AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators


Greetings! I’m Lilian Chimuma, a Doctoral student at the University of Denver. I have a background in research methods and a strong interest in the practice and application of Evaluation. I believe cultural competence is central to the practice of evaluation and it varies contextually. I am recently exploring the context and scope of evaluation practice in developing countries.

Evaluations in developing Nations are amenably founded on and informed by Western paradigms. Many of these models reflect particular philosophies specific to the environments and conditions surrounding them, rather than those for the nations in which they are applied. Research and related discussions highlight concerns regarding the practice of evaluation in developing countries, including: cultural, contextual, and political reasons. Considering AEA’s stance on cultural competence, and its role and value in quality evaluation, it is essential to review evaluation practices across nations adopting evaluation paradigms developed in or by evaluators from regions other than their own. Such practices would advance social justice relative to indigenous cultures.

I focus on Africa in this discussion, highlighting some of the issues, and efforts towards the practice of evaluation.

Hot Tips:

The African Evaluation Association (AfrEA): Since its inception, AfrEA has grown and expanded its visibility within and beyond the continent. Among issues discussed by AfrEA members, the practice of evaluation given diverse cultural contexts on the continent stands out. Specifically, factors impacting the practice of evaluation on the continent include:

Lessons Learned:

  • Evaluation is vastly evolving in Africa considering cultural and contextual factors.
    • This is promising with implications for more actionable and practical evaluations.
    • Support for similar initiatives across other developing nations would advance and promote the growth and practice of evaluation, hence implications for cultural competence.
  • Evaluations should respect the culture, and not necessarily adopt evaluation frameworks coming from other cultures. Especially when they may not be appropriate!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating International and Cross-Cultural (ICCE) TIG Week with our colleagues in the International and Cross-Cultural Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our ICCE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


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