South Africa’s Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and CLEAR Anglophone Africa organised a regional workshop with seven African countries in 2013. From this South Africa, Uganda and Benin realised that they were pursuing a similar approach to developing a national evaluation system and have collaborated ever since, sharing guidelines and system tools, attending each other’s trainings and events. This has enabled some cross-learning and the building of a light but effective collaboration. CLEAR Anglophone and Francophone have worked with these three countries during this period to support capacity building efforts.
DFID has been supporting South Africa’s Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation since 2013 through the SPME Project, focusing on the use of evaluation and monitoring data of front-line service delivery and citizen-based monitoring to inform government’s work of delivering results to people in South Africa. The outcome of the SPME project is “Effective front-line service delivery, citizen-based monitoring and an outcomes evaluation system support government’s accountability to people in South Africa”. A total of £2 million has been made available from 2013 to 2015. The project has been successful and the systems have developed rapidly and are having impacts on policy and implementation.
The three core country partners of Twende Mbele (Uganda, South Africa and Benin) have been active promoters of regional and international networks, including CLEAR and 3ie (International Initiative for Impact Evaluation), both of which are supported by DFID. South Africa and the UK are also members of the Open Government Partnership, which is promoting accountability and transparency in their government’s work. Other countries have shown considerable interest in what the three countries have been doing, with study visits from countries including Togo, Niger, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Botswana, Lesotho. These three countries have an opportunity share widely in the region, both in the areas of evaluation and monitoring, especially as they build on the regional work CLEAR-AA is undertaking. The Twende Mbele Programme aims to support these emerging linkages across Africa, enabling closer learning by the founding three partners, and involving other partners who are committed to taking forward evaluation as well as monitoring. The programme will also build on global experience, growing the range of PM&E mechanisms which have promise to improve government performance and accountability.
DFID is currently funding a programme called SANGAT (Strengthening African Networks for Governance, Accountability and Transparency)which is supporting three other African networks that also work toward government accountability. SANGAT aims to leverage on existing projects, demand-driven processes and peer to peer learning around thematic areas. There are currently three projects focusing on various thematic areas from budget transparency and public finance to a high-level network looking at big picture issues around organised crime and prosecution. Twende is being funded as a fourth component of the SANGAT programme.