The African Development Bank (AfDB) is hosting the forum of Centers for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR) February 16-20 in Tunis under the leadership of the Bank's Operations Evaluation (OPEV) Director, Rakesh Nangia. Ideas, solutions and best practices will be presented and discussed extensively during the five-day forum.
CLEAR is a global initiative, inaugurated in 2010 to help developing countries strengthen their monitoring and evaluation as well as performance management capacities. The Bank has been a key partner of the CLEAR initiative from the start.
The 2013 event has gathered more than 40 delegates from CLEAR, its Secretariat, donors, and OPEV experts, to address key issues and challenges in monitoring and evaluation, both technical and institutional, and to develop solutions as a dynamic network.
"Hosting the forum at the Bank is a strong signal to CLEAR and to all other development partners that AfDB is a strong partner and advocate for evidence-based decision-making and the results based development agenda in Africa," OPEV Lead Evaluation Officer Jessica Kitakule said. She also stressed that the role of evaluation is to help establish the level of performance achieved; the difference made; the lessons learned; and what is plausible in the implementation of a program or policy. Evaluation helps to answer deeper questions in the development of an evidence base for programming, she added.
However, she highlighted that generating and using relevant and timely evidence in many of our member countries has proved difficult. This reinforces the need to improve member country capacities and systems for results measurement, reporting, and use of the evaluation knowledge for decision-making. "The Bank needs to nurture local demand for evidence, especially in the executive, legislative and civil society sectors, to better connect to the development demands of the population at large. CLEAR is one of the key partners in achieving this objective in our member countries and it is the Bank's expectation as it engages with the initiative," she said. "Truly, the work of OPEV goes beyond accountability. It is about how we can do things better; how we can do things differently."
CLEAR has five centres in the world, two of which are based in Africa, at Witwatersrand University in South Africa and at the Centre Africain d'Etudes Supérieures en Gestion (CESAG) in Senegal. The World Bank houses the Secretariat of the initiative.
The global forum provides spaces to the centres from the different regions to acquire global technical knowledge, compare and share knowledge from different settings. There is peer-to-peer learning among the centres.