samea's learning communities
chapter or network
SAMEA encourages the formation of provincial or regional learning communities in the form of Chapters (formal)/Networks (informal)/Communities of Practice, Topical Interest Groups that offer services such as resource networks, professional development activities, and forums for members to explore, discuss and get involved with evaluation interests.
The Eastern Cape Chapter and Western Cape Network have been very instrumental in creating spaces for continuous regional conversations on M&E. SAMEA and the SAMEA KZN MEL Network recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to strengthen and formalise collaboration. We look forward to collaborating on specific initiatives, reaching a wider group of M&E practitioners and working together to improve the quality and impact of M&E.
FORMALISATION AND MANAGEMENT OF a CHAPTER
The formal Chapter shall be launched when there is a minimum of 15-20 members. The regional liaison board member or champion who currently facilitates regional support and growth shall preside at the launch and elections of leadership. The leadership shall be elected through secret ballot by members in good standing (i.e. members who have paid membership fee). Elections of the Chapters will be facilitated by the regional and membership portfolio of the Board. The management structure shall be as follows:
- Deputy Secretary
The Chapter management shall be responsible for running the Chapter and organising regional conferences, seminars and workshop in consultation with the Board. The management will also be responsible for growing its membership.
How the Eastern Cape Chapter started
This Chapter was championed by Head of Department, Department of Public Administration as early as 2012. The EC coordinating structure was formed and recognised by the SAMEA Board. The EC Chapter in collaboration with SAMEA organised 3 regional capacity development workshops (2013; 2015; 2017). From 2015-2019 Post Graduate Diploma students became members of the coordinating structure. Prof Victor Naidu, as Adjunct Professor in UFH Department of Public Administration and lecturer in the PGD M&E programme, was the key champion in the EC Chapter and still continues in this role.
The goal of this Chapter was to have a functional and sustainable Eastern Cape regional Monitoring and Evaluation network that strengthens the M&E practice and also adds significant value to effective, sustainable development in the region. Key members of the EC Chapter include Public Sector M&E Post Graduate Diploma students, participants from different Eastern Cape provincial departments; Office of the Premier, Provincial Legislature, NGOs and local municipalities. There were approximately 4 network sessions per year since 2015-2019. It is linked to module contact sessions and thematic areas- students presented their work to the broader university community and membership. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the EC Chapter was dormant because all students in the PGD M&E classes attended classes remotely. There is a need to re-energise the EC Chapter. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact [email protected]
HOW TO START A NETWORK
No formal structure is required however, we do recommend that a Network Champion is identified who coordinates the network on behalf of SAMEA. You may contact the SAMEA offices at [email protected] for further information.
Geographical spread & contact details of current SAMEA Chapter & Network Champions, CoP and TIGS convenors:
Communities of Practice (CoP)
Local Government M&E CoP
This Community of Practice is open to all sectors - government officials, researchers, think tanks, consultants, students, non-governmental organisations, political stakeholders and anyone else who has an interest in this field.
Its objectives are to (1) create a regular space for discussion of local government M&E related issues; (2) complement intergovernmental M&E forums and committees by facilitating cross-sectoral engagement on local government M&E; (3) build reciprocal interpersonal relationships within which relevant events/news, critical discussion, resource sharing, and mutual learning can take place.
BRIDGE runs two CoPs which look at a range of topics with different focus areas in a shared context (i.e. school types) or specific topic (i.e. education). In March 2022, a new community of practice was established to promote evaluation's contribution to a just transition.
The Evaluation for Just Transition CoP meets virtually every 4 to 6 weeks. The Evaluation for Just Transition (E4JT) CoP is facilitating the development and piloting of two new evaluation criteria on Climate and ecosystems health and Transformative equity. The E4JT CoP is looking to engage with community members in different co-creation activities to continue building up this area of work, building on what was agreed together as priorities after the 2022 conference. Key areas of activity include supporting the 2 pilots of the guidelines and learning from the experience; to continue to seek opportunities for capacity building for commissioners and evaluators on using the two criteria and guidelines in upcoming evaluations the development of tools and resources to supplement the guidelines to enhance their applicability to different evaluation settings; to continue supporting the piloting process and document the lessons learned and seeing the opportunity to link to planning. If you are interested in contributing to this CoP, please feel free to participate in this short questionnaire to indicate your areas of interest in collaboratively building our collective knowledge and skills in how M&E can be used to address systemic crises. https://forms.gle/yM3GWu2ZsXZBQgKZ9
Click this link to read the latest versions of these two guidelines https://www.samea.org.za/evaluation-hackathon-reports
For more information on this CoP, please email Jen Norins ([email protected]).
The Tech-enabled MERL CoP is a space where MERL and development professionals can come together to explore the role technology plays in MERL. We hope to see professionals come together to share knowledge, learn, create a safe space to discuss hard tech topics, and support proactive responses to digital futures. Data Innovators will lead the CoP in collaboration with MERL Tech and other partners.
Technology has revolutionized the way that Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) is conducted. By utilizing the latest tools and services, organizations can gain a better understanding of the impact of their efforts, resulting in more accurate data and improved decision-making. Combining MERL and technology offer a unique opportunity to bring together the best of both fields. On the one hand, MERL provides a structured approach to understanding and improving the world around us; on the other hand, technology provides the tools and opportunities to make this approach much more accessible and effective. As such, creating a space for practitioners, in both MERL and technology fields, to meet and converse will provide a platform for engaging in meaningful dialogues, where each party can gain a better understanding of the other's perspective and how these respective disciplines can be used together to create a positive impact. This space also provides an opportunity to identify synergies between the two disciplines, as well as areas of potential future collaborations.
In 2022, the team convened a steering committee, engaged with members on topics of interest and set out a clear plan for implementing the CoP in 2023.
If you are interested in participating and have the skills and experience we are looking for, please fill out the survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfGNOQ- 0e68qQkCVozeTNYxJFmUXpE9PBfOC54EA6JW6qC8gw/viewform
All enquiries regarding this CoP can be directed to Viwe Kutu ([email protected]) and copy in Mutsa Chinyamakobvu ([email protected]), Rebecca Mbaya ([email protected]) and [email protected]
The last Western Cape M&E CoP took place on the 17th of November 2022. Allan Gray Orbis Foundation hosted the CoP & Anniza De Wet was the facilitator. The CoP focused on networking & how to establish peer to peer networks for M&E capacity building. The idea of a COP vs Network was explored and how we can come together in a constructive way to create shared value.
Topical interest groups (TIGs)
TIGs are subgroups of SAMEA consisting of members with common interests. TIGs may be formed around methodologies such as Needs Assessment, around work contexts such as Government Evaluation, around salient concerns such as Feminist Issues, COVID Pandemic issues or around professional status such as Independent Consultants. SAMEA members may contact the secretariat if they are interested to start and coordinate a TIG, outlining briefly the purpose, interest and proposed timeframes and mediums for interactions for members of the TIG. The secretariat will assist in calling for interests to join the TIG on SAMEATalk. They will also assist by referencing the TIG on the SAMEA website, communicate upcoming meetings of the TIG on SAMEATalk and place outputs and products of the TIG on the SAMEA webpage. To learn more about the terminology, click here
SAMEA's Emerging Evaluator Topical Interest Group (EE TIG) is pleased to announce that it will be hosting regular webinars, starting January 2023, to explore a variety of topics relating to Emerging Evaluators. These sessions will be hosted by the EEs themselves.
The first webinar took place on 30 January 2023 and was attended by over 30 EE’s. This webinar focused on revitalizing the EE TIG. It included conversations about the profile of EEs, how EEs first entered the evaluation ecosystem, discussions about typical difficulties encountered by EEs, and in addition we will have the opportunity to work together to find solutions.
To join the Emerging Evaluator TIG (EE TIG), simply send an email to the EE TIG convenor, Khumo Pule on [email protected] requesting to join. It would be greatly beneficial if you were also registered with SAMEA/became a SAMEA member as well. To find out how you can become a SAMEA member, click here: https://www.samea.org.za/become-a-member