Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation:  A missing link in driving Africa’s Transformation agenda

 

[Paper presented at the Evaluation Week Towards Africa Transformation Conference which was held from 7 to 10 November 2016 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; and it was organized by the African Development Bank]

 

Author:  Pindai M. Sithole, PhD (Development studies, Witwatersrand University, South Africa)

Development Consultant in Social Research and Project/Program Evaluation

Centre for Development in Research and Evaluation International Africa (CeDRE Africa), Harare, Zimbabwe

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Abstract

 

The paper situates Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) at the centre of transformation agenda in any development initiative.  The key argument advanced is that limited pace and magnitude of transformative development in Africa is not necessarily due to inadequate financial, human expertise and material resources but development which is not anchored on results-based paradigm or theory of change. Despite the abundant natural resources in Africa both on land and sea, quality of life for the majority of Africans remains undesirable and this unfortunately confirms the resource curse theory or the paradox of plenty (Auty 1993 and Collier 2010).  The pitfalls to the transformation agenda discussed include those in needs analysis, project/program design, specificity in the intended positive change and horizontal thinking, The main conclusion is that development efforts without Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation underpinning is less likely to produce the desired transformation in people’s lives.  The central recommendation is that individuals at every level of project/program should be literate and skilled in results-based concept and practice and make it an underpinning principle throughout the project cycle. In other words, everyone involved in any type of development work should be RBME ‘wired’.

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