What’s the situation?
Twende Mbele has embarked on a project to examine the demand and supply of evaluators. Evaluations are becoming part and parcel of public service, with an estimated growth in demand of at least 300% over the next three years. Given that the South African government outsources its evaluators, it is important to gauge if the current supply of evaluators is able to meet the growing demand and whether it will be able to maintain the quality required over the next three years.
Strengthening evaluation capacities (regardless of sector) involves more than just building individual technical skills; it also involves institutional or organisational capacities and creating an enabling environment for evaluation. This means that an assessment of demand and supply for evaluation must also consider the enabling environment for supply and the organisational capacity of the demand organisations to commission, manage and use evaluations. There needs to be a conscious demand-side effort to create an appropriate enabling environment for supply.
The short answer is that at the moment in South Africa, the current pool of suppliers is inadequate to meet the projected growth in demand. There are a number of issues that have arisen from the project so far, namely: questions around the quality of work, the quantity of evaluators, and mismatched views on Government requirements versus private sector knowledge. The DPME has reported numerous times on the inadequacy of suppliers to, one, understand the public sector and two, adequate capacity to complete a quality evaluation.
Some of the emerging root causes of this mismatch are captured in the diagram below:
A validation workshop, taking place on 6 December will be able to draw conclusions with sector specialists on the problem and solution thereof. Practitioners and public sector employees are encouraged to attend.