Original Research

Revisiting decoloniality for more effective research and evaluation

Fanie Cloete, Christelle Auriacombe
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 7, No 1 | a363 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v7i1.363 | © 2019 Fanie Cloete, Christelle Auriacombe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 November 2018 | Published: 24 June 2019

About the author(s)

Fanie Cloete, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Christelle Auriacombe, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg

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Background: There is increasing global resistance against a perceived Eurocentric value hegemony in knowledge generation, implementation and evaluation. A persistent colonial value mindset is accused of imposing outdated and inappropriate policies on former colonised and other countries and needs to be changed to more appropriate processes and results to improve conditions in those countries in the 21st century.

Objectives: This article intends to summarise some lessons from the impact of historical colonial value systems and practices in current knowledge generation, transfer and application processes and results in Africa (especially in South Africa). The objective is to identify concrete directions towards ‘decolonising’ research and evaluation processes and products to be more relevant, appropriate and, therefore, more effective to achieve sustainable empowerment and other desired developmental outcomes not only in lesser developed countries but also in traditionally more developed Western nations.

Method: A comparative literature review was undertaken to identify and assess the current state of the debate on the perceived need to decolonise research and evaluation practices in different contexts. The Africa-rooted evaluation movement was used as a case study for this purpose.

Results: The current decoloniality discourse is ineffective and needs to be taken in another direction. Mainstreaming culturally sensitive and responsive, contextualised participatory research and evaluation designs and methodology implementation in all facets and at all stages of research and evaluation projects has the potential to fulfil the requirements and demands of the research and evaluation decoloniality movement.

Conclusion: This will improve the effectiveness of research and evaluation processes and results.


decoloniality; decolonisation; culturally responsive research; culturally responsive evaluation; Africa-rooted evaluation


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Crossref Citations

1. Editorial – 2019: Omniscience of monitoring and evaluation
Mark A. Abrahams
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