ItemVNRs and SDG Evaluations in Anglophone Africa and Latin America: A mapping of common challenges and emerging good practices.(2022-12) Hoffmann, Dirk; Dlakavu, Ayabulela; Retama, KarinaOne of the most distinctive features of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lies with its detailed follow-up and review, guided by a global indicator framework and prominently reflected in Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) submitted by governments. This discussion paper has been produced by a cross-continental Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) evaluation working group, constituted by three officials from DEval, CLEAR-AA and the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results-Latin America and the Caribbean (CLEAR-LAC). The primary objective of this paper is to assess the extent of use of evaluative evidence by governments when compiling their respective Voluntary National Reviews, the latter an implementation tool used to track countries’ progress and achievements vis-à-vis the SDGs. A second objective is to understand other sources of evidence that feed into the development of country VNRs. Third, the document puts forward key findings regarding evidence sources into VNRs, particularly highlighting best practices and challenges from eight sampled countries in Africa and Latin America. This paper purposively sampled four African countries in which CLEAR-AA undertakes evaluation capacity development (ECD), and four Latin American countries where CLEAR-LAC and DEval (through its Focelac+ project ) undertake or support country ECD initiatives. The discussion paper employed a research methodology consisting of an extensive desktop review of VNR, planning and public policy processes, and the state of evaluation capacities in the eight countries. The desktop review is triangulated by key informant interviews of stakeholders involved in the VNR, planning and public policy processes and national evaluation system of each country. Key findings, relative to the paper’s objectives, are as follows: performance monitoring and statistics are a primary source of evidence for VNRs across the African and Latin American countries; government and non-governmental stakeholders have not internalized the value of SDG evaluation in VNR processes and its value in terms of their own internal assessment of progress toward SDGs; limited integration of SDGs and their indicators in the countries’ public policy and national and sector planning cycles; slow response of national evaluation systems in responding to SDGs. Despite these challenges, the authors highlight key emerging best practices from the sampled countries of Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia and Ecuador that can be built upon to integrate SDG evaluation in VNR development, national and sector development planning, as well as national evaluation systems more generally. Lastly, the paper proffers key recommendations for entrenching SDGs in public policy and planning, and promoting evaluative evidence use in VNR development by stressing the value of evaluative evidence in VNR guidelines provided by United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA). ItemBuilding National Evaluation Systems: the Role of Development Partners(CLEAR-AA, 2022-06-04) Morkel, CandiceThere has been significant growth in the efforts to establish M&E systems and functions in governments, particularly in the Global South. Countries, such as South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda (amongst others), have built M&E systems to assess various strategies and national development plans (CLEAR-AA 2013). One of the reasons for this is the pressure on governments to implement their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and report on their performance in the periodic Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) presented by Heads of State to the High-Level Political Forum at the annual United Nations General Assembly (United Nations c. 2020). One of the effects of the growth in M&E systems is a shift from accounting for budget expenditure to a focus on the achievement of development results, which is a welcome development. Monitoring and evaluation now needs to be located in the broader discourse around sustainable development and the achievement of systemwide development.