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Whither made in Africa evaluation: exploring the future trajectory and implications for evaluation practice

Source African Evaluation Journal
Authors P. Tirivanhu
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
Print HSRC Library: shelf number 9812399
handle 20.500.11910/19473
Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) has gained traction in the last decade, mainly through the agenda of decolonising knowledge and promoting Africa's epistemic identity through promoting African grounded epistemologies, African indigenous knowledge systems and African grounded evaluation methodologies. While emphasis has been given to theorising MAE and possible methodological implications, limited attention has been given to implications of MAE for development evaluation praxis.This article aimed to explore the praxis implications of MAE to development evaluation practice. An exploratory research design was adopted, guided by theoretical constructs from critical systems heuristics (CSH). The assessment is guided by existing evaluation frameworks, practice guidelines (including the African Evaluation Guidelines - Standards and Norms, and the African Evaluation Principles) and theoretical and methodological guidelines. Data were collected through secondary reviews, expert and experiential knowledge regarding development evaluation practice. The study findings show that the critical practice components for MAE include appreciating sources of motivation as guiding principles of developing modalities for evaluation practice; understanding and integrating sources of power and politics of value judgements in development evaluation practice; developing sources of knowledge; and appreciating sources of legitimation (defining the beneficiaries of MAE and implications for practice). In practice, MAE evaluation should adopt methodological approaches that borrow from African-rooted paradigms, including relational approaches and tools grounded in African institutional frameworks, social systems and values. Made in Africa evaluation should mainstream an empowerment evaluation approach that aims at contributing towards positive social change and promoting epistemic freedom of African evaluators.