Curriculum Development Project: Competence Framework for an Africa-Wide Evaluation Practice
Evaluation capacity development remains a critical feature on the African continent, as the strengthening of M&E (Monitoring and Evaluation) systems and practice hinges on the capacity of both the demand and supply side to meet the dynamic needs in international development for monitoring systems as well as evaluations. The Collaborative Curriculum Development Project is intended to facilitate the harmonisation of evaluation education offerings by institutions, including particularly institutions of higher learning, in order to support the strengthening of M&E post-graduate training on the continent.
There have been growing calls to professionalise the field to address the challenge of poor quality evaluations and evaluators. The rationale for professionalization is borrowed from professions such as auditing, accounting and the medical field. However, one of the distinct challenges is that evaluation continues to grow and emerge, with new approaches, theories and methods added and implemented by professionals in practice. In addition, indigenous methods and approaches are increasingly being explored, and therefore gaining consensus on a set of general competencies and curriculum in building the necessary skills and capabilities for quality evaluation practice in Africa is an exercise in complexity. Attempts towards developing generally accepted benchmarks and standards to follow in developing M&E ECB programmes are therefore increasingly difficult. However, action needs to be taken to strengthen the practice of M&E and to ensure greater levels of professionalisation, and the challenges therefore need to be overcome. To this effect, this Collaborative Curriculum development project aims to be a contribution to this effort, towards ensuring that the necessary skills and expertise is built towards developing appropriate M&E systems to aid African and international development.