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Business Lines

The programmatic work of CLEAR-AA is structured according to the following business lines; (i) National Evaluation Systems (NES), (ii) Strengthening Legislative Oversight (SLO), (iii) Strengthening Evaluation Practice (SEP) and (iv) Strategic Knowledge Management and Applied Research(SKMAR).

National Evaluation Systems (NES)

The National Evaluation Systems (NES) business line focuses on building a foundational understanding of what national evaluation systems and other evaluation systems are, how they work, and the mechanisms that can effect change within them. When key stakeholders demonstrate a readiness to systematise M&E practice, this business line works with them to create appropriate training opportunities, effective policies and systems, and support champions to build systems for evidence use. Key stakeholders in national evaluation systems include government departments or ministries Voluntary Organisations for Professional Evaluation (VOPEs), donors and civil society representatives. The business line strengthens national evaluation systems through the following interventions: 

  • Identifying partners who will build sustainable, systems-level changes across a government- wide M&E system.
  • Developing an understanding of how national and subnational evaluation systems link to civil society and other key actors in driving accountability.
  • Implementing capacity development in the region through planned needs assessments, tools development, and
  • Implementation of training activities.


Building research that tries to better understand demand for evidence in the state and civil society by drawing on the contextual analysis of why evaluation systems succeed or fail in bringing about programme improvements.

Strengthening Legislative Oversight (SLO)

Legislatures are a central pillar of democracy, and play a crucial role in sustaining equitable development in the region. SLO seeks to improve the effectiveness of African parliaments to build evaluation systems, use evidence in oversight, strengthen legislation on evidence use, and bring a culture of evidence informed decision making to citizens through representative democratic structures. SLO works with elected representatives, portfolio committee members, researchers and other support staff and strategic management units within national and provincial legislatures to prioritize, select, interpret, and make sound judgement using M&E data. Key services offered by this business line are:

  • Building the capacity of parliamentarians to use M&E as part of oversight.
  • Strengthening legislatures’ capacity to monitor their own performance.
  • Developing and sharing best practice on M&E capacity building work within legislatures in the region.
  • Facilitating dialogue between the executive and the legislature around the development of monitoring and evaluation tools.
  • Providing technical support to parliamentary evaluation networks.


  • Building research on the growing demand from legislatures for evaluation evidence and how they both utilize evidence in oversight, and develop legislation on evidence use across the region.
Strengthening Evaluation Practice (SEP)

SEP is aimed at growing a cohort of African evaluation educators, trainers, scholars and practitioners to meet evaluation demands through working with higher education institutions and other evaluation capacity development partners. The business line strengthens evaluation capacity through the following interventions: 

  • Working with Higher Education Institutions, the public sector and private institutions to support the establishment and strengthening of both academic and executive short course M&E programmes.
  • Developing and delivering tailored and open-enrolment training programmes, such as the annual flagship Development Evaluation Training Programme in Africa (DETPA), which includes a Fundamentals and Advanced training track in M&E.
  • Supporting collaborative efforts between the higher education and training community, evaluators and the public sector to strengthen national evaluation capacity building.
  • Identifying gaps in curricula and models being taught in different localities and opportunities for collaboration in addressing these gaps.


  • Strengthening the understanding of the evaluation supply and demand landscape in Africa and the improvement of evaluation capacity development through research and learning, including the use of tracer studies.
Strategic Knowledge Management and Applied Research (SKMAR)

SKMAR aspires to be a leader in innovative methods and approaches to evaluation in Africa. It is cross-cutting and serves all business lines within CLEAR-AA, as well as commissioners and practitioners of M&E in the region. In its work, SKMAR has both an internal and external focus. Internally the business line is responsible for providing organisational support that drives quality assurance; the research agenda and codification of the organisation’s programmatic work. Externally, SKMAR conducts evaluations as an entry point to promoting organisational learning and development; provides systematic technical support to government’s efforts to implement organisational change based on research findings and documents and shares the lessons learnt. SKMAR’s focused interventions include: 

  • Carrying out evaluations based on culturally and contextually appropriate methods
  • Generating knowledge on appropriate and effective tools and approaches including innovative fields like common evaluation metrics in impact investing
  • Translating the learning generated from CLEAR AA’s programmatic work into the development and dissemination of CLEAR-AA’s various knowledge products.


  • Investigating the use and contextual appropriateness of methods that are being applied in evaluation.