AfrEA Strategic Objectives

AfrEA Strategic Objectives: 2016-2021

Introduction

Until 1999 there were few opportunities to network and share evaluation experiences in Africa. Evaluators worked in isolation. They were seldom trained in evaluation approaches, methodology and standards, and tended to be technical specialists or management consultants recruited to serve as evaluation consultants. Although a few national evaluation networks existed, they were isolated and often unable to mobilise the capacities and resources to facilitate effective networking and sharing of knowledge within and between countries. Evaluation capacity building efforts were sporadic and mostly driven by international development organisations. There were few attempts to nurture advanced level evaluation expertise, to promote training placed in African contexts and evaluation approaches, or to highlight African evaluation expertise on international platforms. Demand for evaluation was low and the use of evaluation for learning and decision-making limited and dominated by accountability to international aid agencies.

The African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) was founded in 1999 to address some of these challenges. It was established as an umbrella association for national evaluation associations and networks, and as a resource for evaluators in countries without such networks. Like other evaluation associations around the world, AfrEA is not exclusive. Its constituency consists of national associations and networks that include professional evaluators as well as policy makers, academics, government officials, researchers, development practitioners and any other parties/actors interested in evaluation.

AfrEA’s Vision: An Africa rooted in a culture of evaluation for equitable and sustainable development / Une Afrique  ancree dans une culture de l’evaluation pour un developpement durable et equitable.

AfrEA’s Mission: To promote robust evaluation practice through its members / Promouvoir une pratique d’evaluation rigoureuse par le biais de ses membres.

In order to guide its resources and activities over the next five to six years, AfrEA has identified three overall Strategic Goals and, beneath these, nine core activity areas upon which to focus their efforts.

Strategic Goal 1: Ensure the continued growth, strength and sustainability of AfrEA

Activity area 1: Expand AfrEA’s membership numbers and income from membership fees

AfrEA currently has 33 VOPE members and 6 institutional members in addition to several hundred individual members. AfrEA would like to continually increase its VOPE membership base to cover more and more of the African continent. AfrEA would also like to make sure that all members are paying their full membership fees on time so that it can more easily manage its accounts.

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 AfrEA has an up-to-date membership database
2017 Increase VOPE members by 3
Recover all unpaid fees
2018 Increase number of VOPE members by 4 members
All membership fees are paid on time
2019 Increase number of VOPE members by 5 members
All membership fees are paid on time
2020 Increase number of VOPE members by 6 members
All membership fees are paid on time
2021 AfrEA has a VOPE member from every African country

 

Activity area 2: Maintain operational efficiency

In order to support and promote its members, it is essential that AfrEA operates efficiently and effectively in all areas of its operations. Critical to this functioning is the recruitment and regular appraisal of a strong Secretariat.

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 Assess existing capacity within the Board
2017 Hire a new ED with the required skills and experiences
2018 Improve overall perceived strength of Secretariat by Board
2019 Improve overall perceived strength of Secretariat by Board
2020 Improve overall perceived strength of Secretariat by Board
2021 All aspects of AfrEA’s internal operations are excellent and are carried out in line with international standards

 

Activity area 3: Ensure sustainable funding

If AfrEA is to continue to provide support to its members into the medium and long term future, it is critical that it has a sustainable and reliable funding base. This entails diversifying the range of potential income streams that are available to the Association (e.g. income from conferences or online training) as well as further developing relationships with existing or prospective donors.

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 Develop a clear fundraising plan for the next five years
2017 Implement five-year fundraising plan
2018 Secure funding for specific additional projects or programs
2019 Secure funding for specific additional projects or programs
2020 Secure funding for specific additional projects or programs
2021 Confirm funding to sustain AfrEA and its activities for the next five years


Strategic Goal 2: Support African evaluation capacity

Activity area 4- Build the institutional capacity of VOPE members

One of the primary ways through which AfrEA aims to promote African evaluation for sustainable development is through building the institutional capacity of its VOPE members.  Currently many VOPEs are institutionally weak, they are often unregistered, do not have formal governance systems, have very limited resources and have limited financial management. AfrEA aspires to support VOPEs to become institutionally strong so that they can play a larger and more effective role in promoting and implementing African evaluation for sustainable development.

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 Assess the capacity of all VOPEs
2017 Develop a clear plan for providing support to VOPEs
Fundraise for VOPE support programs
2018 Provide targeted training and resource support to VOPEs
2019 Provide targeted training and resource support to VOPEs
Evaluate effectiveness of support
2020 Provide targeted training and resource support to VOPEs
2021 All VOPEs are formally registered and institutionally robust organisations

Activity area 5- Build the evaluation capacity of VOPE members through targeted projects and programmes

In addition to supporting the institutional capacity of VOPE members, AfrEA also supports the evaluation capacity-building of its VOPE members through its projects and programmes. AfrEA seeks to enable VOPEs to respond effectively to requests for evaluation, to carry out evaluation projects professionally and successfully and to provide funders with rigorous independent results. AfrEA uses its portfolio of projects and programmes to respond to the evolving needs of VOPEs in these regards and continuously build the evaluation capacity of VOPE members.

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 Design the Made in Africa Project

Implement the e-learning project

Implement and evaluate the peer to peer project

Design a project to respond to the EvalAgenda 2020

2017 Implement Made in Africa Project

Conduct a study on the history of AfrEA

Scale up peer-to-peer project to include other countries

Implement one EvalAgenda project

Implement a capacity building project that responds to the needs of members

Communicate results of projects

2018 Implement a capacity building project that responds to the needs of members
2019 Survey members to understand project/programme needs and assess strengths and weaknesses of previous projects/programmes

Implement a capacity building project that responds to the needs of members

2020 Implement a capacity building project that responds to the needs of members
2021 Implement targeted and effective capacity building projects and programmes that respond to the needs of members and that build on the learnings from previous projects and programmes

Strategic goal 3: Generate, store and share knowledge on quality African evaluation for development and advocate for its increased use

Activity area 6- Promote the quality, knowledge and use of African evaluation for development through conferences

One of the core pillars of AfrEA’s operations are the regular international conferences, held in partnership with one of its national VOPEs. Since its creation AfrEA has organized seven such conferences. The most recent, 7th conference was held in 2014 in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Such conferences aim to provide platforms for networking, knowledge sharing and capacity building for members, funders, partners and other evaluation stakeholders. The conferences involve global actors but are focused particularly on Africa.

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 Develop a strategy, budget and work plan for the 2017 conference
2017 Host a successful conference that builds the confidence of members and donors

Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the conference

2018 Develop a strategy, budget and work plan for the 2019 conference
2019 Host a successful conference that is better rated by attendees than the 2017 conference

Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the conference

2020 Develop a strategy, budget and work plan for the 2019 conference
2021 Host a world-class conference that is better rated by attendees than any of AfrEA’s previous conferences

Activity area 7- Promote the generation, storage and sharing of knowledge on African evaluation for development through the African Evaluation Journal

The African Evaluation Journal (AEJ) acts as a vehicle for resources, which contribute to the improvement of monitoring and evaluation theories and practices within institutions and businesses in Africa. The Journal builds awareness and skills of professional evaluators, students, policy makers and researchers to strengthen and integrate monitoring and evaluation in policy planning and decision making for enhanced development. The African Evaluation Journal publishes high quality peer-reviewed articles of merit on any subject related to evaluation, and provide targeted information of professional interest to members of AfrEA and its national associations and evaluators across the globe.

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 In collaboration with the editorial team, co-develop a strategy , budget and work plan for the next 5 years
2017 Publish two editions of the AEJ

Share the journal’s impact factor on the website

Raise sufficient funds for the provision of targeted support to AEJ

2018 Publish three editions of the AEJ

Start providing targeted support to AEJ

Improve the journal’s impact factor

Carry out an evaluation to assess the impact of AEJ since its conception

2019 Publish four editions of the AEJ

Continue providing targeted support to AEJ

Improve the journal’s impact factor

Share results of impact evaluation at 2019 conference

2020 Publish regular editions of the AEJ

Improve the journal’s impact factor

2021 Established as a highly visible, regularly published and widely-read journal within the African evaluation community

Activity area 8- Work with national African governments to increase the knowledge and use of African evaluation approaches within public institutions

As part of AfrEA’s vision for “An Africa rooted in a culture of evaluation for equitable and sustainable development” they would like to see evaluation become part of the standard practices of African public institutions. AfrEA will work with governments to build a culture of evaluation within these institutions.

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 Assess the level of institutionalisation of evaluation in each country
2017 Support at least 2 VOPEs to engage with governments to discuss the role of evaluation in public institutions
2018 Implement a targeted project or programme to support increasing institutionalisation of evaluation within public institutions
2019 Implement a targeted project or programme to support increasing institutionalisation of evaluation within public institutions Re-assess the level of institutionalisation of evaluation in each country
2020 Implement a targeted project or programme to support increasing institutionalisation of evaluation within public institutions
2021 All governments in Africa recognise the importance of evaluation

Activity area 9- Be a thought leader in the area of African evaluation practice

AfrEA will also seek to support members and the wider evaluation community by driving the development and sharing of and new knowledge, resources and information in the area of African evaluation.

being a driver of new Research and thought and publishing tools and methodologies (e.g. evaluation guidelines)

The annual objectives between now and 2021 are:

2016 AfrEA’s website is up-to-date
2017 Develop communications strategy
2018 Use AfrEA forums (e.g. website/conference) to share existing knowledge, resources and information in the area of African evaluation

Drive the development of new knowledge, resources and information in the area of African evaluation

2019 Use AfrEA forums (e.g. website/conference) to share existing knowledge, resources and information in the area of African evaluation

Drive the development of new knowledge, resources and information in the area of African evaluation

2020 Use AfrEA forums (e.g. website/conference) to share existing knowledge, resources and information in the area of African evaluation

Drive the development of new knowledge, resources and information in the area of African evaluation

2021 AfrEA is established as a thought leader in the area of African evaluation practice