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The 1st Africa Monitoring and Evaluation Indaba
Theme: “Opportunities and Challenges of Using Evidence from Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) to Accelerate Economic Development and Employment in Africa”
1.         Background and Context
Africa has made significant progress in addressing pressing challenges that have beleaguered its people for decades. Most countries embarked on developing systems and strategies which were intended to facilitate the delivery of programmes to address pervasive poverty, inequality and poor social service delivery. However, monitoring progress towards achieving intended outcomes has at best often been relegated to a secondary activity, or has been completely left out of core programme design, with typically a token 5% of a programme budget earmarked for monitoring and evaluation.
There is ample evidence that a clear framework for monitoring and evaluation is essential to effectively delivering any programme. Understanding the impact of any intervention enables planners and implementing authorities to take appropriate measures to remedy challenges if any, augment and accelerate programmes that are working well and introduce new measures to complement existing interventions. This is even more critical now as the continent embarks upon implementing the Africa Union Agenda 2063 and the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.
To this end, and in support of South – South Cooperation, the South African Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in South Africa in collaboration with the United Nations – South Africa M&E Group have initiated this initiative to leverage M&E systems in national development plans and visions at national level to address the challenges articulated in continental and international agendas.
2.         Aim of the 1st Africa Monitoring and Evaluation Indaba
The Indaba seeks to leverage on the partnership between DPME and UN South Africa to promote knowledge exchange and learning from experience among African governments and key stakeholders in the M&E space to use evidence from M&E to contribute to economic growth and employment.
3.         Key Outcomes of the Indaba
§  Enhanced learning and common understanding of how M&E can be used to address economic development, employment and inequality facing African countries.
§  Strengthened use of information (data, statistics) and evidence from M&E in policy, planning, programme design or implementation and development impact (e.g. SDGs, African Agenda 2063, Country Development Plans, and etc.).
§  Improved understanding of the importance and benefits of championing M&E by political leadership.
§  Platform for building partnerships and networking for the use of evidence to enhance human development created.
4.         Specific Objectives
§  To foster collaboration between DPME and the UN South Africa’s M&E Group in terms of delivering on a joint international event of high impact (practical partnership)
§  To promote use of evidence from M&E to achieve development goals via knowledge exchange among African governments and global community (learning)
§  To contribute to the implementation of local development plans and international development agendas of various countries through mutual technical advisory and support opportunities (technical assistance).
Main Theme: Opportunities and Challenges of Using Evidence from Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) to Accelerate Economic Development and Employment in Africa.
5.         Sub-Themes
Various subthemes will be formulated on M&E and applied to the Indaba theme. For instance, the following topics are aligned to various targets set under Goal 8 of the SDGs:
§  M&E Ecosystems
§  Harnessing the demographic dividend
§  Innovations in data
§  Use of evaluations
§  Gender, youth and vulnerable groups (leave no one behind) 
§  Fore-sighting and modelling for decision-making
6.         Approach
This Indaba will be content-focused and highly participatory in nature. The sub-themes identified above will serve as parallel streams that will be run in workshop style to ensure in-depth engagements and inclusive deliberation.  The proposed facilitation approach for each stream is that of having at least 2 main resource persons per each of the parallel sessions of the sub-theme.  Such people should prepare content-rich presentations that will stimulate discussion and share key insights on the sub-theme, aligned to the main Indaba theme and outcomes.  Then a panel discussion comprising about 3 to 5 people drawn from different stakeholders could be used to ensure reflection on the main presentation drawing from own experiences and evidence. 
Facilitation should encourage participation and good time management.  Most importantly, there should be focus on ensuring that the discussions contribute to the achievement of the Indaba outcomes.
There will be dedicated rapporteurs for each of the parallel sessions.  Such people will work together with the relevant facilitators to generate feedback to the plenary session.  This content will then be consolidated into an Indaba outcome document that will be used to implement key actions as recommended by the delegates.
8.      Target Audience
This Indaba is primarily a country-to-country knowledge exchange event supported by the United Nations and DPME. The following categories of delegates will be invited to participate, namely:
a)    Eminent persons
§  Minister in the Presidency: PM&E, the UN-SA Resident Coordinator and other key note speakers
b)    Government Administrative Leadership
§  Directors General/Permanent Secretaries/Principal Secretaries
§  Heads of National Statistical Offices
c)    Technical Officers
§  M & E Programme Managers at central government level
§  Economic sector representatives
d)    Multilateral bodies and other development partners active in the African Continent
e)    Resource persons drawn from civil society, private sector and academia
9.      About the partners of the Indaba
9.1    The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in South Africa (in the Presidency) is mandated to coordinate planning to ensure policy coherence and to support the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) and Vision 2030 priorities for the attainment of sustainable development goals.  DPME also monitors and evaluates the progress on the implementation of the South African government policies, plans and programmes towards the NDP goals of addressing poverty, unemployment and inequality aligned to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030). (
9.2    United Nations-South Africa (UN-SA M&E Group)
As multi-lateral bodies, the UN agencies based in South Africa play a significant role in supporting South Africa and other countries in the region to achieve the SDGs as coordinated by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). They have a Monitoring and Evaluation Group that seeks to partner with DPME in terms of ensuring that M&E is used to make a difference within the country and the Continent at large, as well as globally ( )
9.3    Statistics South Africa
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) is the national statistical office of South Africa with the goal of producing timely, accurate, and official statistics in order to advance economic growth, development and democracy.  To this end, Stats SA produces official demographic, economic, and social censuses and surveys. StatsSA is also responsible for the SDGs in South Africa in collaboration with the UN-SA and other key stakeholders (
9.4    Twende Mbele
Twende Mbele is a partnership project between South Africa (DPME), Uganda, Benin, Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results Anglophone Africa (CLEAR – AA) and Independent Development Evaluation (IDEV) at the African Development Bank (AfDB) that aims to increase demand, sharing, learning and collaboration on M&E in Africa. The programme focusses on the areas of: growing the demand for use of M&E; sharing M&E experiences; learning and capacity development around M&E; and collaboration on the development of M&E tools. Twende Mbele uses a peer learning model to build national evaluation systems, and is currently engaging with 12 countries through peer review opportunities in Africa (
To download the draft programme click here

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