The Twende Mbele M&E Partnership Programme was officially launched at the African Evaluation Association Conference in Kampala, Uganda on 28 March. Twende Mbele, a Swahili term meaning "moving forward together" focuses on using peer learning amongst African countries to build M&E systems and strengthen government performance and accountability. The initial partners are the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, the Office of the President in Benin, Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in South Africa, Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR Anglophone Africa), and IDEV at the African Development Bank. The first chair of the Management Committee is Dr Ian Goldman, Head of Evaluation and Research in DPME.
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Prime Minister launched Twende Mbele, highlighting how the programme aims to stimulate demand for M&E by policy-makers including Parliaments, promote learning, sharing and collaboration between African countries, and aims to use M&E more effectively to improve government performance and accountability. IDEV's Division Manager Karen Rot-Munstermann attended the ceremony and is pictured to the left of Twende Mbele Chairman Dr Ian Goldman, who is shaking hands with Ugandan Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.
Christine Guwatudde Kintu, the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, introduced Twende Mbele, saying that “the unique thing about the programme is that it is country driven and focuses on active collaboration rather than just networking, encouraging countries to actively learn from each other… to make a tremendous difference in service delivery to the public”. She also stressed that government encourages the establishment and sustainability of the evaluative culture so that managers and policy makers are able to find out what works and what does not work and why.
Some of the first activities include adapting South Africa’s management performance assessment tool (MPAT) for Benin and Uganda, seeking to strengthen the role of civil society organisations and the gender responsiveness of national M&E systems, promoting a shared M&E curriculum across Africa, undertaking a diagnostic to strengthen the supply and quality of evaluators. Twende Mbele invited several potential partner countries to attend AFREA, and also met with them on 28th March to understand their systems, and identify areas where collaboration could be beneficial. Countries included Senegal, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa. These countries identified their needs in the areas of support for developing national evaluation policies, working on a common curriculum, and strengthening use of data. Twende Mbele has identified how it will support these countries in these areas.
More information on twendembele.org