glocals events

Towards embedding African methodologies in evaluations: Context Matters

Organized by | SAMEA ,CLEAR-AA and SAMEA

Single Session
| Online
| English
About the Event
Is it possible that the methods and procedures used in evaluations are still culturally biased and still trapped in the historical moment. This has provoked my thinking about evaluations being entrenched in the culturalist notions of the Global North. Surely, the Global North methods, paradigms and theories cannot be ‘one size fit all’ as their applicability needs to be contextually relevant and ‘fit for purposes’. This is because the cultures across the globe are not homogeneous; each has its own uniqueness – therefore calls for different methods that are likely to be sync with culture, values and norms of a particular geographical location. Chilisa (2012) who said that ‘culture is lived realities, knowledge systems and values’. It is therefore understandable to refute a reductionist approach whereby the world is perceived and seen in one colour. This implies deconstructing the Global North epistemological paradigms and adopting our own endogenous and indigenous paradigms, designed by Africans and for African ‘worldviews’.
There have been calls for ‘Made in Africa’ evaluations and or ‘Africanisation of evaluations’ as well as Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). The critical questions is: How feasible are these evaluations in a world where development programmes and evaluations thereof in Africa are based on Aid and or philanthropic programmes (Moore and Zenda 2012)?. The system is very complex and deconstructing the system is a process than an event. There is substantial evidence with respect to: Who requests the evaluation?, Who sets the evaluation standards? And Who writes the terms of reference?
The Terms of References by big international organisations prescribes the existing theories and approaches needed for evaluations and even the need for evaluators from donor countries. African theories and approaches are non-existent in evaluation space (if ever they are there or exist).
There is further evidence pointing out at the dominance of the Global North evaluation literature. Spring and Patel (n.d) conducted a review of bibliography of evaluations and the results were shocking. The bulk of the evaluations were requested by donors and international agencies. The bulk of the first authors were Western names and not African. Evaluation imperialism is continuously seen through the current domineering of evaluation approaches, theories, frameworks, and practices essentially coined in the USA, Canada and Britain (Mouton, Rabie, De Coning & Cloete 2014). Sadly, the African education systems responsible for embedding evaluation knowledge are still by the Global North knowledge. As long as the evaluation educational systems remain as is, influencing Africanised evaluations may remain a utopia. Well renowned global evaluation icons theories and approaches remain the staple food for any African scholar who want to learn monitoring and evaluation.
Many African countries for example Zambia, South Africa, Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and Benin are now developing their own cadre of evaluation through different mechanisms. Additionally, many of these are developed their national M&E policies – could this be an entry point for integrating African methods in evaluations of national interests?
Is there hope for African countries to have evaluations with an ‘African face’ and that are contextually relevant. This panel discussion seeks to unpack, describe and explain
(i) Where African methods have been used in research and or evaluation studies
(ii) What are some of the challenges that can be envisaged in pursuit of decolonisation of evaluations or Made in Africa or use of IKS
(iii) How can African rooted methods be integrated into evaluation studies and or M&E systems?
(iv) Raise awareness of the African Evaluation Blog website hosted by SAMEA


Umali Saidi | Dr
is the Postgraduate Studies Manager (Research & Innovation Division), Senior Lecturer and Editor-in-Chief of The Dyke Journal (Multidisciplinary academic journal) at Midlands State University, Zimbabwe. An avid researcher in Applied Communication, Indigenous epistemologies, Landscapes and belonging; socio-cultural, political, economic change and sustainable development. He is well published in these study fields. Further, Umali believes in collaborative research endeavour, and is a member of several research consortia undertaking research in the humanities and social science fields. He also supervises undergraduate and postgraduate studies; reviews papers and manuscripts earmarked for publishing as journal articles, book chapters or books.
Sandra Kokera | Ms
Sandra is a PhD Candidate in Programme Evaluation at the University of Cape Town focusing the Made in Africa Evaluation approach. Currently employed at the Zimbabwe Technical Assistance, Training and Education Centre for Health, she is
responsible for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the national
Electronic Health Records System in Zimbabwe. She is also an independent
research and evaluation consultant with over 15-years experience working with local and international organisations. Sandra is a former lecturer in the Postgraduate Diploma in Monitoring & Evaluation at the University of Zimbabwe.
John Njovu | Mr
Is a renowned Zambian Economist and thought leader especially in global social and economic development circles. He gets invited to take part in some of the major discussions on Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) developments across the globe as an M&E specialist. He is an honorary Member of the Zambia Monitoring and Evaluation Association. He is a founding member of the network of Indigenous Evaluators (EvalIndigenous), and one of the leaders of its Africa Chapter. The network uses the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) as the foundation for its work. He He is a former Chairperson of the Zambia Evaluation Association, the Governance Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of the Government of Zambia and the Civil Society for Poverty Reductions’ Monitoring Committee. He is also a former Treasurer of the African Evaluation Association and a Taxation Manager (Design and Monitoring) of the Zambia Revenue Authority.
Mokgophana Ramasobana | Mr
Independent Evaluator and Former Chairperson of South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association
Shadrick Mbata | Mr
A Chief Evaluation Analyst at the Department of Agriculture, land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) responsible for developing and implementing DALRRD Evaluation Plan (evaluations internally undertaken). I hold a Postgraduate Diploma in Monitoring & Evaluation Methods (2021/22) from Stellenbosch University. In 2017 I completed an Honours Degree in Political Science majoring in Politics & Philosophy (UNISA).; and a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Human and Social Studies) majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics which I completed in 2014 (UNISA). My passion has always been to contribute towards development (socio-economic, political, and philosophical) aimed at bringing pragmatic change in society; enhancing the livelihoods of the marginalised and cultivating reputable social norms.


Taku Chirau Dr
Deputy Director for CLEAR-AA

Topics and themes

  • M&E Approaches and Methods
  • The Future of M&E: Culture, Context, and Collaboration

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