State of monitoring and evaluation in Anglophone Africa: Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results in Anglophone Africa's reflections
African Evaluation Journal
This article is an overview of what the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results in Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA) is currently learning in its work implementing monitoring and evaluation (ME) capacity strengthening programmes in our partner countries. This article is based on the reflections drawn from the authors' experiences and the work of CLEAR-AA in strengthening ME systems across the continent. It serves as a contribution to larger ongoing strategic conversations about how to promote
... out how to promote evidence-informed decision-making for better development outcomes. The article begins with a discussion on systems broadly and ME systems in particular, with a specific focus on some of the historical roots of the current ways in which ME is defined and implemented in African systems of governance. We continue to discuss the various elements that come into play in establishing and institutionalising ME systems, in particular the 'ME Market' and the demand for evidence, where we also challenge the notion of the unidirectional demand and supply chain of evaluation. The institutional architecture within which ME systems operate is next discussed, and how the formal (and informal) laws, policies, boundaries and rules continue to provide some degree of leverage in support of these systems. The article finally addresses two key elements of developing and sustaining ME systems: the role of leadership and developing an evaluative culture. The authors explain why these elements, which often receive less attention than the technical elements in building and strengthening ME systems, carry such weight in sustaining national evaluation systems.