Open J Public Health | Volume 3, Issue 1 | Review Article | Open Access

Professionalization of Program Evaluation in Africa: An Imperative for Effectiveness and Accountability for Public Policy

Agonnoude T Maurice* and Houeto S David

Department of Public Health, National School of Public Health and Epidemiologic Monitoring (ENATSE), University of Parakou, Benin

*Correspondance to: Agonnoude T Maurice 

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Program evaluation is an applied science which importance for accountability, efficacy and effectiveness of public policies makes consensus among scientific researchers. So, in developed countries, especially North America’ ones, it is a professional domain with professional associations, standards of practices and development of tools nurturing and improving continuously practices. The goal of this paper is to show that in French speaking African countries, inexistence or bad functioning of a formal frame of exercise and development of the practice impede the evaluation findings to achieve maximum credibility and acceptance. In fact, in most African French-speaking countries like Benin, amateurism is standard gold. Program evaluation in this context is practiced by managers and technocratic civil servants for all sectors who, with their specific experience in their domain, think they were able to judge program in implementation. So, in these conditions of inexistence of formal training in evaluation and standards of practices, the evaluation practice is marked by defects like unrespect of evaluators ‘independence, the glaring conflict of interest, the low rate of evaluation findings utilization, and so one. This result is so evident in Benin because, we know the non-professionalization of a sensitive domain, like education in program evaluation, can lead to disastrous consequences. So, it is urgent that improving evaluation quality and credibility needs a setup of formal framework of practice with qualified trainings, continuous trainings and experiences sharing and to setup standards of practices. The contribution of the most developed program evaluation communities of North America especially those of Canada would be welcome.


Evaluation; Professionalization; Public policies; Effectiveness; Accountability


Maurice AT, David HS. Professionalization of Program Evaluation in Africa: An Imperative for Effectiveness and Accountability for Public Policy. Open J Public Health. 2021;3(1):1017..

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