The Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results Anglophone Africa (CLEAR AA), South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA), The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have launched the Emerging Evaluator (EE) programme to actively engage EEs in the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) space, stimulate interest in the profession, and build the capacities of EEs to gain employable experience in M&E within South Africa and in the Southern African region.
WHO IS AN EE?
The EEs are monitoring and evaluation professionals with 5 years and lower of working experience in those fields, and they include one or more of the following:
- New to the monitoring and evaluation field with limited training and keen interest to develop skills in this area.
- Entry level monitoring and evaluation professional, with formal M&E training, but limited or no practical work experience.
- Mid-career professions who have experience with research and would like to focus on M&E. Private and Public sector practitioners with monitoring experience and no or limited evaluation experience.
VOICES OF EEs
Why do we need an EE Programme?
There is a gap in monitoring and evaluation capacity in South Africa, and the demand for skilled monitoring and evaluation professionals is increasing, yet the supply is extremely low both in the public and private sectors. A recent study for the Twende Mbele initiative between the governments of South Africa, Uganda and Benin and the Zenex Foundation (2018) cited the need for a strategy which would include and cater for Emerging Evaluators in South Africa. Reflections from EEs themselves show a desire for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) trainings beyond initial studies and a need for practical M&E experience, exposure to networks and other opportunities
• From the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, it has been recommended that the implementation of the goals should develop youth and adults skills in evaluation.
• The South African National Development Plan 2030 - Chapter 11 Social protection includes skills development to address the mismatch between skills and work available.
• The pool of skilled evaluators is shallow and demand far exceeds supply. • Emerging evaluators are under-represented in many organisations and institutions.
• Youth and young people are historically and frequently absent from evaluations of policies and programs that impact them, except as a potential source for data collection. Hence, they are not necessarily playing a developmental and meaningful role in an evaluation where they can learn and grow themselves.
• No proper institutional structure and formal programme exists to support emerging evaluators in South Africa