ZIMBABWE EVALUATION SOCIETY (ZES)

By Dr. Mufunani Khosa and Dr. Pindai Sithole

1.      Motivation to establish an evaluation society

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) are critical for every aspect of human performance.  These two terms (monitoring and evaluation) are directly related, it should be pointed out that they are technically and practically different.  Monitoring is concerned with tracking of performance through systematic recording of data on specific performance indicators.  As for evaluation, this is the judgment of the extent to which an intervention has contributed to the achievement of the set objectives.  The judgment is reached through systematic analysis of data collected through monitoring or during an evaluation exercise.  In other words, monitoring is ongoing while evaluation is episodic. 

Plans to monitor and evaluate should be developed during programme planning.  This means that monitoring programme performance indicators (both quantitative and qualitative) should be clearly identified and defined to enable systematic data collection during implementation. Sadly, in most cases M&E come as an afterthought when a programme has been developed and implemented; normally to meet the requirements of development actors outside the project/programme.  It was against this backdrop that in 1998 Dr. Mufunani Khosa and Dr. Pindai Sithole came up with an idea to establish the now Zimbabwe Evaluation Society (ZES).   

2.      Brief History of ZES

ZES was founded in 1998.  It is a fully registered not-for-profit organisation whose Mission is to improve the theory, practice and application of evaluation in development discourse in all sectors in the country.   In fact, ZES is a community of practice whereby people share and learn the concepts and practice of monitoring and evaluation towards managing for development results across the Zimbabwean society.

Our Mission.  Building monitoring and evaluation capacity in Zimbabwe and beyond.

Our Vision:  An evaluation competent Zimbabwe

Our core Values are: (a) life-long learning; (b) excellence; and (c) integrity

 

3.      Collaborations/networking

The Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ) is fully behind ZES.  Why? M&E are critical in all government initiatives in the current Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Social and Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET).  Furthermore, international and local development agencies expect all programmes they support to be systematically monitored and evaluated in order to achieve improved quality of people’s lives.

We have been collaborating with the African Evaluation Association, Australasia Evaluation Society (AES), Malaysian Evaluation Society (MES), The Evaluators’ Institute of the USA, Sri Lankan Evaluation Association, just to mention a few.

4.      Invitation to sharing and learning platforms

 

ZES invites you to participate in the sharing and learning platforms that will be organised on monitoring and evaluation.  As we are all aware, 2015 is a year of evaluation.  In ZIMASSET it is also stated that monitoring and evaluation are critical pillars towards achieving robust development in Zimbabwe.

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