There is a growing concern across the globe that a one-size-fits-all programme
evaluation approach according to the Western evaluation model is not always
appropriate in culturally and developmentally different contexts. The history of
evaluation in Africa is a case in point, but it is an open question to what extent
this implies a totally new ‘African’ evaluation approach or ‘paradigm’ that can be
regarded as substantially different from a so-called Western programme evaluation
paradigm. Clarity is needed about what changes should be brought about for the
prevailing Western model of programme evaluation to be more appropriate to
Africa and how these differences should be dealt with.
The concept of a more appropriate Africa-rooted programme evaluation
management model has now been explicitly placed on the evaluation agenda in
Africa. Proposals for a coherent and dedicated implementation plan for the Bellagio
Report proposals are summarised in this article. These proposals do not amount to
a substitution of the prevailing model of evaluation, but rather to a customisation of
the model for the African continent. A dedicated project management effort under
the auspices of AfrEA and its member VOPE associations is necessary to do this.
SAMEA can and should play a very strategic role in this regard.