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Launch of the Eastern Cape Chapter of SAMEA a resounding success

The first day set the tone for a successful event with an opening address from Mbulelo Sogoni, the Director-General of the Eastern Cape Office of the Premier. He was followed by an engaging presentation titled ‘Strengthening Performance through Monitoring & Evaluation’ from Sean Phillips, Director-General in the Department of Performance Monitoring & Evaluation in the Presidency. Both of the presenters stimulated constructive discussion and debate, fielding and responding to a variety of questions about the institutionalisation of M&E in the public service, while citing examples of best practice within the province and nationally.

The Deputy-Chair of SAMEA, Terence Beney spoke on behalf of the SAMEA Board of Directors on the role of the national association in developing M&E capacity in South Africa, before announcing the election procedures for the Eastern Cape Chapter.

Registered members of SAMEA in good-standing were eligible to manually vote for seven nominated candidates to be elected to the first Executive Committee of the Eastern Cape Chapter of SAMEA. Twenty-seven members of SAMEA voted in the election and six of the candidates were elected to the executive committee to lead the provincial chapter, securing the required 50% +1 threshold of votes to hold office.

Later, Dr Mvuyo Tom, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Fort Hare gave a key note address on the importance of M&E within the province as a mechanism for accountability to communities. He was followed by Mr Bheki Nowele, a representative of the KwaZulu Natal Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Association (KZNMERA), who shared some of the experiences and lessons learnt from a provincial M&E association in KwaZulu Natal.

The next day and a half saw nearly two hundred participants in attendance across seven different skills development workshops. A diverse set of expertise from the public and private sectors delivered workshops ranging from the application of M&E in local government, to the provincial M&E framework and the practical challenges of establishing a system for collecting, collating and monitoring data. Under the organisation of the Public Administration and Leadership Management Academy (PALAMA) these workshops were well attended by civil servants, consultants, and civil society representatives alike.

Overall, the Launch of the Eastern Cape Chapter of SAMEA was a resounding success. The combination of constructive debate, skills development and the establishment of a new M&E structure within the Eastern Cape proved a winning recipe. In the run-up to SAMEA’s 4th Biennial Conference from 16-20 September, strong local participation and support for the Eastern Cape event bodes well for the realisation an exceptional national conference.

The Board of Directors of SAMEA congratulates those elected to the Eastern Cape Chapter Executive Committee and looks forward to working with them in advancement of the practice of M&E within the province and nationally. The Eastern Cape Chapter of SAMEA Executive Committee is:

  • Prof. Edwin Ijeoma (UFH)
  • Ronke Harbor (EC OTP)
  • Antony Sambumbu (UFH)
  • Ogo Nzewi (UFH)
  • Herbert Batidzirai (EC DEDEAT)
  • Sibongile Gobile (Siseko Consulting)