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Kemedi Kgaphola

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I, Kemedi Kgaphola, an Assistant Director (ASD) in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Chief Directorate in the National Department of Social Development (DSD), a government institution, hereby accept the nomination to serve as a board member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA).

I have experience in M&E within the consulting, research institute and government space. I have recently participated in the 7th Biennial SAMEA Conference which adopted the “Shaping M&E for a Sustainable Future” theme. The two streams which describe my interests briefly comprised of the “Better Evidence for Public Policy and Implementation” under which I presented a paper and “M&E Skills in a Changing World”. The latter, in my view, is one that speaks to one of the key M&E challenges in South Africa.

There seems, now more than ever, a need to map professional/skills pathways for young and emerging evaluators (YEEs) as well as to upskill (i.e. through mentoring programmes) YEEs. This is one particular aspect which I am of the view SAMEA should work towards achieving in the next three years. As an M&E specialist often referred to as a young emerging evaluator (YEE), I will put my efforts in intensifying the YEE voice. I will strive to ensure that the views, experiences and challenges of YEEs are put at the centre of the board’s agenda.

As I stand to serve on the board of SAMEA, which strives to “cultivate a vibrant community that will support, guide and strengthen the development of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as an important discipline, profession and instrument for empowerment and accountability in South Africa” I will ensure the association strengthens its efforts to enhance the capacities of YEEs. It is time that a clearly defined pathway to professional development for YEEs is put in place. This will assist in ending the confusion in development and the perpetuation of one’s status as a YEE without a clearly defined exit strategy.

In the 3 years of office, I will strive to ensure that YEEs are confident in the pathway required for them to develop into trusted evaluation professionals. I will further strive to initiate collaborations among YEEs, in as far as possible, in ensuring the YEE voice is active in academic publications. I would appreciate members votes as I reckon it’s crucial that YEEs sit on the board where decisions are taken. I believe that by enabling me, a YEE, to serve on the board is a steppingstone towards ensuring that YEEs become more recognized. Please vote for me so we can show case that YEEs are to be understood as agents of meaningful change active in the present, and not only agents in perpetual transit who can only be active in the future.