Original Research

Factors affecting the integration of cultural values into evaluation: Indigenous perspectives

Evans S. Boadu
African Evaluation Journal | Vol 11, No 1 | a702 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/aej.v11i1.702 | © 2023 Evans S. Boadu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 June 2023 | Published: 21 November 2023

About the author(s)

Evans S. Boadu, School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; and School of Sustainable Development, Department of Built Environment, University of Environment and Sustainable Development, Somanya, Ghana

Abstract

Background: The debates about embedding cultural evaluative values into evaluation activities have been more dominant among indigenous evaluators in recent years. African indigenous evaluators now hold the view that the continent’s mainstream evaluation theories, studies, and practices are profoundly founded in Euro-American ideals and tend to exclude Afrocentric evaluation philosophies.

Objectives: This article discusses some of the obstacles in the integration of indigenous evaluation values into contemporary evaluation theories and methods in Ghana and Africa at large. It describes how Afrocentric ideas, values, norms, relational patterns, and other cultural realities are rooted in evaluation methods, theories, and practices that are often neglected.

Method: Using a qualitative strategy of inquiry grounded in multiple case studies and an indigenously responsive evaluation approach, this article identified and analysed several challenges associated with cultural integration in the evaluation. Several research themes were discussed, including indigenous relational networks, indigenous stakeholders’ participation, indigenous information gathering, feedback mechanisms, and the challenges of integrating cultural values into evaluation activities. This article drew from empirical, existing, and documentary data.

Results: This article identified five challenges associated with cultural integration in evaluation activities including indigenous cultural guilt, power dependency, globalisation and localisation, post-colonial legacies, revenue, and urbanisation. This article highlighted that indigenous evaluative values stem from social interactions and relational networks, influenced by exogenous and endogenous factors.

Conclusion: This article concludes that there are several ethical and notional challenges that arise while attempting to incorporate indigenous evaluation values and other socio-cultural philosophies into evaluation theories, methods, and practices.

Contribution: To generate effective and efficient evaluation measurements and outcomes, a synergy between Afrocentric and Euro-American evaluation methodologies, conceptions, and practices would broaden evaluation processes and activities while also deepening the discourse on ‘Made in Africa’ evaluation.


Keywords

evaluation; culture; indigenously responsive evaluation; indigenous knowledge; Ghana.

JEL Codes

D71: Social Choice • Clubs • Committees • Associations; D78: Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation; P11: Planning, Coordination, and Reform

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

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