Original Research - Special Collection: Made in Africa Evaluation

The effects of coloniality and international development assistance on Made in Africa Evaluation: Implications for a decolonised evaluation agenda

S. Linda Khumalo
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 10, No 1 | a628 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v10i1.628 | © 2022 S. Linda Khumalo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2022 | Published: 25 July 2022

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S. Linda Khumalo, Private, Grahamstown, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: It is imperative to recognise the effects of the intrinsically Eurocentric development agenda on attaining transformative evaluation that appropriately addresses development priorities in Africa. The role of international development agencies as critical anchors in African evaluation practice needs examination to advance the Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE) discourse.

Objectives: This article critiques the dominance of a Eurocentric lens to evaluation in Africa, illustrating how this impedes MAE. It harnesses the importance of MAE as a transformative, contextually relevant approach to espousing Afrocentric values in evaluation theory and practice.

Method: Through a desktop review, the article examines the intrinsic power relations inherent in Western knowledge systems and how the effects of coloniality on African knowledge systems can deter the progression of a transformative, decolonial evaluation agenda.

Results: The article recognises positive strides towards legitimising African knowledge systems and harnessing a more African evaluation agenda, for example, through the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA), leading the standardisation of African evaluation competencies and guidelines.

Conclusion: It establishes, however, the adverse effects of long-standing power imbalances, with the development agenda in Africa being primarily set by international development organisations, such as donors. This leaves little room for African evaluators to manoeuvre and define contextually appropriate approaches to the evaluation outside of the dominant Eurocentric evaluation standards. The article contributes to understanding the role of the dominant international development agencies on evaluation in Africa and proposes recommendations for achieving a more decolonised evaluation agenda. It highlights the importance of the legitimisation of African knowledge systems, a multidisciplinary approach to monitoring and evaluation (M&E), ensuring inclusivity and representation in evaluation and negotiating power balances with international development agencies.


Keywords

Made in Africa Evaluation; decolonising evaluation; international development assistance; coloniality; transformative evaluation; donors; African development

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Crossref Citations

1. Made in Africa Evaluation
Mark Abrahams, Steven Masvaure, Candice Morkel
African Evaluation Journal  vol: 10  issue: 1  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/aej.v10i1.665