EvalYear: South Africa launches its celebrations

Alice Macfarlan's picture 1st April 2015 by Alice Macfarlan

EvalYear is well underway around the world. Here are some of the ways South Africa will be marking EvalYear. Thanks to Liezille Jacobs from SAMEA (South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association) for this information.

Official EvalYear Programme Launch

The South African Monitoring and Evaluation Society (SAMEA) officially launched its International Year of Evaluation programme of events on 19th March. The Hon. Jeff Radebe, MP, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, unveiled the South African EvalYear Declaration and performed the lighting of the EvalYear Torch (pictured). 

In his speech, he expressed his delight that,

"...key organisations from various sectors of our society have recognised a need to collaborate in organising today’s event and planning for the entire International Year of Evaluation project in South Africa. Critically, such collaboration will contribute immensely to developing evaluation capacity in our country and assist in institutionalising the discipline in various sectors of society." (Source: Speech by Hon. Jeff Radebe, 19 March 2015. Page 1)

Going on, he praised the EvalYear campaign efforts to create enthusiasm for the use of evaluation:

"I fervently hope that the International Year of Evaluation campaign will mobilise millions of our people around the globe to promote the use of evidence derived from evaluations to improve how governments work, and its impact on citizens and so contribute towards eradication of the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality." (Source: Speech by Hon. Jeff Radebe, 19 March 2015. Page 9)

Left to right: Mr Jabu Mathe, Director: Evaluation, DPME, Ms Nolwazi Gasa, Acting Director-General, DPME, Hon. Jeff Radebe, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Prof Imraan Valodia, Dean of Commerce, Law and Management, Wits University; and Prof Richard Levin, SAMEA Chairperson.

Source: SAMEA Photo Album - Launch of the International Year of Evaluation in South Africa. Distributed in SAMEA email.

5th Biennial SAMEA Conference: Using Evaluation to Improve People's Lives

South Africa's EvalYear programme will culminate with SAMEA’s 5th Biennial Conference under the theme 'Using evaluation to improve people’s lives' from 12-16 October 2015 at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Professor Richard Levin, SAMEA Chairperson writes that:

"Through the theme of the conference, 'Using evaluation to improve people's lives', there will be exploration and discussion of evaluation use for tangible improvements in the lives of people, this against the backdrop of an intense international debate on the Sustainable Development Goals supplanting of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As we further build a community that supports guides and strengthens M&E in SA, this event will serve as the premier opportunity to engage in these and other international and local debates, while simultaneously building capacity and meaningfully contributing to evaluation scholarship, practice and utilisation." (Levin, 5th Biennial SAMEA Conference First Announcement, page 2)

You can find more information on the Conference Website or by emailing  info@sameaconference.co.za

Key Conference Dates

​20th April, 2015: Registration and Abstract Submission Opens

22nd June, 2015: Abstract Submission Closes

11th September, 2015: Early Bird Cut-off date

12th-16th October, 2015: Conference


EvalYear Events in South Africa

There's a busy year ahead for South African evaluators. SAMEA have put together a programme detailing the official EvalYear events being run around the country. You can download the full list of events here, which also lists short courses being run around the country throughout the year. To give you an idea of what to expect, we've listed some of the main events below:


20th April - First Evaluation Café with the HSRC
Contact: Liezille Jacobs, SAMEA - coordinator [at] samea.org.za
Location: Pretoria (HSRC offices in Cape Town & Durban)
28 April - Thematic Seminar on evaluations focusing on Children’s Rights
Contact: Matodzi Amisi, DPME - Matodzi [at] presidency-dpme.gov.za
Location: Constitution Hill, Johannesburg
April (TBC) - Budget speech by Hon. Jeff Radebe, MP, Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Contact: Stanley Ntakumba, DPME - stanley [at] presidency-dpme.gov.za
Location: Cape Town


(TBC) - Launch of the book: Evaluation Management in South Africa & Africa.
Contact: Prof Fanie Cloete, Stellenbosch - Fanie.Cloete [at] spl.sun.ac.za
Location: Cape Town
(TBC) - Session with Parliament in collaboration with Parliamentary Budget Office
Contact: Prof Richard Levin, SAMEA - RichardL [at] opsc.gov.za
Location: Cape Town


(TBC) - CLEAR-AA Seminar with special guest presenter, Phil Davies, 3ie
Contact: Neissan Besharati, CLEAR-AA - neissan.besharati [at] wits.ac.za
Location: Wits University, Johannesburg
June (TBC) - Thematic Seminar on the Department of Trade & Industry’s priority evaluations
Contact: Timothy Dladla, the dti - ttdladla [at] thedti.gov.za
Location: Pretoria


(TBC) - Launch of African Evaluation Journal Special Edition on SA National Evaluation System
Contact: Ian Goldman, DPME - ian@presidency-dpme.gov.za and Mark Abrahams AEJ - marka [at] iafrica.com
Location: Pretoria
8th July - Stakeholder workshop to validate findings & recommendations of the Feasibility Study on Professionalisation of Evaluation in South Africa
Contact: Jabu Mathe, DPME jabu [at] presidency-dpme.gov.za
Location: Pretoria


(TBC) - Launch of the African Development Evaluation Education Programme (AFDEEP)
Contact: Prof Richard Levin, SAMEA - RichardL [at] opsc.gov.za
Location: TBD


12-16 October - SAMEA 5th Biennial Monitoring & Evaluation Conference ‘Using evaluation to improve people’s lives’
Contact: Dr Liezille Jacobs - coordinator [at] samea.org.za
Location: Johannesburg

Getting Involved

Are you an evaluator, an evaluation manager, or an evaluation user in South Africa? Share with us in a comment below how you are planning on getting involved in South Africa's EvalYear.


Levin (2015) 5th Biennial SAMEA Conference First Announcement [Press Release].

Radebe, J. (2015, March 19). Speech during the Launch of International Year of Evaluation, Wits University, Johannesburg. [Distributed in SAMEA email].

SAMEA (2015, March 19) Photo Album - Launch of the International Year of Evaluation in South Africa. [Distributed in SAMEA email].

A special thanks to this page's contributors
BetterEvaluation Knowledge Platform Manager, BetterEvaluation.
Melbourne, Australia.


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