis & Abbey Publishers:
London
Sogolo, G. 1993. Foundations of African philosophy. Ibadan: University Press.
Smith, L.T. (1999) Decolonising methodologies: Research and indigenous people, London: Zed Books.
Wilson, S. (2008) Research is ceremony: Indigenous research methods. Manitoba, Canada: Fernwood.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 39
Institutionalisation Of Evaluation In Africa:
The Role Of The African Evaluation
Association (AFREA)
Boureima Gado,
AfrEA Regional Representative for West Africa
Jennifer Mutua,
AfrEA regional representative for East Africa
Nermine Wally,
AfrEA President
Trigger papers have been commissioned with a view to encouraging a rich and effective debate at the forum.
Representing a collation of the authors’ own wisdom while making use of evidence from recognised
academic sources, we hope that they respond effectively to the questions at hand in our evolving
development context. They are intended to be forward looking, providing a platform that moves us beyond
the elementary steps in the development/evaluation debate and encourages innovation through exploring
crucial issues at an advanced level.
INTRODUCTION
The profound changes in global governance led
to a multitude of forces, both internal and
external to exert pressure over governments and
organizations to become more accountable to
their national and international partners. Recent
sources of these changes, among others, are the
Millennium Development Goals, the
implementation of the Paris Declaration, and
recently the increase demand from African
citizens for tangible development results. It is in
this context that African states have become
aware of the need to introduce monitoring and
evaluation function to measure the achievement
of expected results in the implementation of
public policy development.
It emerges, then, from the African actors, both
state and non-state, a trend where evaluation is
increasingly placed at the heart of decision
making for the organization and operation
performance. The main concern appears to be
the gradual development of evaluation practice
in order to make it more systematic. While the
first national development plans of the 1970s and
the 1980s took into account, more or less
monitoring and evaluation (M & E) dimensions,
they were found prominently in the various
structural adjustment programs (SAPs) that later
evolved into the to the Poverty reduction
strategies (PRS) with the design and
implementation of improved and more consistent
monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
Today, evaluation has become an integral part of
any planning or programming in Africa, both in
the preparation phase and the implementation.
BACKGROUND
The Civil Society, the World Bank, Bilateral
Partners and UN Agencies may be said to have
the longest history of institutionalization of
Monitoring and Evaluation in Africa. Within
governments generally, the monitoring function
(in comparison with Evaluation) is more
developed through administrative data collection
systems that track the implementation of
national Economic Blue Prints/Poverty Reduction
Strategy Papers (PRSPs). However, limited
attention is given to systematic data collection,
storage, analysis and dissemination to inform
evidence-based decision-making and
development implementation. National Bureaus
of Statistics conduct decennial censuses and ad
hoc surveys (including Demographic and Health
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 40
Surveys (DHS). On these too, not enough
attention is paid to data analysis, dissemination of
reports of findings and further research into the
findings and recommendations of the surveys.
Also even though administrative data mostly
originates in communities, through villages and
districts, linkages between these levels and the
nation levels including feedback to the grass root
is weak.
Moreover, studies have shown that generally at
national levels throughout the Continent, the
Evaluation research function including its
technical capacities is weak. Specifically,
Evaluation in government reporting systems is
under- utilized and its institutionalization is
generally weak. This includes the awareness of its
importance in development efficiency and
effectiveness.
These may be attributed to weak national
capacities including the practice and culture of
Evaluation. For instance, an evaluation capacity
assessment by AfrEA prepared in 2007, revised in
200910, and recently the case studies on the state
of evaluation prepared by CLEAR, underscored
the gap in Monitoring and Evaluation education
and research at African universities. People are
not trained within the African context and
indigenous knowledge. The few African
universities offering training, they were in the
form of generic modules in Evaluation as part of a
degree program. The modules have not evolved
to reflect the African context; as well as
indigenous knowledge on data collection;
analysis and dissemination which are crucial for
the relevance and effectiveness of the training for
the continent. As a result the trainees are
qualifying without necessarily adopting the
appropriate skills to undertake contextually
relevant evaluation and be fully effective
members of the African evaluation community.
Hence, the current state of evaluation theory and
practice is not influencing African development.
There is also a gap in many countries not having
vibrant National Professional Evaluation
Association. The current hypothetical status of
National Associations in the continent being that:
few exist and where there are mostly weak,
dormant and none-existence.

10 The updated Development Capacities in Evaluation in
Africa, 2009, was conducted by Francois Corneille, Issaka
Traire and Nene Konate.
THE PROCESS OF EVALUATION IN
AFRICA
Technical and Financial Partners (TFP) made at
one time to another, a valuable contribution to
the promotion of evaluation in Africa on the one
hand by requiring that M & E should be taken
into account in the implementation of their
support (projects and programs) and on the other
hand by playing an important role in the
emergence of an active civil society in evaluation
both at the national level (national associations
and networks) which also include the creation of
AfrEA as a continental body.
The support of the donor community (bilateral
and multilateral) were made in various forms and
varied. They concerned national actors, both
state and non-state actors to enable them to:
• Appropriate tools for M & E,
• Contribute to the consolidation of
achievements
• And participate in the process of
institutionalization of the evaluation.
TOWARD THE INSTITUTIONALIZATION
OF EVALUATION IN AFRICA: THE ROLE
OF AFREA
The trend towards the institutionalization of
evaluation has been seen as a formalization
process based on lessons learned from practice,
confirming the perception of Frederick VARONE
and Steve Jacob, when they write that "the term
institutionalization covers (a sociological point of
view) a formal organization or a procedural rule
which provides stakeholders with a framework to
ensure predictability of their reciprocal behavior
and, therefore, the result of the collective action.
Institutionalization is therefore a "routinization" of
the action - expected if not required - to assess
and can be measured in terms of its actual
practice in the politico - administrative and
wider, networks of public action. "11
The evolution of evaluation in African states does
not affect fundamentally the path described
above. However, each country where the
political powers maintain most of the process

11 Frédéric VARONE et Steve JACOB « Institutionnalisation
de l’évaluation et Nouvelle Gestion ¨Publique : un état des
lieux comparatif » – Revue internationale de Politique
Comparée, Vol. 1, n° 2, 2004, page 274.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 41
initiated by their predecessors, witness a pace
that is more or less accelerated. Actors of the civil
society involved in evaluation (including national
associations such as AfrEA) may also play a role
in determining the process of institutionalization
of the evaluation. For purely illustrative purposes
we can note the following:
 South Africa institutionalizing evaluation is
carried out from the Presidency of the
Republic. The SAMEA (member AfrEA) is a
very active with the government;
 Benin Office of Public Policy Assessment
(BPA) is attached to the Prime Minister who
has completed and submitted for adoption a
National Policy on Evaluation whose practice
is extended to the House of Commons
(Lower Chamber);
 The Ghana M & E proposition is now put in
place and its operates in partnership with the
Ghana Independent Evaluators and
Professional Network;
 Morocco, AME (Association Marocaine
d’Evaluation) conducted a lobbying that led
to the inclusion of evaluation in the
Constitution.
 In the Niger ReNSE (Nigerien Network of
Monitoring and Evaluation) has played a key
role in promoting evaluation, often in
collaboration with the Government whose
ministry (Ministry of Planning and Ministry of
Economy and Finance) has been in charge
evaluation since the 1980s. A national policy
evaluation (PNE) has been technically
validated in 2010 and the "Law No. 2011-20
of August 8, 2011 determining the general
organization of the state administration and
determining its tasks" puts particular
emphasis on the results-based management
(RBM) and monitoring and evaluation.
THE ROLE OF AFREA
In view of the above, in order to contribute
towards the increased and effective
institutionalization of Evaluation in the Continent
through a multi-stakeholder approach, the
strengthening of capacities (including practice
and culture) is one of AFREA’s strategic areas of
focus .It is also in line with the organization core
mandate of promoting National Professional
Evaluation Associations. The strategy involves a
comprehensive continental action plan which
will serve as a launching pad to build-up on
current evaluation capacity strengthening efforts.
Specifically these include the following:
Development of an Africa “rooted”12 evaluation
education, research and internship program: In
collaboration with African Universities, research
& training institutes as well as think-tanks. This
initiative will benefit a mass of African evaluation
professionals and scholars including government
officials and the civil society. The “Thought
Leadership Forum” of Bellagio is part of the
process of conceptualizing and providing a way
forward to this.
The African Journal of Evaluation (AJE): This was
conceptualized in 2007 during the Niamey
conference and is part of AFREA’s comprehensive
efforts geared towards an “Made in Africa
approach to evaluation”. The Journal aims at:
strengthening the evaluation capacity in the
continent by providing a platform for the African
community to document emerging evaluation
theories and practices; providing an opportunity
for cross-fertilization of ideas and methodologies
across disciplines; providing a vehicle to develop
African evaluation scholarly research, as well as
field/action oriented research relevant to the
continent’s development context, authorship as
well as promoting a culture of peer-review.
Support the development and strengthening of
National Evaluation Associations. This is
AFREA’s core mandate and is aimed at
supporting the application of effective M&E in
national development agendas across the
continent. Specifically, this aims at supporting the
Associations to be able to provide professional
M&E input (through their membership) into
government-led national M&E system through a
multi-stakeholder approach. It would e.g. involve
input into national M&E policies and their
implementation.
Supporting the participation of National
Associations in sector specific evaluations and
the dissemination of their findings including
through the media is another way of
institutionalizing Evaluation. Also the formation
and participation of its members in national
sectoral thematic working groups such as in
Education, Environment, Agriculture and gender
among others is expected to contribute towards
the institutionalization of Evaluation in the
continent.

12 An Africa rooted approach will take into account the
African context, and the indigenous knowledge on evaluation
methods, data analysis and dissemination.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 42
AFREA through other development stakeholder’s
support is expected to play a critical role in
strengthening of individual and institutional
capacities for these Associations where they exist,
reviving dormant ones and establishing new ones
where they do not. Accordingly, AFREA’s
regional representatives is to work toward
accomplishing this. Currently the EvalPartners
initiative by UNICEF/IOCE in partnership with
AFREA is one such initiative aimed at
strengthening capacities for national evaluation
professional associations.
Further, AfrEA assists national associations for
effective institutionalization of evaluation with
state institutions (government, parliament, Court
of Auditors, Economic and Social Council etc) in
various forms, and develops programs to support
emerging national association formalization
(EvalMentors program providing organizational
strengthening to nascent professional
associations)
Mentoring in evaluation. The initiative aims at
providing opportunities for young and junior
professionals to gain practical evaluation skills
and experience in the continent. It aims at
supporting development that is anchored in
evidence, learning, and mutual accountability to
bridge the gap between the supply and demand
for evaluation in the continent. Current efforts on
this by AFREA include an EvalMentors initiative,
launched by AfrEA in partnership with the
Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) and the
Quebec Society for Evaluation of Programs
(SQEP) to provide support and mentoring to
emerging African national evaluation
association, as well as emerging publishers, and
professionals through peer to peer support.
Strengthening of AFREA’s institutional
capacities. Since 2009 formal and independent
elections have been held by AFREA as part of the
efforts aimed at strengthening its institutional
capacities. A strategic plan to guide AFREA
operations has been developed and a draft
constitution is under consultative development.
An institutional needs assessment and report was
conducted to guide its institutional strengthening.
As a follow-up on this, plans for an institutional
capacity strengthening project are underway with
funding support pledged by the Gates foundation
Conferences: Biannual conferences have been
organized since 1999 as part of efforts of
strengthening evaluation capacities in the
continent through peer learning and experience
sharing as well as networking. To date AfrEA has
orgaznied 7 internationla conferences in Capte
Town, Kenya, Niamey,
Policy Advocacy and lobbying for Evaluation:
Evaluation champions at regional and global high
policy level (governments, AU , the African peer
review Mechanism,and the Aid Effectiveness
network group, G7, Climate Change fora).
Additionally, through a multi-stakeholder
approach support its national associations to
organize round table discussions and policy
dialogue with national government technocrats
and other policy makers (parliament; cabinet
Members of parliament) to champion Evaluation.
This may also include the preparation and
presentation of M&E positional papers on topical
issues including the national budget and food
security
Media and citizenship engagements: Through
national associations seek collaborations with the
media to create awareness on M&E among the
citizenry including its role in development
efficiency and effectiveness. In particular the use
of social media in development engagement has
become a necessary tool especially when
engaging with the youth.
CONCLUSION
All these will build-up on existing efforts by other
development partners aimed at Strengthening
national Evaluation capacities in the Continent. It
will also raise AFREA’s visibility and contribute
towards efforts of creating national M&E culture
across the continent, including its
institutionalization.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 43
ON-LINE COMMENTS FROM AFRICA
EVALUATORS RECEIVED IN PREPARATION FOR
THE FORUM
More African Evaluators’ Voices: The
Context for Evaluation in Africa
“Is!the!problem!of!evaluation!in!Africa!purely!a!capacity!
problem?!Or!there!are!other!equally!important!factors!
that!come!into!play?”
“We!can!say!we!have!low!capacities!because!our!
systems!have!not!yet!significantly!embraced!evaluation!
– institutionalization!of!evaluation!in!Africa!is!still!a!
problem.”
“Appropriation!of!evaluation!policy!by!our!policy!
makers,!the!actions!of!national!networks!and!
associations,!is!insufficient.”
”What!are!the!barriers!to!change!in!Africa?!There!are!
few!if!any!formal!or!informal!incentives!to!build!public!
decisions!on!evidence.”
“Professional!evaluators!delivering!quality!reports!are!
scarce!in!(Cameroon).”
“Able!decision!makers!are!still!needed!to!draft!
evaluation!terms!of!reference!that!are!precise!enough!to!
generate!useful!and!credible!information.”
“I!want!to!acknowledge!the!growing!rush!in!evaluation!
practice!as!testified!by!the!growing!number!of!training!
programs!available!locally!and!their!turnIout!of!
students.”
“National!evaluation!associations...!according!to!the!
latest!EvalPartners!survey,!are!by!and!large!dormant!or!
hijacked!by!a!handful!of!individuals.”
“A few!countries!(in!Africa)!have!set!up!evaluation!
systems!within!government!structures!– In!many!cases,!
they!are!technocrats!within!Ministry!departments!and!
their!contribution!to!national!policies!has!yet!to!be!
strongly!felt.”
“Most!M!&!E!reports!(in!Kenya)!are!an!accusing!analysis!
of!how!money!was!spent!on!activities,!outputs!and!what!
was!left!unIused;!rather!than!the!effects!these!projects!
have!had!on!society.”
“Let’s!not!lie!to!ourselves:!the!first!influence!pushing!for!
(an)!evaluation!profession!was!market!based!– donors!
asked!for!it!and!they!asked!for!more!national!capacities!
to!do!it!so!we!got!into!it.”
“I!believe!the!level!of!practice!and!the!types!of!use!of!
evaluation!(in!Africa)!are!largely!unknown.!Studies!that!
exist!are!commissioned!by!donors!for!countries!that!
they!have!interest!in,!and!reports!are!not!shared...!it’s!
time!that!we!took!the!initiative!to!study!the!things!that!
matter!to!us!”
“We!should!capitalize!on!what!exists!and!find!ways!to!
better!share!our!respective!experiences!and!build!
ongoing!relationships!amongst!our!various!evaluation!
organizations.”
“Although!I!do!not!have!a!broader!view!of!the!whole!
region,!I!agree!with!colleagues!that!the!“evaluation!
practice” in!Africa!is!still!marginal,!and!largely!driven!by!
donor!needs.”
“I!believe!that!our!evaluation!practice!in!Africa!is!still!
dominated!by!project!types!of!evaluations,!which!is!the!
interest!of!project!funders.”
“I!believe!that!we!can!conclude!that!evaluators!are!not!
influential!in!Africa.”
“The!continent!is!stretched!out!between!longI
established!evaluation!cultures!with!governmentIbacked!
“places!of!safety”,!to!countries!with!failed!states!where!
whistleblowers!get!assassinated.”
“Evaluation!is!a!house!of!many!disciplines!– there!are!
multiple!‘halo!effects’!at!work.”
“The!Paris!Declaration!highlighted!the!“micro/macro!
paradox”,!where!evaluations!praise!a!project!where!
there!is!no!national!impact.!In!those!conditions,!the!
profession!will!not!win!intellectual!respect!or!moral!
authority.”
“If!we!are!to!have!impact!our!diagnostic!instruments!
cannot!be!superficial,!our!findings!cannot!be!trivial,!our!
recommendations!cannot!be!I,!irrelevant!or!weak.”
“Evaluators!have!more!impact!than!we!know,!because!
informal!networks!matter!a!lot,!and!government!officials!
are!conscientious!and!seek!out!advice.”
“Development!aid!and!evaluation!in!(South)!Africa!IS!
OLDER!than!the!international!aid!movement.!The!
officials!involved!are!retired/ing!now,!so!the!knowledge!
can!be!saved!before!lost.”
“Are!we!recognized!as!a!dignified!profession!who!
unfailingly!see!the!truth!and!tell!the!truth!to!power?!Not!
yet.”
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 44
More African Evaluators’ Voices: The
Potential of Africa Rooted and Africa Led
Evaluation
“I!would!stress!the!importance!of!African!Evaluators!
(and!all!“indigenous”!evaluators!in!developing!countries)!
seeing!themselves!as!change!agents!in!addition!to!being!
very!skilled!professionals.”
“Concerning!African!evaluators,!I!think!they!are!more!
involved!in!international!evaluations!….!African!
evaluators!need!to!be!change'agents... changing!how!
development!policy!decisions!are!made.”
“Only!a!culture!in!which!project!managers!are!
encouraged!to!identify!a!problem,!gather!multiI
disciplinary!evidence,!think!of!innovative!designs!to!
address!the!key!policy!issues,!design!a!pilot,!and!assess!
the!effectiveness!of!alternative!approaches!will!HELP!
POLICYMAKERS!MAKE!GOOD!DECISIONS!AND!SAVE!
MONEY!AT!THE!SAME!TIME.”
“Evaluators!are!overbooked!and!constantly!moving!from!
one!assignment!to!another,!without!taking!the!time!to!
share!their!knowledge!and!transmit!their!expertise!to!
younger!or!less!experienced!evaluatorsItoIbe,!which!is!
the!only!way!to!develop!inIcountry!capacity.”
“If!we!envisage!evaluation!as!a!catalyst!to!the!change!
process!and!not!just!a!livelihood!niche,!then!we!need!
structures,!tools!and!networks!than!can!consolidate!this!
change!dimension.”
“Building!evaluation!capacity!should!(also!be!about)!
increasing!awareness!among!citizens!of!its!contribution!
to!a!full!enjoyment!of!rights.”
“We!need!a!change!of!mind!from!our!national!leaders!so!
that!they!start!viewing!evaluations!as!a!way!to!do!things!
better,!not!always!as!an!external!look!at!their!own!
kitchen!”
“Evaluation!is!somehow!a!tool!of!development!and!
AfrEA!should!work in!a!way!that!(promotes)!evaluation!
in!Africa as!having!its own!specificities.”
“The!role!of!evaluation!must!be understood!by!all
stakeholders!in the development!project but!specifically!
by!government.”
“We!need!to!ensure!that!the!evaluation!of!Africa!is!
conducted!by!and!with Africans.!Aid!money!for!Africa!
must!be!spent!in!and!on!Africa.”
“European!evaluators!underestimate!agency!effects!
especially!the!habit!of!intermediaries!who!commission!
evaluations!of!the!delivery!stage!in!Africa,!not!the!design!
stage!in!Europe.”
“I!can!see!two!areas!where!a!‘Made!in!Africa’ approach!
can!be!the!preferred!choice!for!locals!and!for!donors!
wanting!to!work!in!Africa:!(i)!by!paying!attention!to!the!
risk!and!reasons!for!project!nonIdelivery;!(ii)!by!
evaluating!project!design!as!well!as!project!delivery.”
“Projects!designed!in!Europe!for!Africa!don’t!work.
Having!locals!evaluate!a!project!that!is!already!
underway!using!a!dysfunctional!theory!of!change!is!too!
late!to!make!a!difference.”
“Our!great!needs!and!scarce!resources!mean!that!we!
don’t!have!the!luxury!of!expensive!mistakes.!Evaluators!
must!be!able!to!check!the!project!before!it!begins.!
Maybe!because!the!opportunity!costs!and!risks!of!failure!
are!lower!in!Europe,!my!impression!is!that!‘attentionItoI
realIproblems’ and!‘checkingItheIprojectIbeforeIitI
starts’ are!gaps!in!the!market!that!Africa!can!fill.”
“Our!continental!diversity!is!a!great!strength!because!it!
obliges!western!donors!to!take!local!factors!into!
consideration,!stopping!the!pathology!of!designing!
projects!for!Africa!in!Europe,!then!deploying!home!
based!evaluators!who!report!with!one!eye!open!to!the!
next!contract,!who!lack!cultural!/!linguistic!/!geographic!
nous!takes!enabling!legislation.”
“Evaluators!need!to!be!protected!by!legislation!in!the!
event!that!they!need!to!blow!a!whistle.!This!will!increase!
our!influence.”
“Yes,!we!need!to!have!an!edge.!‘Made!in!Africa’!must!
mean!‘better!than!anything!else!in!our!area!of!
operation’.”
More African Evaluators’ Voices:
Proposed Actions
“Seek!not!only!NorthISouth!exchanges!as!we!normally
do,!but!also!SouthISouth!ones.”
“A!standard!methodology!could!be!adopted!and!
evidence!of!“barriers!to!change” as!well!as!
“opportunities!for!change” collected!across!AfrEA!
member!countries!as!a!benchmark!for!action.”
“Evaluation!should!be!made!more!accessible!and!
understandable!to!the!common!citizen!!African!
governments!will!(then)!be!forced!to!mandate!
evaluations!when!their!people!ask!for!better!and!more!
tangible!results!about!how!public!money!is!spent!”
“I!hope!we!understand!that!we!have!a!role!to!play postI
Busan!and!that!we!should!take!this!process!seriously.”
“Of!course!there!is!much!to!achieve,!but!we!should!not!
undermine!the!remarkable!steps!that!are!being!taken.”
“We!should!find!ways!to!foster!demand!at!national!
levels,!of!course!from!governments,!but!also!from!the!
other!public!actors!(local!governments,!municipalities,!
civil!society,!etc.).!Our!networks!have!a!major!role!to!
play!to!raise!awareness!and!interest.”
“I!do!not!see!evaluators!in!Africa!involved!in!regional!
and!global!policy!processes!– we!have!to!link!with!our!
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 45
regional!bodies!such!as!AU,!the!regional!commissions,!
even!NEPAD.”
“I!suggest!AfrEA!takes!advantage!of!the!case!studies!that!
IOCE!is!doing!under!the!EvalPartner!initiative.!There!
should!be!lots!of!interesting!references!on!the!status!of!
evaluation!in!Africa.”
“All!over!Africa!there!will!be!old!faithIbased!selfIhelp!
and!aid!organizations,!who!commissioned!annual!audits!
and!reflections,!so!we!have!no!reason!to!feel!insecure!or!
think!that!we!are!new!kids!on!the!block,!that!
development!and!evaluation!is!a!foreign!and!recent!
import.!We!need!to!get!in!touch!with!our!historical!
institutions.”
“We!need!a!framework!for!evaluation!in!Africa,!one!that!
guides!donors!when!commissioning!evaluations!and!
protects!and!positions!evaluators!to!tell!truth!to!power!
with!confidence!and!income!security.”
“Hammer!the!‘Made!in!Africa’!slogan,!but!also!give!it!
substance!”
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 46
SUMMARY OF FORUM STATEMENTS AND
POSITION PAPERS ABSTRACTS
# Position Paper Title Statement
Expanded
summary?
Forum Group
Members
1 An African
Evaluation Tree
" An African Evaluation tree metaphor that has roots in indigenous
knowledge systems, philosophies, culture, history of the African people
and their life experiences"
No
Bagele Chilisa,
Chiku Malunga
2 Bringing About
Influential Evaluation
for African
Development: The
Road Forward
“The cause of development evaluation rests on the development of
genuine development strategies reflecting the needs of stakeholders who
should own and be engaged in visioning and implementation of
development and the respective DME evaluation discourse”
Paper 2
Doha Abdelhamid,
Laila El Baradei,
Debbie Serwadda,
Nermine Wally
3 Developing an
ethical cozy triangle
- African Evaluation
for Private, Public,
People Driven
Development
“Current evaluation understanding and practice is still limited to specialists
and consultants working largely in civil society and the public
sector. Africa is a young continent full of untapped potential especially
amongst young people and women. African Evaluation for Private, Public
and People Driven Development therefore has the opportunity of
contributing to developing young people and women through applicable
knowledge and local revenue generation, informed by a culture of
innovation, enterprise, strategic leadership and accountability”
Paper 3
Debbie Serwadda,
Doha Abdelhamid,
Chiku Malunga
4 Evaluation for
development of
Africa: Indigenizatio
n and the Evaluation
Function in Africa in
the 21st Century
“The evaluation for the development of Africa must acknowledge inherited
legacy but confront the present, and aspire to the future. It will thus
enhance the contribution of Africa to global knowledge and advance
development evaluation.”
No
Chiku Malunga,
Josiah Cobbah,
Sukai Prom Jackson,
Akilagpa Sawyer,
Debbie Serwadda,
Bagele Chilisa,
Alima Mahama,
Irene Karanja
5 African values and
Perspectives
“Evaluation should incorporate African values and perspectives to
influence development plans, give Africans responsibility for managing
their resources, save lives and hold governments accountable.”
No
Josiah Cobbah,
Alaphia Wright,
Alima Mahama
6 Evaluation capacity
development for the
development of
Africa
“Respecting the principles of capacity development as an endogenous
process, the strategy should be developed drawing from the goals for
evaluation established by government. These goals go beyond
responsiveness to accountability for value for money.”
Paper 6
Sukai Pro-Jackson
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 47
7 Evaluation frames
that capture
unspoken
community
dimensions and
evaluation blind
spots
“Development practitioners are slowly and painfully realizing that
standard evaluation frames/lenses are not adequately capturing the
complexity and realities of the African context, and hence undermining the
credibility of practice of evaluation. Existing evaluation frames often miss
out critical cultural community dimensions / blind spots that ultimately
become ‘killer’ barriers to the realisation of the aspirations of a
project/program or policy. These cultural ‘blind spots’ /unspoken taboos
remain largely undetected under the standard evaluation ‘radar’ and many
times emerge to haunt evaluators. We are therefore advocating for an
Afro-sensitive evaluation framework, which will bring greater credibility,
authority and profile to African evaluation and development efforts. This
increased evaluation credibility will go a long way in increasing the use of
evaluation findings, and knowledge building. Change in Africa will be a
function of learning; hence learning and adapting will be a function of
continuous and timely and credible feedback from program monitoring
and evaluations.”
No
Rosa MuraguriMwololo,

Irene Karanja,
Akilagpa Sawyer,
Alaphia Wright,
Alima Mahama,
Josiah Cobbah
8 Why Africa-rooted
development
Evaluation?
“We need Africa rooted evaluation in order to achieve more effective
theory and practice of evaluation in Africa. Such evaluation will be
grounded in African peoples worldviews and ways of knowing. It is a fact
that development evaluation has been mostly Western Driven without
much consideration for local contexts and realities. What we are seeking is
an evaluation paradigm that is informed by African aspirations. Without a
doubt, development evaluation that is Africa centred will enhance the
contribution of evaluation to African development.”
No
Chiku Malunga,
Doha Abdelhamid,
Josiah Cobbah
9 Evaluation for
innovative African
futures
“Evaluation answers the so-called three right questions:
Are we doing the Right things
Are we doing things right; and
Are we acting on the right lessons learned?
Universally, the ultimate goals of development are dignity, Peace and
Prosperity for all. These goals are reached though actions with integrity of
purpose, process and perspective.
The African Future will be on in which the current (and future) challenges
of:
de-humanisation and abuse of human rights, inequality etc.; (ii) poverty;
and (iii) unresolved conflicts are increasingly reduced, for the African to
enjoy dignity, peace and prosperity.
Innovation grounded in African values, understanding and perspectives
will facilitate the building of the desirable African Futures making
appropriate use of evaluation cognizant of these values.”
No
Robin Moore,
Alaphia Wright,
Debbie Serwadda,
Josiah Cobbah
10 Where do we want
to go? - Evaluation
for Good
Governance in PostRevolutionary

Contexts
- Citizens informed and empowered
- Civil Society organization acting as pressure groups for DME
- Governments accountable for enhanced performance and greater
responsiveness to citizens’ needs
No
Laila El Baradei,
Nermine Wally,
Doha Abdelhamid
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 48
PAPER 2 - BRINGING ABOUT INFLUENTIAL
EVALUATION FOR AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT: THE ROAD
FORWARD
Contributors - Doha Abdelhamid, Laila El Baradei, Debbie Serwadda, Nermine Wally
STATEMENT: The cause of development evaluation rests on the development of genuine development
strategies reflecting the needs of stakeholders who should own and be engaged in visioning and
implementation of development and the respective DME evaluation discourse.
The contributors to this paper are aware of a number of considerations:
• This paper is highly dependent on the discourse evolving from earlier trigger papers, same for
the contributions that are currently being generated by other position papers
• The immediacy of development adjoined to development evaluation is imperative
Literature messages drawn from Rob Moore's and Zenda Ofir's trigger paper:
• The mastery of critical M&E approaches and methods
• Innovation in monitoring and evaluation theory and practice
• Positioning the evaluation profession and globally
What strategies or activities for joint action could be considered?
Expand the pool of evaluation knowledge generated within Africa
1. Generate, compile and classify a transparent repository of knowledge on African evaluations
2. Mapping capacity building initiatives in DME within Africa
3. Moving the compiled repositories and maps to the wider African public
4. Gauging demand from specialist universities, think tanks and DME projects to partner for
generating original knowledge drawing lessons learnt and best practices on the theory,
perception and application of DME in Africa
5. Documenting and disseminating results in fora and building national and sub-national DME
action research plans to improve the evaluation status
6. Documenting and disseminating intra-national, regional action research results
7. Documenting and disseminating continental action research results
Equitable stakeholders participation has to be secured in all phases of the above action plan.
Catalyze a strong, movement towards 'thought leadership' within the evaluation profession in
Africa
The civil society should play a leading role in canvassing ideas and fostering thought leadership in
development evaluation by acting as a broker of evaluative knowledge among the general public,
government, evaluation practitioners, parliamentarians, the media/press, private sector, political parties
and development partners.
Such movements require a non for profit actor, therefore the DME civil society stand as well-suited in
this regard. A continuous policy dialogue should take place through a DME civil society leader to
spearhead through planned series of fora within a liberal thinking space to improve the realized
development results nationally, regionally, continentally and internationally.
This policy dialogue should ensure infilterment into national policies and the embedment of
institutionalized, sustainable systems in governments that would realize development for the African
people.
The output, henceforth, would be an Africa-owned overarching vision for development and
development evaluation.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 49
Extend the influence of this meeting and its envisaged outcomes
The current forum should be understood as the initial step to the development of a vision for Africa on
development evaluation.
It has to be also recognized that development and development plans have to be appropriately designed
to improve the conditions for sustainable development for African citizens overall beyond political
promises and jargon.
Development rights awareness campaigns realized should attach a clear cut DME component.
A road show to expose the results of the current meeting and catalyse mixed, diverse national and
regional groups should be planned for and taken up forward in the course of a year. After then,
generating an all-encompassing publication (in book format) that would heavily synthesize and analyse
the thoughts elicited through the road show into further developed actions together with parties
responsible to taking up actions within a maximum of a 3-year period, after which a major African
conference is to be held to report on achieved results, challenges and further opportunities.
A supervisory board is to be established at the beginning of the implementation period to monitor and
guide the implementing responsible parties. Contribution and participation vision implementation will
be voluntary, though backed by heavy media campaigning.
What next steps should be taken towards making this a reality?
• Defining interested parties (governments, formal and informal networks
• Defining their level of participation
• Meeting with them and agreeing on the time line and expected results in the 2 phases (vision
formulation for Africa; then vision implementation for Africa).
• Disseminating results
• Actioning the vision
• Monitoring the action
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 50
PAPER 3 - DEVELOPING AN ETHICAL COZY TRIANGLE -
AFRICAN EVALUATION FOR PRIVATE, PUBLIC, PEOPLE
DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT
Contributors - Debbie Serwadda, Doha Abdelhamid and Chiku Malungu
What is African development? Prosperity, Human Dignity and Peace
Why is it important? (THE STATEMENT)
Current evaluation understanding and practice is still limited to specialists and consultants working
largely in civil society and the public sector. Africa is a young continent full of untapped potential
especially amongst young people and women. African Evaluation for Private, Public and People Driven
Development therefore has the opportunity of contributing to developing young people and women
through applicable knowledge and local revenue generation, informed by a culture of innovation,
enterprise, strategic leadership and accountability.
Implications for evaluation theory and practice
Will it make a difference? YES
• Current formal evaluation practice has a limited conceptualization of the scope of sustainable
development.
• Private, Public, and People Sector partnerships need to be strengthened
• It is imperative to develop a more inclusive evaluation practice that evaluates itself and that
accommodates the already existing evaluation practices from all sectors (PPP)
• There is an urgent need to raise the social consciousness of the private sector (formal and
informal) which reaches more people on the continent
• The undisputed role of entrepreneurial Mindsets and practice as an engine and driver for
sustainable development.
• Evaluation as a means to an end promotes a culture of of ownership, responsibility, learning and
accountability
• African evaluation is not the sole responsibility of specialists but a way of life of citizens
How can African Evaluation for Private, Public, and People Driven Development be made
influential? Who should be involved in the process?
• It must utilize entrepreneurship and participation principles; indigenous knowledge, tools and
people friendly methods.
• It must be documented using people friendly methodologies and shared (using all technologies
including youth friendly ones) in a practical manner
• It must be popularized and even documented in African languages to be read by Africans
themselves
• All stakeholders must be involved from the 3 sectors
• Mutually reinforcing roles across sectors must be clarified (enabler, implementers)
• It must be comply with highest national and global standards
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 51
PAPER 6 - EVALUATION CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT FOR
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFRICA
Contributors - Sukai Prom Jackson
Respecting the principles of capacity development as an endogenous process, the strategy should
be developed drawing from the goals for evaluation established by government. These goals go beyond
responsiveness to accountability for value for money.
National goals for evaluation include:
• Governance and accountability to citizens and to those who provide support (expand list –
bilaterals, multilaterals, south-south, diaspora),
• Development of learning nations and groups for informed reflection, innovations and change,
• Development of existing analytic institutions (research and evaluation centres and universities)
to enhance their role as independent evaluation institutions and think tanks to direct evaluation,
• Knowledge development and contribution to global knowledge.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 52
DELEGATE PROFILES
PROF. DOHA ABDEL HAMID - Egypt
Prof. Doha Abdelhamid is an economist and policy evaluation expert with 27 years of experience in
academia and consulting. She held positions as senior policy advisor to the former minister of finance,
minister of planning and economic development, and finally in the Cabinet of ministers of Egypt. She has
lectured in finance and policy evaluations at the American University in Cairo, Carleton University in
Canada, Edinburgh Business School, the Arab Academy for Science and Technology, and the Cape Breton
University. Doha has served as an IDEAS Executive Board Member for two terms and represented the MENA
region in the Media Society for Consumer Protection and Development. She is co-founder of the MENA
Regional Network for Development Evaluation and co-founder of the Egyptian Development Evaluation
Society (EgyDeval). She is a Global Task Force Member in the Inwent-World Bank Institute for Training
Effectiveness Metrics; and member of the regional knowledge management network of IDRC/MERO. Doha
has been recently appointed as the MENA Representative to the Board of Trustees of the International
Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE), and also as an International Advisor to the African
Evaluation Association (AFREA)
DR. ISAAC BEKALO - (Moderator) Ethiopia
Born in Ethiopia, Isaac has twenty-five years of practical experience in community and organizational
development, management and leadership. As President of IIRR, Isaac takes a lead role in strategy
formulation, organizational diagnoses and restructuring, strategic management, business plan development
and monitoring and evaluation.
While pursuing his doctoral studies, Isaac worked as a part-time lecturer in the school of Public Health and as
the Coordinator of Graduate Research Programs in the Philippines and joined IIRR in September 1989 as the
Africa Regional Director. He was appointed its 6th President in January 2009 and built the Africa Regional
Centre and establishing a presence in four East African countries.
Isaac has successfully co-created a participatory knowledge-management and documentation system known
as the Writeshop that used by numerous international organizations. He has facilitated and co-authored
several leading publications on the Writeshop process and has trained hundreds of senior and middle level
mangers and technical specialists in the same.
PROF. BAGELE CHILISA - Botswana
Prof. Bagele Chilisa is a Professor at the University of Botswana where she teaches Research Methods and
Evaluation. She has supervised more than 50 Masters and PhD dissertations and has served as external
examiner for PHD thesis in the SADEC region. She is also author of a number of textbooks that are used by
graduate students internationally. Professor Chilisa has received numerous grants to carry out impact
evaluation and intervention research on HIV/AIDS, gender, education, sexuality
interacting with scholars from Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world. Her evaluation research on
pregnancy policy was the part of a larger project initiated by the Ministries of Education with studies in
Botswana, Mozambique, Kenya and Nigeria. Other studies (including HIV/AIDS, gender school experiences,
and life skills education) have been carried out with scholars from the United Kingdom, Ghana, Botswana,
USA (Pennsylvania, Stanford and Harvard) and have involved studies in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi,
Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
DR. JOSIAH COBBAH - Ghana
Dr. Josiah A. M. Cobbah is a Principal Lecturer in Governance, Leadership and Management and currently
Head of Administration at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA). With more
than 30 years' experience in education in both Ghana and the United States, Dr. Cobbah is an expert in
governance, human rights, leadership, ethics and social responsibility and development management. He has
been a consultant for various national and international agencies. Dr. Cobbah is a lawyer and holds a PhD in
geography with a concentration in rural resources development and planning. He has published in a variety
of areas.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 53
PROF. LAILA EL BARADEI - Egypt
Prof. Laila El Baradei is associate dean for the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy (GAPP) and professor
of public administration at the American University in Cairo. She is also a professor of public administration
at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University.
El Baradei is a graduate of AUC with a BA degree in business administration with highest honors in 1983 and
an MBA in 1988. She received her PhD in public administration from Cairo University in 1998.
Her research interests and publications cover the areas of development cooperation management,
decentralization, organizational change, public administration reform, governance, child labour, downsizing,
and accountability. El Baradei has co-authored Egypt’s Human Development Report 2010, 2008 and 2004;
Egypt’s Millennium Development Goals Second Country Report 2004, and the World Bank’s Country
Environmental Analysis for Egypt published in 2005. Over the years, she has has also provided consultancy
services to the World Bank, USAID, UNDP, DANIDA, Center for Development Research in Bonn, the
Economic Research Forum in Egypt, and Ford Foundation.
DR. SULLEY GARIBA - Ghana
Dr. Sulley Gariba, is an evaluation specialist and policy analyst with nearly 30 years of experience with
strategic institutions in Africa and internationally. He has provided leadership to several community and rural
development initiatives across Ghana, which earned him the Millennium Excellence Award for Rural
Development in 2005. He was the Founding President of the International Development Evaluation
Association (IDEAS), and former President of the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA), was former lecturer at
the University for Development Studies in Tamale, is currently the Executive Director of the Institute for
Policy Alternatives, a policy think-tank in Ghana. Since 2009 has been serving as the Development Policy
Advisor to the President of Ghana, focusing on the Savannah Accelerated Development Strategy for
development equity in Ghana. He has been a leading member of the National Development Planning
Commission. He has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in Political Science from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. His
first degree was from University of Ghana.
IRENE KARANJA - Kenya
Irene Karanja is a specialist in participatory research, community organizing and capacity building of the
urban poor. In the last 10 years, Irene was been instrumental in establishing the Research and Advocacy unit
of the Pamoja Trust and has transformed participatory data collection techniques into a major instrument that
allows slum dwellers to assume leadership of settlements through savings, housing cooperatives and womens’
groups. Irene’s major accomplishments include facilitating the federation of slum dwellers in Kenya
(Muungano wa Wanavijiji) to undertake settlement planning, settlement up-grading and tenure regularisation
of informal settlements across Kenya and leveraging government departments to use participatory urban
planning processes as the first step to settlement upgrading.
As the founding Executive Director of Muungano Support Trust (MuST), she has works with Private and Public
Institutions to resource urban poor projects in nine urban areas in Kenya. She recently served as an advisor to
the Kenyan Government for the resettlement of 10,000 poor households in Kenya.
HAJIA ALIMA MAHAMA - Ghana
Hajia Alima Mahama is a prominent Ghanaian human rights lawyer and gender equality specialist. She, until
recently, served as an advisor to the post conflict government of Liberia on gender and development policies
under a UN and Government of Liberia Joint Programme on Attainment of MDG3. She previously was
Ghana’s Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural
Development, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry and Member of Parliament. Trained as a lawyer, and an
early champion of women’s equality in northern Ghana, she has worked as an advisor on a wide range of
donor-funded projects in Ghana and Liberia, including for DANIDA, CIDA, IFAD and others. A member of a
wide range of professional and policy networks, Mahama earned a BA from the University of Ghana and her
law degree from the Ghana Law School, as well as an MA in development studies from the Institute of Social
Studies in The Hague. She was a Pearson Fellow of University of Ottawa, Canada and a Hubert Humphrey
Fellow at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 54
DR. CHIKU MALUNGA - Malawi
Chiku Malunga is a Civil Society Organization Development Writer and Practitioner specializing in Strategy
and Leadership Development and works as a Consultant throughout Africa and beyond. A highly sought after
Speaker especially on understanding non-profit organisations, leadership and strategy from an African
perspective, his niche is in using African indigenous wisdom in enhancing modern (organizational) life. Chiku
is the author of seven African indigenous wisdom based Leadership and Strategy books: Understanding
Organisational Sustainability through African Proverbs, Understanding Organizational Leadership through
Ubuntu, Making Strategic Plans Work: Insights from African Indigenous Wisdom; Oblivion or Utopia: The
Prospects for Africa; Power and Influence: Self Development Lessons from African Proverbs and Folktales; and
Cultivating Personal and Organizational Effectiveness: Spiritual Insights from African Proverbs. Chiku holds a
doctorate degree in Development Studies from the University of South Africa and is Director of CADECO, an
organisation that promotes African centred organisational and leadership improvement models.
PROF. ROBIN MOORE - South Africa
Professor Robin Moore is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Partnerships and Advancement) at the University of the
Witwatersrand (‘Wits’) in Johannesburg. He joined Wits in 2006 as Director of Strategic Planning and, in
2007, he was appointed as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Advancement & Partnerships). His work includes
responsibility for the advancement of the University’s strategic purposes in partnership with other institutions
in society. Among other things, he assists in developing the relationships between Wits and partners in
government, industry, civil society and other universities. He was recently project director for South Africa’s
Ministerial Review Committee on the National System of Innovation, a study conducted in 2010 and 2011
and published in 2012.
He is a member of the Advisory Board of the journal Studies in Higher Education and sits on the Boards of the
Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO) and the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO).
DR. ROSA MURAGURI-MWOLOLO - Kenya
Rosa has 30 years experience international development and is a champion for African Entrepreneurship.
Instrumental in the development of policies to support SME development, she currently works for UNHABITAT
as part of the Advisory Group that ensures Results-Based Management (RBM) policy compliance.
Rosa holds a PhD in Management Education, a Masters in Entrepreneurship, and a Bachelors degree in
Sociology. Starting her career with Kenya’s Ministry of Gender, promoting gender sensitive policies for SMEs,
Rosa moved on to become Senior Program Officer and Gender Advisor with CIDA and NORAD. She has
consulted for numerous governments, NGOs and UN Agencies and has trained extensively in Results Based
Management (RBM). Until recently, she was a CGIAR trainer for the African Women Scientists in Agricultural
Research and Development (AWARD) program. Rosa serves as a member of the Governing Council for Jomo
Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) and is a member of the African Community of
Practice (AfCoP) for Managing for Results and a founder member for the Kenya Community of Practice for
Managing for Development Results. She is an adjunct faculty at the Strathmore University Business School.
DR. ZENDA OFIR - South Africa
South Africa born Dr Zenda Ofir has been a full-time evaluation specialist since leaving her position as
Director of Research at the University of Pretoria in 2000. She is a former President of the African Evaluation
Association (AfrEA), former Vice President of the International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation
(IOCE), and former Board member of the American Evaluation Association, the first based outside the US. She
has been a visiting professor at the University of Hiroshima and for several years presented the Aid
Effectiveness module of the International Cooperation course at the United Nations University in Tokyo.
Zenda has participated in assignments for more than 40 clients in 30 countries across Africa and Asia, and
regularly serves as expert advisor on evaluation. She is currently one of four Core Advisors to the Rockefeller
Foundation’s Evaluation Office, member of the GAVI Evaluation Advisory Committee and Expert M&E
Advisor to AWARD, a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded program cultivating African women leaders
in agricultural research. She has also served as Steering Committee member of the Network of Networks on
Impact Evaluation (NONIE); as member of the CGIAR Science Council Standing Panel on Impact Assessment
(SPIA); as Expert Panel member for review of the IFAD Evaluation Manual; as OECD DAC/UNEG peer panel
member for review of the evaluation function of the World Food Program (WFP); and as Special Advisor on
Knowledge Management to the IUCN Executive in Switzerland.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 55
MR. STEPHEN PORTER - South Africa
Mr Stephen Porter is currently Acting Director of the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR
Anglophone Africa) at the University of the Witwatersrand. Mr Porter has a 10 year career in developing and
implementing Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems in Africa and is well versed in theories of change.
Currently Mr Porter is working with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in
South Africa on a range of evaluation issues. Mr Porter has designed and supported the implementation of a
range of community based M&E systems that balanced donor, government and organisational requirements.
Stephen has developed good practice M&E systems for USAID and DFID funded initiatives at VSO and
AMREF and conducted a provincial level evaluation of the institutional barriers to the outcomes based
approach and is currently teaching courses at Wits. Mr Porter has also assisted an FAO division on the
development of simple monitoring systems and has a range of peer-reviewed publications on institutional,
collaborative, and rights-based M&E approaches. He holds a Masters degree in Public Policy and is currently
working on his PhD.
DR. SUKAI PROM-JACKSON - The Gambia
Dr. Sukai Prom-Jackson has over 20 years of professional experience and leadership in the management and
conduct of research and evaluation, policy formulation and strategic planning, and in the facilitation of
learning as a university lecturer and trainer. She has spent 15 years with the World Bank in the fields of
policy research, policy-based lending and investment operations. Her work experience includes governance,
public sector administration and reform, education and human development, and human resource
management. She has recently been appointed by the UN General Assembly to serve as an Inspector of the
Joint Inspection Unit. Since 2005, Sukai has worked as Evaluation Adviser of the independent Evaluation
Office (EO) of the UNDP. She is well-recognized in the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) and the
international evaluation community and has represented the UNDP and the UNEG in various meetings to
advance development evaluation. Dr. Prom-Jackson is a Gambian and a graduate of Howard University and
Middlebury College in the USA.
PROF. AKILAGPA SAWYERR - Ghana
Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr is a member of the Council of State in Ghana and Vice-President (Arts) of the
Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities
(AAU) from 2003 to 2008, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana from 1985 to 1992. Prior to that,
he taught law at the Universities of Dar es Salaam, Papua New Guinea and Ghana, and held fellowships and
visiting appointments at universities in Europe and the US. Professor Sawyerr studied law at the Universities of
Durham, London and California (Berkeley), where he obtained the degree of Doctor of the Science of
Jurisprudence (JSD), and is a member of the Bar in England, Ghana and Papua New Guinea. He serves on
several national and international bodies, including the Governing Board of the Commonwealth of Learning,
the Technical Committee and Advisory Council of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, as well as the
Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the Conduct of Science (CFRS) of the International Council for
Science (ICSU). Professor Sawyerr’s research interests cover globalization, higher education, human
development, and international negotiations, areas in which he has published widely and acted as consultant
to national and international bodies.
DEBBIE SERWADDA - Uganda
Debbie Serwadda is the founding chairperson of iCON Women & Young People’s Leadership Academy
(iCON) - a “proudly Ugandan” social enterprise and civil society organization providing a unique integrated
formal and non formal entrepreneurship and leadership education experience for women and young people
who aspire to excel as productive and innovative local and global citizens. iCON has piloted an
Entrepreneurship and Transformational Leadership Fellowship with more than 600 community based women
in post-conflict Northern Uganda; 50 young men and 100 young women in post-secondary institutions in
Northern Uganda; and 100 students in selected schools in Kampala. Recognized for her authentic leadership
skills, Debbie is a core member of the African Gender and Development Evaluators Network (AGDEN).
AGDEN is a Special Interest Group (SIG) under the umbrella of the African Evaluators Association (AFREA),
and Africa wide network through which gender and rights evaluators seek to influence development through
participatory evaluation practice on the continent and the world.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 56
NERMINE WALLY - Egypt
Nermine Wally is currently President of the African Evaluation association (AfrEA) and a socio economic
researcher with experience in gender issues, poverty alleviation and participatory initiatives. Through
fieldwork and direct contact, she developed deep knowledge of the social issues facing non-governmental
organizations, youth, women and rural households in Egypt and the MENA region. In her latest job as Senior
Governance Specialist in the “New Social Contract Centre’, a project launched by the Egyptian Cabinet to
respond to Egypt developmental needs, she worked closely on the governance and anti-corruption agenda of
Egypt. She also contributed to the development of the national M&E framework to assess Egypt Millennium
Development Goals. Nermine has working experience in the Middle East, Africa and South East Asia, and
serves in the board of the African Evaluation Association where she leads the team on Advocacy. She is
currently based in Paris where she is pursuing graduate studies in Sciences Po Paris.
PROF. ALAPHIA WRIGHT - Sierra Leone
Alaphia Wright is the UNESCO representative to Angola, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland; and
the Director of the UNESCO Office in Windhoek. Alaphia is a trained Evaluator and RBM consultant and has
served on some 20 Board of Directors, Management Boards, Technical and Steering Committees; including
the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG). He was co-chair of the ECD Task Force of UNEG, which
developed an evaluation training programme for UN staff. A strong proponent of the ‘Systems Thinking
Approach’ he has authored/co-authored 100+ publications including four books. Alaphia is the co-developer
of the Dynamic Cone method for Open Pit Mine Design, and the developer of the Systems-ware model of the
Logical Framework and the RBM Logical ScoreCard. From 1984 to 2003 he lectured Operations Research and
Mine Planning at the Universities of Zambia and Zimbabwe. He also lectured Project Management and
Evaluation, and supervised many MBAs, MSc and PhD research projects in engineering and management. He
has been a visiting professor in Zambia and External Examiner in Germany, Ghana, South Africa and Zambia.
He was Dean of Engineering, University of Zimbabwe from 1999 - 2003.
Kieron Crawley - (Forum Project Manager) - Ireland
Kieron is a Masters Graduate from the WITs School of Public and Development Management. He has helped
to establish the CLEAR Africa centre, lecturing to a range of students in the areas of Monitoring and
Evaluation, Results based Management and Project Planning. Kieron’s background as a Development Country
Programme Director within the INGO sector has provided him with experience in developing and managing
multi-sectoral poverty alleviation programmes in East and Southern Africa, the Caribbean and South Asia. His
country experience spans Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, the Gambia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Namibia,
South Africa, Haiti, Honduras, Peru, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Kieron’s work with CLEAR has included the
facilitating of two global meetings on behalf of the World Bank CLEAR Global Secretariat in Paris and Accra.
He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of the Witwatersrand.
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 57
AGENDA
Day 1: The Development-Evaluation
Interface
Day 2: ‘Made in Africa’ Evaluation Day 3: Joining Forces for Influence and Impact
Session 1 (morning)
• Welcome and Introductions
• Framing the meeting
Trigger Presentation and Discussions
i. What are the most important
contemporary development challenges
for Africa over the next ten years?
ii. What are the implications for
evaluation theory and practice, and for
the profession?
iii. How do these relate to global trends?
Session 2 (afternoon)
Trigger Presentation and Discussions
iv. What is the status quo of evaluation in
Africa, and what are the forces that
have been shaping it?
v. How does this situation relate to global
trends?
vi. How can evaluation in Africa be made
to be more innovative and useful in
advancing these development
priorities?
Session 3 (morning)
Trigger Presentation and Discussions
i. What is meant by ‘Africa rooted’ and ‘Africa
driven’ theory and practice?
ii. What are the implications for development, for
evaluation theory and practice, and for the
evaluation profession? What is likely to be
‘African’ about such work?
iii. What can be learned from related experiences
elsewhere in the world?
Session 4 (afternoon)
Collation of Perspectives – Breakout Groups
iv. How can an innovative body of work in this
area be nurtured to (i) make it cutting edge and
(ii) increase the likelihood that it will be used?
v. What will be needed to give ‘Africa rooted’ and
‘Africa driven’ evaluation theory and practice
greater credibility, respect and voice in
development efforts, within and outside the
continent?
Session 5 (morning)
Decision-focused Discussions
i. Based on the discussions before and at this meeting,
what will be needed to
• continuously expand the pool of influential
evaluation knowledge generated from within
Africa, by Africans?
• attract more of the most outstanding and
influential people to the evaluation profession in
Africa?
• catalyze an influential, enduring movement of
‘thought leadership’ that provides active and
respected contributions to evaluation and to
development thinking, policies and practices in
Africa?
Session 6 (afternoon)
Planning the Way Forward
ii. What strategies will help put ideas generated from
this meeting in practice?
iii. What strategies will extend and enhance the
influence of this meeting towards its desired
outcomes?
iv. What immediate steps will be needed to generate
momentum?
African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development, Bellagio, Nov 2012 58
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