Original Research

Good practices, drawbacks and improvement strategies in external peer monitoring and evaluation: A case of Uganda National Council for Higher Education

Proscovia N. Ssentamu
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 6, No 1 | a261 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v6i1.261 | © 2018 Proscovia N. Ssentamu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 August 2017 | Published: 30 July 2018

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Proscovia N. Ssentamu, Uganda Management Institute, Kampala, Uganda, Uganda

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Background: Growing demand for higher education by national governments and their citizens, and the growth of public and private higher education institutions resulting from increased enrolment have augmented the demand for monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Consequently, the National Council for Higher Education in Uganda was established and mandated to among others monitor, evaluate and regulate higher education institutions.

Objectives: To explore good practices, drawbacks and improvement strategies in the external peer M&E of higher education institutions.

Method: Using the qualitative research design, data were collected from 15 peers invited by the Council to participate in external M&E visits to higher education institutions.

Results: Several categories of good external peer M&E practices and drawbacks emerged including statutory provisions for the external M&E exercise by the Council; purpose, planning and capacity for undertaking external M&E activities; involvement of peers and professional bodies; and political and legal interference.

Conclusion: Despite availability of an M&E framework and involvement of peers, the current external M&E model is centralised, bureaucratic and summative and therefore generally not supportive of continuous institutional improvement based on feedback from M&E visits. The current Higher Education Law should be amended; the Council M&E framework and practices should be periodically reviewed to match trends and needs, a gradual shift from compliance to participatory and performance-based M&E, and creation of a good policy environment to nurture the growth and development of institutional self-monitoring and evaluation mechanisms geared towards a culture of continuous self-improvement.


Peer monitoring; Peer evaluation; External; Accountability; Improvement; Quality; Higher education; Uganda


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