Justification and Rationale

The evaluation of public policies and programmes are rather commissioned by donor organisations than by local national evaluators. Additionally, as several studies show, only about 10% of the public investments are objects of evaluations and evaluation results only have little influence on the decision-making processes of government. Also, evaluation is often used as an instrument to prove accountability and not in the purpose of learning for better knowledge of what works which ultimately lead to stronger interventions for effective services delivery. Non-governmental organisations and civil society often have weak technical knowledge and skills in the field of Evaluation.

The international widely recognised standard of conducting evaluation in a twinning model, meaning one international and one local consultant, can hardly be realised. Therefore, demanding evaluations which are commissioned, for example, by government, donor organisations or NGOs are usually conducted by international consultants. Additionally, middle-level officers in both government and civil society institutions increasingly require qualifications in M&E. Yet, institutions only offer monitoring and evaluation courses which are country specific and lack the global orientation. Graduates of evaluation courses should have the capacity to work across different contexts.

As a discipline of academic study, evaluation (or monitoring and evaluation as is often called in developing countries) in Africa and other developing countries is still in its infancy unlike other countries where it has reached adulthood. Uganda Technology And Management University was the only university offering a fully-fledged master’s degree in the field. It was recently joined by Uganda Martyrs University which has introduced an MSC in Monitoring and Evaluation. Uganda Management Institute has had a postgraduate diploma in the same area and those who wish to proceed for Masters from that institution often undertake only research and get an award of a Master in Management Studies with a specialization in Monitoring and evaluation. There is no distinctive difference between those who do a ‘Masters’ and those who finish the postgraduate level other than the research component.

A close analysis of the context, objectives and rational of the Masters in evaluation and the Masters in Project Monitoring and Evaluation strongly suggested that the two programs targeted the same audience and aimed at the same objectives and goal which was building capacity. The two shared the same ‘vision’ of contextualizing evaluation in the Ugandan environment in particular and Africa in general. The two degrees covered almost the same content albeit using different approaches. While the Masters in Evaluation took a process approach, the UTAMU masters took largely an interdisciplinary approach and addressed the process issues under various courses as opposed to a standalone courses.

The CEval Masters introduced students to the theory of evaluation, took them through how to manage and conduct evaluation, issues of evaluation design, data collection procedures, data analysis, organizational issues and economics and communication skills. UTAMU’s masters addressed each of these in some specific modules while other content issues were covered in the other numerous modules. In order to avoid duplication of efforts, it was agreed that the two master’s degrees be merged and synergies among the two institutions be merged to mount a robust regional program.Based on the above facts, it was agreed by the partners to have one joint program. The joint program was strongly justified based on its uniqueness as follows:-
  • Blended-Learning: The Programme uses an innovating approach in combining traditional face-to-face teaching and learning with computer based learning and teaching (eLearning).
  • Multi-disciplinarily: The multi-disciplinarily was provided in that the Programme was open for students of all disciplines (such as social sciences, economics, public health, natural sciences, technology and engineering sciences etc) but also it gave core foundation, methodology and interdisciplinary modules.
  • Practice-orientated learning: The Programme not only provides theoretical knowledge but also aims at translating this knowledge to the practical field.
  • Global focus: The program not only provides knowledge, skills and competences suitable for the African context but has generally agreed contents of any evaluation curriculum throughout the world.
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