Original Research

Global health monitoring and evaluation partnerships as contested spaces in Zimbabwe

Zacharia Grand, Sybert Mutereko
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 11, No 1 | a693 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v11i1.693 | © 2023 Zacharia Grand, Sybert Mutereko | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 March 2023 | Published: 09 November 2023

About the author(s)

Zacharia Grand, Department of Public Governance, School of Management Information Technology and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Sybert Mutereko, Department of Public Governance, School of Management Information Technology and Governance, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: Global health partnerships (GHPs) have flourished across Africa as alternative governance mechanisms seeking to strengthen local health systems for effective national planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Mutual and trust-based relationships anticipate fostering relations that build weak systems for improved availability of data and information for local informed decision-making and programme learning.

Objectives: This article aims to explore and demonstrate how global health monitoring and evaluation partnerships (GHM&EPs) are contested spaces contrary to the pervasive collaborative discourse in official government policies.

Method: Data for this study were collected using content analysis of existing documents and key informant interviews for a qualitative case study. Furthermore, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) policy documents and key informant interviews with the M&E staff from the Ministry of Health and Child Care, Zimbabwe, were purposively selected. Ethics clearance was sought from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, HSREC/00002455/2021.

Results: The results show that GHM&EPs are contested spaces despite the expectation to foster mutual trust and improved availability of quality data and information for informed decision-making and learning. Evidence shows partner contests through unspectacular soft power strategies to counterbalance resource and power imbalances in partnerships.

Conclusion: The evidence of unspectacular soft power strategies suggests that collaboration for M&E conceals and prolongs opportunities for addressing practical and contested challenges, hence failing the test for ideal partnerships.

Contribution: The article contributes to a critical understanding of the limitations of the current theorisation of partnerships, which erroneously assumes trust, mutuality, and equality between resourced and under-resourced partners.


global health partnerships; monitoring and evaluation; governance; collaboration; informed decision-making; discourse; evidence; mutual, trust; policies

JEL Codes

I18: Government Policy • Regulation • Public Health; L31: Nonprofit Institutions • NGOs • Social Entrepreneurship; L38: Public Policy; L39: Other

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals


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Crossref Citations

1. The African Evaluation Journal and the field of monitoring and evaluation in Africa
Mark A. Abrahams
African Evaluation Journal  vol: 11  issue: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/aej.v11i1.714