Original Research

Towards equitable evaluation through the use of the African Evaluation Principles

Adeline Sibanda, Tanaka D. Sibanda, Tariro N. Sibanda
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 11, No 1 | a697 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v11i1.697 | © 2023 Adeline Sibanda, Tanaka D. Sibanda, Tariro N. Sibanda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 2023 | Published: 08 November 2023

About the author(s)

Adeline Sibanda, Independent, South Africa
Tanaka D. Sibanda, School of Economics and Finance, and School of Social Science, Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Tariro N. Sibanda, Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Background: Evaluation has often been associated with Northern paradigms in its formulation and practice. It is extractive in nature and often a top-down approach that implies that those who receive aid or interventions have no voice and no rights. The African Evaluation Principles (AEPs) are aimed at addressing power asymmetries that exist within the evaluation ecosystem in Africa while giving agency, voice and power to Africans.

Objectives: The article explores the role that colonisation has played and continues to influence how development is carried out and therefore, how and when evaluations are carried out and who performs the evaluation. Specifically, it explores the AEPs and how they could be used to contribute to addressing inequalities and power asymmetries.

Methods: The article reviews secondary data and uses one’s own experiences on the continent and observation.

Results: The article discusses how the AEPs could contribute to making the concept of equitable evaluation more relevant and applicable in the practice of evaluations in Africa. The article highlights the role of African indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing, values and traditions to inform what equitable evaluation could look like from an African perspective.

Conclusion: The article concludes that there is much work and commitment needed to ensure the use of the AEPs to contribute towards the practice of true equitable evaluation where this is genuinely practiced with the aim of addressing power asymmetries and inequalities. This requires a change of mindsets, challenging one’s own biases as well as the power imbalances.

Contribution: This article contributes to better understanding of AEPs and how they could be used to achieve equitable evaluation.


African Evaluation Principles; decolonisation; equitable evaluation; Ubuntu; power asymmetry; inequalities.

JEL Codes

Z00: General

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals


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