The proposed conference theme for 2021 is “Evaluation that leaves no-one behind: empowering progress towards the Africa we want amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the other crises and opportunities facing us”. It invites evaluation practitioners, commissioners and potential users to explore and reflect on the importance of:
Listening to the voices of the marginalized or excluded population groups;
Considering new ways of undertaking evaluations within the context of major crisis and emergencies such as COVID 19 and climate change
Using culturally appropriate evaluation theories, methodologies and instruments which embrace indigenous ways of knowing (Made in Africa Evaluation);
Maintaining the dialogue between evaluation practitioners and a broad range of stakeholders who are potential users of evaluation findings, conclusions and recommendations. The latter include members of parliaments, representatives of executive power, monitoring specialists, philanthropists, impact investors. These stakeholders could indeed contribute to the creation of an enabling environment for evaluation and generate data that can be used for evaluation, including:
Opening access to the evaluation profession to new and young people (Young and Emerging Evaluators), including through academic training.
Recognizing and embracing the diversity of African evaluation communities and integration of these communities across language barriers.
To support development and implementation of policies and programmes that will make Africa a continent where no child, woman or man is left behind, evaluation practice on the continent must be truly inclusive – reaching to those furthest behind, rooted in local values and ways of knowing, embracing the diversity of stakeholders, perspectives and approaches.