March 26, 2007
Congratulations to the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) on the resounding success of their conference held in January 2007 in Niamey, Niger (West Africa). Over 500 delegates participated in the event: three-quarters of delegates from across the African continent and one-quarter from other parts of the world. There was a strong contingent of CES and SQÉP (Société québécoise d'évaluation de programme) members in attendance.
The theme for this year's conference was "Evaluate Development: Develop Evaluation: A Pathway to Africa's Future" which was addressed in four strands:
- Evaluation of Development in Africa: Practices and Challenges;
- Quality of Evaluation in Africa: Realities and Prospects;
- Capacity-building in Evaluation; and
- Governance, Evaluation and Development Challenges in Africa.
A traditional welcome song with lyrics especially written for AfrEA conference delegates was presented by local performers kicking off the impressive opening ceremonies. The conference was then declared open by His Excellency Hama Amadou, Prime Minister of Niger, represented by the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Ali Mahamane Lamine Zene.
A variety of stimulating paper and panel sessions covered a range of topics and three plenary sessions featured keynote addresses by Michael Quinn Patton, Sulley Gariba, Jean Quesnel, Abdoulaye Sadio, Guy Caucquill, and Oumoul Ba Tall. In addition, 22 pre-conference workshops covered a wide range of topics.
The AfrEA local organizing committee, spearheaded by the Nigerien Network for Monitoring and Evaluation, hosted a wonderful array of social activities and networking opportunities for delegates, including performances by some of Niger's most well-known musicians and dancers.
News editor: Nancy Porteous