Original Research - Special Collection: Made in Africa Evaluation

An evidence gap map on Made in Africa Evaluation approaches: Exploration of the achievements

Tebogo E. Fish
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 10, No 1 | a626 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v10i1.626 | © 2022 Tebogo E. Fish | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 February 2022 | Published: 24 August 2022

About the author(s)

Tebogo E. Fish, Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results-Anglophone Africa, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: The Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) agenda is an effort at decolonising and indigenising evaluation practice in Africa. This involves developing new evaluation practices, theories, approaches and methodologies originating from African cultures, worldviews, knowledge systems, philosophies and African paradigms.

Objectives: This study aims to explore achievements in the development of an African evaluation paradigm or approach and identifying the gaps.

Method: An evidence gap map (EGM) was utilised because it entails a systematic search of literature with the intention of presenting the existing evidence on a specific topic, identifying gaps in knowledge and determining future research needs.

Results: Five main paradigms that fall within the MAE were identified, including the Afrocentric paradigm, the postcolonial indigenous paradigm, the African relational evaluation paradigm, the transformative evaluation paradigm and the culturally competent evaluation paradigm. In addition, five key categories of MAE approaches were identified, including (1) the least indigenised approach; (2) the adaptive or integrative evaluation approach; (3) the African relational-based evaluation approach; (4) the predominantly indigenous approach and (5) the third space (geocentric) evaluation approach.

Conclusion: African contexts, cultures and people have been discussed in five ways in MAE literature including collaborative, relational, complex, previously colonised and disenfranchised. The EGM shows that these paradigms and approaches have been well established theoretically and conceptually; however, the application of these in evaluations has mostly been found in the adaptive or integrative approach, which integrates Western methodologies. This suggests a lack of practical guidelines to using the paradigms, approaches and methods originating from Africa, including the African relational-based evaluation approach.


Made in Africa Evaluation; Africa-rooted; Africa-led; evaluation approaches; paradigms


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