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OCAF 2105 - Development Evaluation Politics and Practice - Special Topics from Africa

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 39

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The course equips students with a sound understanding of the politics and practice of development evaluation in the African context. Going beyond the policy declarations and the formalities of evaluation systems, it analyses the political dynamics, the informal networks and processes, the bureaucratic culture, the embedded societal values and the capacity constraints, which receive inadequate attention and yet greatly influence evaluation policies and practice. In this perspective, the course offers an experienced practitioner's insights on five inter-related topics of current importance in Africa: a) national policies and emerging M&E systems; b) evolving donor evaluation policies and practice; c) results based management and the interface with evaluation; d) new challenges for NGO M&E practice; e) improving evaluation use and organizational learning. Through a synthesis of the published and “grey” literature and the lecturer's extensive experience, the objectives of the course are: to provide students, as development professionals in the making, with a sound grasp of key concepts and issues in regard to evaluation policy and practice in the African context; to equip them with a good understanding of the factors that influence evaluation quality and utilization both positively and negatively; to introduce them to strategies and methods that will allow them to operate more effectively, whether as evaluators, commissioners or managers of evaluations, or simply users of evaluations.


  • CEESAY, Juanita D. (Doctorante)
  • HOPWOOD, Ian (Former UNICEF Representative)

Pedagogical format

Substantive presentations will be made for each session, with extensive student interaction and occasional discussion in group. An individual tutorial for each student for guidance on term paper and other mentoring as needed. A distinguished guest speaker will be invited.

Course validation

Students will be assessed on active class participation, including one classroom presentation (25%); and a term paper on selected topic (75%).


Apart from active participation in class, students must read all required readings, make a short classroom presentation, and write a term paper of not more than 15 pages. Each session starts with a review of reading.

Required reading

  • Donaldson, Stewart I., TarekAzzam, RossConner. 2013. Emerging Practices in International Development Evaluation, Charlotte, NC:Information Age Publishing. Read Chapters 1,2,4,10
  • Naidoo, Indran, 2013. “Growth and Integration in the Evaluation Profession: Some Perspectives for Consideration”. American Journal of Evaluation, 34(4): 572-76
  • OECD/DAC.2010.Evaluating Development Co-operation:Summaryof key norms and standards. 2nded, Paris: OECD. Read pp 1-18
  • OECD/DAC.2002.Glossary of key terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management. Paris: OECD (For reference only)
  • Ofir, Zenda and A.K. Shiva Kumar. 2013 “Evaluation in Developing Countries. What Makes it Different?” In Stewart I. Donaldson, Tarek Azzam, Ross Conner, eds. Emerging Practices in International Development Evaluation. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing