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    Strengthening and measuring monitoring and evaluation capacity in selected African programmes
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-12-15) Masvaure, Steven and Fish, Tebogo
    Strengthening the capacities of countries and organisations to perform monitoring and evaluation (M&E) functions is gaining momentum in the Global South. However, there is limited literature on the effectiveness and impact of these capacity strengthening initiatives in Africa. Across the continent, there has been a global push to strengthen M&E capacity both within the state and non-state sector. The rationale for the push and investments is based on the premise that M&E capacity is critical for assisting public officials, non-state sector development managers, non-governmental organisations, and donors to improve the design and implementation of their projects, improve progress, increase impact, and enhance learning. Despite considerable investments to build M&E capacity in the African context, literature shows that the measurement of these initiatives is non-existent. To explore M&E capacity strengthening initiatives and how their effectiveness is being measured. The study adopted a qualitative research approach, specifically using semi-structured interviews to gain an in-depth understanding of capacity-strengthening approaches and how capacity strengthening activities are measured. A sample was drawn from Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Results: This study found that M&E capacity strengthening in the selected countries is ad hoc, indiscriminate, haphazard and mainly focuses on developing individual skills and abilities. The significance of strengthening M&E system capacity in Anglophone Africa has been strongly supported by this study, considering the critical impact that effective M&E systems have in enabling countries to reach their development goals.
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    Approaches to embedding indigenous knowledge systems in Made in Africa Evaluations
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Nedson Pophiwa; Umali Saidi
    This article calls for enrichment of the MAE in setting the agenda and bring agency to evaluation practices in Africa against centuries of unsustainable developmental practices that continue to underdevelop the continent. In this article, the authors make a case for weaving indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) with monitoring and evaluation of interventions targeted at communities on the African continent. Current efforts do not make explicit reference to indigenous knowledge in Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE). Indigenous knowledge systems are implied as the defining aspect of MAE, being called upon to be fused with existing evaluation systems and practices in order to enhance evaluation in African communities.
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    A scoping review of intersections between indigenous knowledge systems and complexity-responsive evaluation research
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Caitlin Blaser-Mapitsa
    This article brings together these two areas of research to see what lessons for African-rooted evaluation approaches emerge from the body of research on indigenous knowledge systems. Acknowledging the need to transform the evaluation sector in Africa, locally generated approaches have been a recent area of contestation for both researchers and practitioners. Whilst the need for an African evaluation approach has been well established in the literature, there are still significant gaps in a proactive response. One of these gaps is the role of indigenous knowledge systems in these evaluation approaches. Indigenous knowledge systems have been a priority research area for decades, often in fields of science and technology, education and in research methods. Despite these strong overlaps with areas of interest to evaluators, there has been relatively little intersection between research on evaluation systems and that on indigenous knowledge systems.
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    Hauwezi kuvuka ziwa hadi uwe na ujasiri wa kutouona urefu wa pwani: Made in Africa Evaluation as courageous conversation
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Antony B. Maikuri; Vidhya Shanker; Rodney K. Hopson
    This article elaborates on the implications for Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) of the results of previous research that the authors conducted on harm and the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) cycle, specifically the connection that the previous study’s participants drew between care and courage. The Kiswahili proverb that serves as the title of this article translates into English as, ‘You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore’.
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    The effects of coloniality and international development assistance on Made in Africa Evaluation: Implications for a decolonised evaluation agenda
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) S. Linda Khumalo
    This article critiques the dominance of a Eurocentric lens to evaluation in Africa, illustrating how this impedes MAE. It harnesses the importance of MAE as a transformative, contextually relevant approach to espousing Afrocentric values in evaluation theory and practice. It is imperative to recognise the effects of the intrinsically Eurocentric development agenda on attaining transformative evaluation that appropriately addresses development priorities in Africa. The role of international development agencies as critical anchors in African evaluation practice needs examination to advance the Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) discourse.
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    A descriptive narrative on the current situation against the gold standards regarding institutionalisation of national monitoring and evaluation system for Botswana and Zimbabwe
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Panganai F. Makadzange
    To explore the current standing of Zimbabwe and Botswana against the gold standards of institutionalisation of national M&E systems. Literature demonstrates that when it comes to institutionalising national monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems, some African countries such as South Africa, Benin and Uganda are quite advanced. In the new millennium, more countries such as Zimbabwe and Botswana engaged in similar processes. However, there is still little documentation on such processes. This article thus attempts to bridge the documentation gap
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    Transforming voluntary organisations for professional evaluation into central pillars of national evaluation systems
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Tebogo Fish; Ayabulela Dlakavu; Matodzi Amisi; Steven Masvaure
    A study commissioned by the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results -Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA) and the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) in 2021 highlights key strengths and challenges faced by African VOPEs in their quest to help strengthen NESs across the continent. Voluntary organisations for professional evaluation (VOPEs) have proliferated across the African continent, seeking to contribute to building effective national evaluation systems (NESs) that enhance development planning, implementation and appraisal.
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    Whither Made in Africa Evaluation: Exploring the future trajectory and implications for evaluation practice
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Precious Tirivanhu
    This article aimed to explore the praxis implications of MAE to development evaluation practice. Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) has gained traction in the last decade, mainly through the agenda of decolonising knowledge and promoting Africa’s epistemic identity through promoting African grounded epistemologies, African indigenous knowledge systems and African grounded evaluation methodologies. While emphasis has been given to theorising MAE and possible methodological implications, limited attention has been given to implications of MAE for development evaluation praxis
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    Akonta: Examining the epistemology and ontology of Made in Africa Evaluation
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Mjiba Frehiwot
    This article interrogates the epistemology and ontology of Made in Africa evaluation (MAE). Since the initial conversations about MAE as a method and theory in 2007, its importance has continued to gain traction and occupy space as a viable alternative to  strictly using evaluative tools developed outside of Africa.  The epistemology and ontology of MAE are rarely a part of discussions, debates and research, these are regarded as auxiliary to internationally recognised methods and theories. The ability of MAE to be imagined by evaluators, academics and the community strengthens its ability to operate in multiple communities across Global Africa
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    Country-led monitoring and evaluation systems through the lens of participatory governance and co-production: Implications for a Made in Africa Evaluation approach
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Candice Morkel; Adeline Sibanda
    This article explores how localised approaches to governance (merged with co-production) could ensure that evaluation systems are liberatory if they are endogenous and indigenous in their design and respond to the needs of citizens (rather than serving an upward accountability agenda). The history of evaluations on the African continent can be linked to the introduction of upward systems of accountability resulting from the rapid introduction of international aid programmes for the (re)building of African states during the post-independence era. Results-based management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) became commonplace, the features of which continue to imbue national M&E systems across the continent. These systems, if not intentionally so designed and implemented, are not particularly focused on learning for course-correction and performance improvement from the perspective of citizens. Conducting evaluations, in particular, is often based on the need for accountability to funders or decision-makers, as opposed to downward accountability to the public and intended beneficiaries of the interventions.
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    Reshaping how we think about evaluation: A made in Africa evaluation perspective
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Steven, Masvaure; Sonny M. Motlanthe
    This article examines how evaluation as a tool has perpetuated Western hegemony on the epistemological, axiological and ontological understanding of development in sub-Saharan Africa. The African development space is dominated by the Western hegemony that shapes the structural funding model, knowledge transfer and aid. Western hegemony defines the Western countries or development funders as superior to the aid receivers, without necessarily acknowledging the role of colonial history and racism that defined and influenced the underdevelopment of African countries. In the African context, the Global North uses liberalism as a tool to maintain hegemony; hence, there is no need to use colonial coercion as liberalism is self-reinforcing, self-legitimising and self-perpetuating. It absorbs counter-hegemony via its international institutions, economic interdependence and democracy. 
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    Factors inhibiting the maturity and praxis of Made in Africa Evaluation
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Takunda J. Chirau; Mokgophana Ramasobana
    This article documents critical factors inhibiting the deepening of the ‘Made in Africa Evaluation’ (MAE), both conceptually and practically. Monitoring and evaluation in Africa as a practice and discipline has been dominated by Global North perspectives. There have been efforts within the monitoring and evaluation space to build a practice and profession that is informed by epistemes and axiologies which are Afro-centric. The main stream approaches currently being used in African evaluations marginalize the African knowledge systems as well as African evaluators. Reconstructing and repositioning the value of Made in Africa Evaluation is a must, rather than a necessity.
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    Made in Africa Evaluation
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-09-13) Mark, Abrahams; Candice, Morkel; Steven, Masvaure
    The CLEAR-AA commissioned the African Evaluation Journal MAE Special Collection in response to the growing need for literature and tools for MAE. As part of the centre’s ongoing engagement in the development of M&E systems across Africa, CLEAR-AA is confronted with the challenge laid down more than a decade ago at a gathering of the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) to develop MAE as a uniquely African approach to evaluation. The AfrEA gathering of evaluation leaders, scholars and practitioners felt that the MAE approach would counter the Western epistemological dominance in evaluation practice in Africa. As a concept, MAE seeks to identify and develop a uniquely African approach to evaluation. The debate around Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) is a timely one, which urges M&E professionals in Africa to reflect on their profession and their practices. It asks the question: what does it mean for evaluation to be rooted in the African context? It acknowledges the colonial and precolonial African history, the resulting governance systems, the inequalities, the gender concerns, the multiple worldviews informed by traditionalism and the conflicting norms, values and diverse cultural nuances of the African context. The debate further demands clarity about the theoretical foundations of MAE, how it should be defined and what it looks like in practice.
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    Decolonising and indigenising evaluation practice in Africa: Roadmap for mainstreaming the Made in Africa Evaluation approach
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-08-22) Dr. Dlakavu, Ayabulela; Mathebula, Jabulani; Mkhize, Samukelisiwe
    Decolonisation is a concept that has taken on multiple layers since the end of colonisation and the onset of independence in the Global South. More than ever before, decolonialism, decoloniality and indigenisation have moved to the centre of intellectual inquiry across the broad spectrum of human activity: knowledge production, education, academic disciplines, professions, political life and economic organisation. The evaluation profession and fraternity has also been grappling with the idea of decolonising and indigenising its ontological, epistemological and methodological foundations, which are essentially rooted in the Global North development theory, practice and knowledge systems. This article endeavours to provide recommendations on how to make the Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) paradigm practical (applicable) for evaluators in Africa, based on decolonisation and indigenisation methodological prescriptions. The results: the emergent practice of evaluation is only experiencing decolonial scrutiny in the 21st century. In the African context, the MAE paradigm appears to be the continent’s decolonisation and indigenisation project for the evaluation fraternity.
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    Transforming voluntary organisations for professional evaluation into central pillars of national evaluation systems
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022-07-12) Fish, Tebogo; Masvaure, Steven; Dlakavu, Ayabulela; Amisi, Matodzi
    Voluntary organisations for professional evaluation (VOPEs) have proliferated across the African continent, seeking to contribute to building effective national evaluation systems (NESs) that enhance development planning, implementation and appraisal. Objectives: A study commissioned by the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results - Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA) and the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) in 2021 highlights key strengths and challenges faced by African VOPEs in their quest to help strengthen NESs across the continent. Method: The study was qualitative by design, employing document analysis, key informant interviews and focus group discussions with selected VOPEs across Africa. Results: While African VOPEs have proliferated in number, they take different forms, and their focus tends to be shaped by their respective national contexts. A key challenge for African VOPEs is internal human and financial capacities, while the external environment within which these national evaluation associations operate also presents risks such as co-optation and opportunities such as networking and resources.
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    Strengthening Anglophone Africa M&E systems: A CLEAR-AA perspective on guiding principles, challenges and emerging lessons
    (African Evaluation Journal, 2022) Dr. Dlakavu, Ayabulela; Dr. Chirau, Takunda; Masilele, Banele
    Background: Evaluation capacity development (ECD) is evolving to adapt to 21st century governance and development contexts across the world. Consequently, the ECD community is seized with processes of developing, implementing and sharing best ECD practices that are able to build strong and resilient individual and institutional M&E capacities. Objectives: The article seeks to contribute to the on-going discourse and practice regarding evaluation capacity development (ECD) approaches and interventions in Anglophone Africa, Africa, the Global South and global best practice. Method: The article’s methodology is essentially centred on action research pursued during the course of co-planning and designing ECD interventions across English-speaking African countries, empirical data as well as the authors’ experiences and insights gained from leading ECD interventions across African countries. Results: The Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results – Anglophone Africa’s (CLEAR-AA) principle of partnering and engaging governments and development partners throughout the life cycle of ECD interventions is paramount to cultivating country-owned and led national monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems that are sustainable and are able to facilitate a shift towards evidence-based decision-making. Conclusion: The value of this CLEAR-AA mission is that it offers the possibility of improving decision-making, policymaking and implementation and better service delivery and development outcomes in English-speaking Africa. While noting well-known M&E challenges that impact the success of ECD interventions in Africa, the article highlights forward-looking CLEAR-AA strategies that seek to improve the success and impact of its ECD interventions in Anglophone Africa. Such strategies include the identification and use of M&E champions in each country; working to integrate the M&E function within public sector decision-making, development planning, implementation and budgeting processes; and building ECD partnerships with governments, non-governmental institutions and development partners who have intricate knowledge of country M&E systems.
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    Policies for evidence: a comparative analysis of Africa’s national evaluation policy landscape
    (Evidence &Policy, 2021-01-12) Dr Chirau, Takunda; Blaser-Mapitsa, Caitlin; Amisi, Matodzi
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    The effect of Public procurement on the functioning of a National Evaluation Systems: The case of South Africa
    (International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanity Studies, 2020-01) Dr. Kithatu-Kiwekete, Angelita; Dr. Phillips, Sean
    The practice of evaluation is gaining importance across governments in Africa. Country-driven evaluation should enhance the government’s capacity for accountability, knowledge management, performance, as well as improved decision making. Countries that have implemented national evaluation systems include Benin, Uganda, and South Africa. Emerging research tends to focus on methodologies or sector-specific aspects of evaluation. This article examines the specific challenge of public procurement for conducting evaluations as knowledge-based services. The article is based on a baseline study. The methodology for the study involved a literature review; in-depth interviews; focus groups with government officials, evaluation suppliers, trainers, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs); a root-cause analysis workshop; and an online survey with both clients and suppliers. The findings are that the quality of government procurement and supply chain management is a major factor that affects the supply of evaluators. The article concludes by offering recommendations to enhance the process of public procurement.
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    Is Programme Evaluation the same as Social Impact Measurement?
    (Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 2020-01-08) Tsotsotso, Khotso
    This study provides an analysis of the practical and theoretical differences in Social Impact Measurements (SIM)–as defined and is core to Impact Investing–and Programme Evaluation (PE) used in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E). The study is the result of an inspiring effort to converge experiences of both Impact Investment practitioners and investment managers, with those of Programme Evaluators and M&E specialists. A meeting during the AEA’s (American Evaluation Association) ImpaCon conference in Atlanta in 2017. The effort was to facilitate co-learning in order to improve and grow the Impact Investing industry. The study analyses qualitative survey responses from a purposively selected panel of experts including: experienced SIM practitioners and scholars,impact investment managers, programme evaluators and evaluation scholars. Responses are deductively analysed to provide thematic reactions to the research questions. Even though there is a common theoretical intent to determine intervention worth in both SIM and PE, and a common adherence to principles of evaluative thinking; the study concludes that there are clear theoretical and practical differences in participatory and utilisation approach, efficiency and rigour.