Original Research - Special Collection: Made in Africa

Akonta: Examining the epistemology and ontology of Made in Africa Evaluation

Mjiba Frehiwot
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 10, No 1 | a615 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v10i1.615 | © 2022 Mjiba Frehiwot | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 February 2022 | Published: 18 August 2022

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Mjiba Frehiwot, Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana


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Abstract

Background: This article interrogates the epistemology and ontology of Made in Africa evaluation (MAE). Since the initial conversations about MAE as a method and theory in 2007, its importance has continued to gain traction and occupy space as a viable alternative to strictly using evaluative tools developed outside of Africa.

Objectives: The epistemology and ontology of MAE are rarely a part of discussions, debates and research, these are regarded as auxiliary to internationally recognised methods and theories. The ability of MAE to be imagined by evaluators, academics and the community strengthens its ability to operate in multiple communities across Global Africa.

Method: The project examined existing literature and primary source documents that tackle the issue of the epistemology and ontology of MAE. The researcher conducted a thorough review of literature as the primary methodology. The research focused on articles published between 2006 and 2021.

Results: The findings provide critical thoughts about the research questions that guided this project. The questions interrogated how the epistemology and ontology of MAE impact the execution of the method in contemporary evaluations and its viability in the mainstream evaluation field in Africa.

Conclusion: Made in Africa evaluation as a method and theory is waging an uphill battle against epistemic injustice in knowledge production, Eurocentric epistemology in evaluation, unequal power relations and projects funded by external donors. These barriers make it difficult for MAE to be fully recognised in the Western evaluation canon and suggest that an alternative framework is needed to radically shift power.


Keywords

MAE; African evaluation; decolonisation; knowledge production; African-centered evaluation; indigenous evaluation

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