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The emergence of government evaluation systems in Africa: The case of Benin, Uganda and South Africa
This article documents the experience of these three countries and summarises the progress made in deepening and widening their national evaluation systems and some of the cross-cutting lessons emerging at an early stage of the Twende Mbele partnership.

Advancing Evidence-Based Practice for Improved Public Sector Performance: Lessons from the Implementation of the Management Performance Assessment Tool in South Africa

Enhancing public sector performance is on the agenda of most governments. In South Africa, there is a dearth on studies that systematically assess the implementation of public sector performance improvement tools. This article is based on the study that explores the implementation of the Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT) within the South African public sector for the period 2011-2016.  The critical implementation components are outlined and lessons from the implementation process are drawn to inform future practice.

Assessing Evaluation Education In African Tertiary Education Institutions: Opportunities And Reflections

This article investigates the status quo of evaluation education in selected tertiary institutions in Anglophone African countries. Findings indicate that evaluation education in Anglophone African tertiary institutions is mostly in the nascent stages and there are mixed feelings on the appropriate entry levels (undergraduate or postgraduate). The study highlights the need for developing a specialized evaluation curriculum as well as the potential for collaboration among various stakeholders in strengthening the design and implementation of evaluation education.

Diagnostic on the Supply and Demand of Evaluators: Benin

In April of 2018, Twende Mbele and the Office of the Evaluation of Public Policies and Analysis of Government Action (BEPPAAG), commissioned a diagnostic study on the demand and supply of evaluators. The study focused on the following:

  • evaluation market (its strengths and weaknesses),
  • the supply and demand capacities for evaluation services (to take stock of skills and identify needs for evaluation capacity building to balance demand and supply for evaluators)
  • the size of the evaluation market (as a means of achieving a balance between supply and demand for evaluation), especially in a context of growing demand for valuations.

Diagnostic on the Supply and Demand of Evaluators: Uganda

In April of 2018, Twende Mbele and the Office of the Prime Minister commissioned a diagnostic study on the supply and demand of evaluators in Uganda. On the supply side, the study established that there is a substantial potential pool of M&E consultants in Uganda. The study also established that there are a number of organisations and networks for evaluation capacity building in Uganda. On the demand side, the Government has in place guidelines for the public sector and the Ugandan Evaluation Association has developed and approved standard guidelines that stipulate that evaluators and evaluation teams must be independent, trustworthy and transparently selected.

Diagnostic on the Supply and Demand of Evaluators: South Africa

This diagnostic study on the supply and demand of evaluators in South Africa revealed that on the supply side, the size of the potential supply market will vary depending on how an ‘evaluation consultant’ is defined. The diagnostic was able to produce quantitative estimates of current and projected government demand and some qualitative assessment of non-government demand. It was also able to identify qualitative issues and insights into the research questions related to capacity and skills, representivity, accessibility, pricing and costs.

Diagnostic on the supply and demand of evaluators in Uganda, Benin and South Africa

During 2017 and early 2018, Twende Mbele commissioned separate diagnostic studies on the supply and demand of evaluators in Uganda, Benin and South Africa. While the studies were separate, they had similar terms of reference. The purpose of the diagnostic studies was to provide a demand-and-supply profile of evaluators in these three countries. And the aim on the other hand, 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. In all three countries, one of the main barriers to entry was found to be weaknesses with government capacity to formulate, procure and manage evaluations. Nevertheless, in all three countries the diagnostic was able to produce a qualitative assessment of the ability of supply to meet demand, both currently and in the future.

At a Glance: 6 Countries’ NES

The policy- and decision-making environment is inherently political – both party political in terms of achieving an electoral mandate, and in terms of organisation politics and the political economy of the country. This leads to webs of power and influence, through which stakeholders must learn to navigate. In this context, evaluation evidence is one influence on outcomes. It requires translating complex evaluation findings into usable information and recommendations, building a portfolio of evidence, a coalition of stakeholders to support it, and ensuring its use requires planning and influencing strategies.

Scoping Visit to Kenya: 19-22 June 2017

A Twende Mbele Team, comprising of the Acting Commissioner of Monitoring and Evaluation- Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister, the Uganda Programme Coordinator for Twende Mbele and The Deputy Director General for Research and Evaluation of South Africa’s Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), met with key officials from the Kenyan Government, members of Evaluation Society of Kenya and representatives of other key non state actors. In Kenya, the core work for monitoring and evaluation is delivered using the National Monitoring and Evaluation System (NIMES) coordinated by the Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate (MED) domiciled in the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. Key gaps were noted in the M&E policy and It is therefore important that M&E systems and practices in Kenya be strengthened through the Twende Mbele programme by peer learning across the continent.

Mission Expliotaire Au Niger: Août 2017

La mission exploratoire du programme Twende Mbele au Niger a été menée dans des conditions favorables et a fourni une vision synoptique du système de suivi et d’évaluation du pays. Il a donné des résultats satisfaisants en ce qui concerne le mandat et il offre des perspectives intéressantes pour l’avenir d’un système d’évaluation au Niger. Les autorités et les représentants des organismes gouvernementaux ont été utiles et coopératifs et ont été identifiés comme des acteurs de la chaîne de développement. L’équipe du programme Twende Mbele a observé une prise de conscience des problèmes de S & E et de la nécessité de créer un système efficace au Niger. Il a également été observé que, outre une prise de conscience générale, il existe un fort engagement politique au plus haut niveau du gouvernement. Deux grands domaines de coopération ont été notés par l’équipe et seront soumis au comité de gestion de Twende Mbele: renforcement des capacités des acteurs du S & E et soutien à la création d’un système de S & E efficace, mais surtout institutionnalisation de l’évaluation des politiques publiques au Niger.

Scoping Visit to Niger: August 2017

The Twende Mbele Program scoping mission in Niger was conducted under favourable conditions and provided a synoptic view of the country’s monitoring and evaluations system. It has yielded satisfactory results as relates to the term of reference, and it offers interesting prospects for the future of an evaluation system in Niger. Authorities and representatives of government agencies were helpful and cooperative, and are identified as actors in the development chain. The Twende Mbele Program Team observed an awareness of M&E issues  and the need to create an effective system in Niger. It was also observed that, in addition to a general awareness, there is strong political commitment at the highest level of government. Two major areas of cooperation were noted by the team and will be submitted to the Twende Mbele management committee, these consist of: capacity building for M&E actors and support for the creation of an effective M&E system, but more importantly the institutionalization of public policy evaluation in Niger.

Scoping Visit to Ghana: 13-15 June 2017

A Twende Mbele delegation undertook a scoping visit to Ghana. The purpose of the visit was to determine how best Twende Mbele could partner with Ghana on M&E, based on their M&E capacity. Over two days, the delegation met with key M&E drivers in the public sector to gauge the level of priority given to M&E in Ghana. Two issues pose a great challenge to the strengthening of the M&E system in Ghana, firstly is the absence of a national evaluation policy and secondly is the lack of capacity around M&E. The changes in governments and realignment of priorities is to blame for the its absence. And, the lack of capacity is a pressing issue as it has a direct impact on the day to day work of M&E duties. And this is where Twende Mbele would like to partner with Ghana, in the strengthening of capacity around evaluations. Ghana has, however, taken it upon itself to strengthen its M&E capacity through the establishment of two new ministries: The Ministry of Planning, and the Ministry of Monitoring and Evaluation.

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