Does evaluation support African success in a new global context?

The African Development Bank’s 2015 Annual Meetings are dedicated to reflecting on Africa’s future in a new global context.

The Annual Meetings take place in an auspicious year, being the 50th anniversary of the Bank. But 2015 is also a time for reflection on successes in achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and on slow progress in other areas. Time is also ripe for a critical discussion as we transition from the MDGs to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The African Continent will host the first of three global events - Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July – to discuss how we can move forward with the SDG agenda. Decisions made and agreements reached at that summit have the potential to transform how we chart and pursue development, and how we lay the ground for a significantly different world in 2030.

To help the development community successfully address ongoing challenges, evaluators must ensure independent evaluation is relevant, credible and of high quality so that it influences policies, programs and projects. We need to learn from the past for a better future, one that will sustain us and future generations.

Africa has seen great transformation over the past 50 years. Many countries on the Continent are experiencing strong growth, improvements in infrastructure and integration, and progress towards building strong institutions.

But, many challenges remain, for example:

  • Ensuring a stronger translation of growth into prosperity that is shared and sustainable rather than serving to deepen inequality and result in the depletion of natural resources and capital;
  • Tackling high youth unemployment in order to unleash the potential of youth to transform the Continent;
  • Recognizing the strong role women have played on the Continent and committing to respect and gender-equality that will make this world a better place for all; or,
  • Taking steps to ensure readiness for emergencies, whether in the form of natural disasters like the earthquake that devastated parts of Nepal, or the outbreak of diseases like Ebola that took many lives and dampened progress in countries immediately affected by the outbreak.

Thanks to the organization of the Independent Development Evaluation unit at the African Development Bank, I have the honor of moderating a formidable panel that brings together a wealth of experience and dedication to the development of the Continent, and an incredible understanding of the role that evaluation can and does play in this context:

  • Hon. Dr. Susan Musyoka, Vice-Chairman, African Parliamentarians'€™ Network on Development Evaluation
  • Dr. Kako Kossivi Nubukpo, Minister, Office of the President, Responsible for Forward Planning and Policy Evaluation, Togo
  • Mr. Antonin S. Dossou, Minister for the Evaluation of Public Policies, Promotion of Good Governance and Social Dialogue, Benin
  • Mr. Rakesh Nangia, Evaluator General, AfDB
  • Mr. Solomon Asamoah, Vice-President, Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration, AfDB

I am looking forward to having an informative and insightful discussion concerning the current role and potential for evaluation in influencing development effectiveness.  Throughout the course of our conversation we will look at development evaluation concepts, processes and methods; discuss how development evaluation can influence better policy and decision-making, as well as improve project and program design; and, we will reflect on the critical role for evaluation as we move from the MDGs to the SDGs.

Please connect with us on Twitter @WorldBank_IEG and join the conversation at #afdbam2015

Comments

Submitted by KRISHNAVENI MOTHA on Sun, 05/31/2015 - 23:38

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Very well said that being evaluators we often focuses more on type of evaluation, design and methods while evaluating the programs and projects, but less emphasis is laid on how can we improve the implementation of these programs through evaluation outcomes and make the programs sustainable. As evaluation can play pivotal role in bringing changes in the program/project implementation and help them to make better and sustainable through various interventions.

Submitted by Caroline Heider on Mon, 06/01/2015 - 02:55

In reply to by KRISHNAVENI MOTHA

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Many thanks for your comment. In IEG we actually make sure to include recommendations in our major evaluations and track their implementation. These recommendations focus on systemic issues that generally speaking, once addressed, would affect the quality and results of operations.

Submitted by Tewodros Mebrahtu on Wed, 07/15/2015 - 03:34

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The title of this discussion caught my interest since I feel it is an important issue. A lot of good work is done, and the project is monitored and evaluated as it is implemented using good M&E tools to help insure that the project is on track and delivers on its objectives/goals. However the central issue of sustainability and the planning and execution of a plan to address it don't seem to be a central part of the project plan and the M&E plan. What happens often is that good work is done but either languish or fall apart once the initial work is implemented, a sad waste of resources and delays in using these projects' work to address urgent and critical problems or oppurtunities. I would appreciate info on how this is being addressed or at least what new approaches are being discussed to correct this shortcoming. Thanks and regards.

Submitted by Suyapa on Fri, 07/24/2015 - 04:01

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I love these aricltes. How many words can a wordsmith smith?

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