African Thought Leaders Forum on Evaluation and Development

 Thought leadership in theory and practice is urgently needed in priorities that include

  i. understanding the role of changing and complex contexts in evaluation, and using systems thinking for holistic solutions

 ii. the role of norms and values in development and in evaluation

 iii. the need for Africa rooted and Africa led evaluation

iv. policy coherence from national to global levels, to be analyzed in tandem with the micro-macro disconnect

v. mutual accountability in development financing programs and in development interventions

vi. evaluation beyond an obsession with “impact”, to include a stronger focus on “managing for impact” (which includes ongoing monitoring

for impact, learning and adaptive management); concepts such as vulnerability, sustainability and resilience; and a nuanced interpretation of “value for money”

vii. engaging with sensitive issues such as macro political trends, the often mindless rhetoric around concepts such as democracy and human

rights, and the ongoing obscuring of truth in ‘evidence’, and their role in the effectiveness of development strategies

viii. searching for unintended consequences and unexpected impacts

ix. synthesis that produces useful knowledge

x. evaluation in priority content areas, such as

•  climate change, food and water security

•  human security

•  power and empowerment

•  relationships, especially in partnerships, coalitions,networks, platforms

•  creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

•  institutional systems for good governance, including the elimination of corruption

•  impact investing, social bonds and other influences of the private sector.

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