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Blog: A new generation of emerging evaluators join WFP in Johannesburg

World Food PROGRAMME.jpg

World Food Programme (WFP)

Posted 2 years ago

THEY ARE YOUNG, TALENTED AND READY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Meet Yeukai Caroline Tizora, Isabel Malandu Mukali, Mayibongwe Mncube, Stephan Paulsen, Sonny Motlanthe and Samukelisiwe Mkhize.

The six emerging evaluators joined WFP in August 2021 as part of an Emerging Evaluator Programme that was launched by WFP’s regional bureau in Johannesburg (RBJ), together with partners UNICEF, CLEAR-AA and SAMEA. “Emerging evaluators often have sound academic training, and there are many opportunities for capacity strengthening workshops and short courses available online, especially during Covid-19.

However, obtaining practical experience in a real-world setting remains a major barrier to their career development,” says Mayibongwe Manyoba, RBJ’s Evaluation Officer. “Through workplace immersion and on-the-job training, the Emerging Evaluator programme will give the six selected candidates an opportunity to learn, contribute and engage in actual evaluation work at WFP”.

During their 12-month attachment at WFP, they will be part of ongoing evaluations conducted in the region and will benefit from first-hand evaluation experience.

The programme also includes capacity development activities and mentorship opportunities, implemented in collaboration with partner organisations, UNICEF, CLEAR-AA and SAMEA.

The four partners launched the programme at the Global Evaluation Initiative’s gLOCAL Evaluation Week in June 2021. The panel of judges received 83 strong applications from across the Southern African region. As part of the application process, the emerging evaluators shared evidence stories and a motivation for why they believe evidence matters in the current development context.

Now that they are in the fold, they will also be afforded an opportunity to document and share their learning journey towards becoming evaluators at global conferences and in the format of a ‘virtual diary’.

First in line, was participation at the SAMEA Evaluation Hackathon in October, which afforded them the opportunity to co-create solutions for South Africa’s development challenges.

Next, they will share their learning journey at the 10th AfrEA Conference which is taking place from 14-18 March 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and virtually.

Isabel Malandu Mukali says she is very excited to be developing and perfecting her evaluation skills, to be able to reach a point where she can design and implement an evaluation and mentor others.

According to Stephan Paulsen, he is looking forward to strengthening and developing new capacities in monitoring and evaluation, specifically at grassroots level, and to highlighting people-centred approaches to social development in his work.

Similarly, Samukelisiwe Mkhize is looking forward to learning, engaging and contributing to what credible evidence means for communities.

Yeukai Caroline Tizora says she is most excited about learning from seasoned M&E professionals, her fellow emerging evaluators, and most importantly to gain practical experience in the field.


Sonny Motlanthe agrees that the importance of practical skills to further her career in M&E, will be a programme highlight.

Mayibongwe Mncube concludes that evaluation is more than a career; it’s a way of thinking and planning. “I believe that this programme will offer me the opportunity to engage in real-world evaluation”.

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