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Decolonising Evaluation

University of the Witwatersrand via edX


Evaluation plays an integral role in understanding how different visions of development are expressed and contested in programme design and management. Decolonization has been a central concern of the field, and there is a need to bring together a wide range of discussions concerned with decolonized evaluation.

This course introduces participants to the intersection between evaluation and decolonization debates by understanding how evaluation has evolved with the development sector. We will raise key, current issues around decolonization of evaluation in Africa, and to advance the discussion on decolonized evaluation through a structured discussion.

This course targets monitoring and evaluation practitioners, programme managers and development sector technical staff. This course is also intended for students, academics, or individuals with a broad range of interests in current debates in international development or decoloniality.


The course consists of three modules:

Module 1: The selection of an evaluation approach matters in the public sector

This module will use a case study to illustrate that public resources are allocated differently depending on how performance/impact is measured.

Module 2: The roles of evaluation in different development paradigms

This module will introduce learners to development paradigms (including independence/socialist experiments; neo-liberalism/structural adjustment; and Sustainable Development Goals. It will then examine the roles of evaluation within each of the identified paradigms, and identify assumptions embedded in these evaluation approaches.

Module 3: Points of intervention

This module is structured around a question: “Which interventions could challenge dominant (colonial) approaches to evaluation?” The module will include short inputs on possible points of intervention suggested by literature and by practitioners. Learners will then be invited to contribute to the development of a strategy for decolonizing evaluation.

Taught by

Caitlin Mapitsa


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