Original Research

Towards defining and advancing ‘Made in Africa Evaluation’

Oladayo Omosa, Thomas Archibald, Kimberly Niewolny, Max Stephenson, James Anderson
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 9, No 1 | a564 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v9i1.564 | © 2021 Oladayo Omosa, Thomas Archibald, Kimberly Niewolny, Max Stephenson, James Anderson | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 June 2021 | Published: 09 November 2021

About the author(s)

Oladayo Omosa, Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Polythechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, United States of America
Thomas Archibald, Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Polythechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, United States of America
Kimberly Niewolny, Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Polythechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, United States of America, United States
Max Stephenson, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, School of Public and International Affairs, Virginia Polythechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, United States of America
James Anderson, Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Polythechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, United States of America; and, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, United States of America, United States


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Abstract

Background: Most evaluation in Africa is rooted in dominant neoliberal Western approaches. Imported Western evaluation frames may lack multicultural validity and can lead to wrong conclusions and poor development outcomes. They may also reinforce subjugation and cultural hegemony through neo-imperialism and colonisation of the imaginations of those concerned. The Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) concept has received attention in recent years as a way to address this challenge. As a relatively nascent construct, however, interested scholars and professionals continue to seek to define and operationalise MAE more effectively.

Objective: The objective of this study is to provide a working definition of MAE.

Methods: We used the Delphi technique to solicit informed views from expert evaluators working in Africa. We interviewed two additional experts to triangulate and test the validity of those findings. We also tested the Delphi derived definition of MAE through the analysis of six illustrative evaluation reports. Finally, we asked the same panel of experts to complete a survey aimed at clarifying next key steps to advance the construct.

Results: The results of our efforts to elucidate a concise definition of MAE yielded the following definition: Evaluation that is conducted based on African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) standards, using localised methods or approaches with the aim of aligning all evaluations to the lifestyles and needs of affected African peoples whilst also promoting African values.

Conclusion: We posit that this working definition, however tentative, has the potential to influence the practice, study, and teaching of evaluation in Africa.


Keywords

Made in Africa Evaluation; indigenous evaluation; culturally responsive evaluation; African evaluation; culture-centered evaluation

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