Genesis leads the way on innovation at evaluation conference

The Evaluation for Development team, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, participated in the 8th African Evaluation Association Conference (AfrEA) in Kampala, Uganda, March 2017. Genesis Analytics developed and delivered on the Innovations in evaluation strand, focusing on two areas:

  • New Forces in Development
  • New Frontiers in Evaluation Methodology

There have been changes in developmental interventions targeted at African populations due to the rise in global crises such as the economic downturn, food and fuel crises and natural disasters. These issues have challenged the progress of the developing world, and to reflect the complexities of the world in which we live, interventions now include multiple components, levels, agendas and implementing agencies. 

The aim of the AfrEA conference ( 27 - 31 March 2017) was to bring together cutting-edge ideas from across the globe to allow for collaborative learning opportunities to deepen evaluative thinking and practice necessitated by the changes in the developing world. 

Genesis Analytics curated a strand on Innovations in Evaluation which was supported by the Rockefeller Foundation, and which aimed to bring together pioneering and creative development practitioners, evaluators, policy makers and funders who contribute to innovations in evaluation. The strand consisted of two substrands:

The first, on the New Forces in Development, highlighted the emergence of innovative finance in Africa, evaluation in the face of complexity, measuring market systems innovation and evaluation of public-private partnerships projects. This discussion centred on how the changes in the development landscape have resulted in the increased use of diverse instruments and market players. Innovative finance stakeholders, including investors such as Root Capital and B-Lab East Africa, shared their practical experiences of success factors and challenges faced when measuring impact for investments. 

The second, New Frontiers in Evaluation Methodology, included evaluation innovations and evidence-mapping which focused on participation and cultural issues in impact assessments to suit the trends in Africa. Exhibitions by international evaluators such as Ricardo Wilson-Grau, Michael Quinn Patton and Jerusha Govender covered topics such as Developmental Evaluation, Principles-focused Evaluation, Outcomes Harvesting and Visual Story-telling for Evaluative Thinking. 

Overall, the AfrEA conference was a success - evidenced through the passionate conversations buzzing among African practitioners on how to continue to push the frontiers of measurement and evaluation in the evolving development landscape.