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Diagnostic on the Demand & Supply of Evaluators (Demand & Supply)

As more and more evaluations are being commissioned and undertaken in a number of African countries, it is clear that the current supply of good evaluators is constrained, with relatively small group of professional suppliers taking up most of the larger evaluation studies. As more governments demand more evaluative evidence, the number and quality of human resources required to meet this will grow. At the current level of demand, problems with the size of the pool of available evaluators, the quality of their deliverables and their ability to respond to government terms of reference (ToRs), consolidates an already skewed evaluation market.

There is, therefore, a need to expand the existing pool of evaluators, and to ensure that the representivity of evaluators in a given country system approximates that of the local population, as well as enabling emerging evaluators to enter the market with fewer restrictions. Each of the three countries covered here will benefit from further understanding of the incentives and barriers that foster a more competitive demand and supply in the evaluation market.

During 2017 and early 2018, Twende Mbele commissioned a series of diagnostic studies on the supply and demand of evaluators in Uganda, Benin and South Africa. The purpose of the diagnostic studies was to provide a demand and supply profile of evaluators in these three countries. On the supply side, the main aims were to quantify the size and shape of the current country supply of evaluation consultants, including their skills levels, abilities and specialisations, and pricing. On the demand side, the main aims were to quantify the current and projected demand for evaluation services, including factors such as eligibility requirements to tender, opportunities for transformation and the sustainability and strengths and weaknesses of the market. Overall, the aim was to ascertain whether supply is, and will be in the future, sufficient to meet demand, and what should be done to grow local supply.

There were key findings made during the studies and they all differ from country to country. In South Africa for example, it was found that the problems with the quality of demand are often the root cause of problems with the quality and apparent quantity of supply. In Benin, the supply of services satisfies the current demand but could be quickly overwhelmed unless, it’s evaluation capacities are strengthened. Uganda, on the other hand, the Survey findings from most clients show that the supply of evaluators is not sufficient to meet the demand. To better match the supply to demand, it was established that there is need for a deeper analysis of the profession of evaluation in Uganda more especially organizational capacity gaps at the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) level

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