This study investigates the conditions under which demand for evaluation is generated, the latent and potential demand for evaluation, the range and capacity of entities supplying evaluation services, and the areas in which supply can be strengthened to meet and foster this demand. This study has shown that there are currently active, latent and potential demands for evaluation in Ethiopia. The latent and potential demands are nested within the demands for evidence from principals and government agents in Ethiopia. The demand for evaluation is not driven, as often assumed, by Development Partners (DPs), but by the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) policy matrix which serves as Ethiopia’s evaluation policy framework.
The drivers for demand within the policy matrix are the five-year development plan and a global move forward on aid effectiveness as Ethiopia is an aid recipient economy. Every year there are Annual Progress Reports (APRs) on plan performance and every five years since 1990, a rigorous evaluation of the totality of government plans and policies takes place. Historically, the largest demand is embodied in requirements established by joint programmes or aid reporting demands specified by DPs. Recently, however, the shape of demand has evolved in a more systematic fashion and there are indications that the GoE is beginning to engage with the need for structured evaluations to guide interventions, budget allocation and policy. The GoE is planning to implement Results Based Management (RBM) with Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) as one of the pillars.
Supply unfolds in two ways. The first is the regular provision of annual performance monitoring reports, with limited efficacy and value for wider impact analysis. The second one focuses on periodical evaluation of government development plans based on household surveys. Outside of the formal system of government, supply is largely from DP-contracted suppliers for financially supported by DPs. Evaluative research is undertaken by some civil society organisations. However, the scale of evaluative research is constrained by the limited capacity within the government and the wider society. The higher education sector, specifically universities, have expanded over the past few years, but the focus has been on teaching and learning, with limited time and capacity available for evidence-based research that could inform policy. A number of journals exist within the academic and professional community space, but the production of evaluation studies is very limited due to capacity constraints.
There are opportunities embedded in the emergent system that would facilitate the construction of a more robust and effective demand for, and supply of, evaluation within the government system. The GoE is committed to M&E by incorporating it in its five-year development and sectoral plans. The commitment is also reflected in the manner in which RBM is embraced. Furthermore, the GoE has high level strategy sector forums for policy dialogue and M&E with DPs. The commitment to enhance the capacity and mandate of the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) is another reflection of commitment to M&E.
Alemu, G.; Latib, S. Study on the demand for and supply of evaluation in Ethiopia. Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA), University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (2013) v + 37 pp.