23 - 27 October 2017

Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa


The theme for this year’s conference is:

“Purpose-driven Monitoring and Evaluation”

It is an exciting time for evaluation in South Africa.

Since the 5th biennial SAMEA Conference in October 2015, the national environment has been characterised by government advocating for the National Development Plan, which is aligned to international Sustainable Development Goals, as a key driver of radical social and economic transformation.

There is also a growing demand for evaluations by different sectors for various purposes. Key state institutions and development partners intend to use evaluation evidence to measure development results. Non-governmental organisations and civil society groups have raised citizens’ awareness to actively participate in the evaluation process and to use evaluation evidence for accountability. Private sector institutions see the benefits of using evaluations to measure value for money of their corporate social investments. Higher education institutions have responded by offering a wide range of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) qualifications.

These developments have necessitated the need for more purpose driven evaluations which will contribute to programmes that impact positively on the lives of people. International and domestic debates on the need for better quality and rigour of evaluation work, clear frameworks for evaluator competence, evaluation standards and more advocacy for the use of evaluation evidence for informed decision making abound.

It is against this backdrop, and in line with SAMEA’s vision to strive to cultivate a vibrant evaluation community, which will support, guide and strengthen the development of monitoring and evaluation as an important discipline, emerging profession and instrument for empowerment and accountability, that SAMEA has decided on the theme ‘Purpose-drive Monitoring and Evaluation’ for its 6th biennial conference and capacity building workshops from 23-27 October 2017 at the Hilton Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg.

The 6th biennial conference represents the culmination of activities and events which include

  • SAMEA board meetings
  • a monthly SAMEA newsletter
  • Evaluation Cafés
  • vibrant list-serve engagements on key M&E themes facilitated by board members
  • commissioned research to strengthen evaluation and
  • Professional development and capacity building workshops.

This year, we anticipate having more than 500 participants from diverse constituencies, with national and international keynote speakers. A variety of creative and innovative platforms will be used, including capacity-building workshops, paper presentations, panel discussions, vibrant networking sessions and exhibitions by M&E; students, researchers, practitioners and professionals.

The 5 day event comprises 2 days of pre-conference professional development workshops, and includes international experts who share their time and experience with participants over a range of practical, learning sessions. Due to high demand, we will offer approximately 15 workshops this year.

The actual conference will take place over 2.5 days, and includes keynote speakers, various paper sessions, roundtables, debates, planning sessions, panels and a host of exhibits, networking and social opportunities.

Through the theme of the conference, ‘Purpose-driven Monitoring and Evaluation’ there will be valuable engagement on how evaluation should be responsive to different needs and contexts. The conference will serve as a useful opportunity to engage in this and other international and local debates, while simultaneously building capacity and meaningfully contributing to evaluation scholarship, practice and utilisation.


Dugan Fraser


Important Dates

Abstract Submissions Opens10 May 2017Confirm Speakers26 July 2017
Registration Opens15 June 2017Third Announcement/Final Programme18 August 2017
Abstract Submissions Close15 June 2017Early Bird Cut-off date29 September 2017
Notify Speakers18 July 2017