Essay Contest to Mark the 25th Anniversary of the Operations Evaluation Department of the AfDB

23/10/2012
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Background

To commemorate its 25th anniversary, the Operations Evaluation Department (OPEV) of the African Development Bank (AfDB) is launching an essay contest on evaluation in Africa. The top three winners will receive both financial and non-financial prizes as described below. The winner of the 2012 competition will receive a prize during the upcoming 2012 AfDB Evaluation Week, which will take place in Tunis, Tunisia, from December 3 to 6, 2012. The theme of the week is “Evaluation Matters for Development in Africa”.

The essay contest will also help in raising awareness on the importance of development evaluation in Africa’s pursuit of prosperity.

Topic

In line with the theme of the 2012 Evaluation Week, the essay topic is “Real world African evaluations in Africa that made a difference”.

The essay should focus on the utilization of evaluation findings, lessons and recommendations by decision-makers, and how they led to changed policies, strategies, practices, projects or governance. Ideally, the essay should be based on one or several specific evaluation case studies.

Key points to address:

  • The challenges the evaluators faced in making  their evaluation(s) relevant, used, and useful; and how utilization can be enhanced.
  • The specific elements that helped make a difference, for instance, stakeholder engagement,formulation of meaningful and useful evaluation questions/issues, appropriateness of method(s), evaluation plan, management of quality assurance, or specific efforts in ensuring dissemination, publication and use of key findings.
  • What could or would have happened without the evaluation.

Prizes

  • First  Place:   
    • USD 1,000 (one thousand U.S. dollars)
    • Paid trip to attend the 2012 AfDB Evaluation Week, during which the prize will be awarded, and
    • Publication of the essay in “Evaluation Matters”; OPEV’s quarterly publication.
  • Second Place: USD 750 (Seven hundred fifty dollars) and publication of the essay in evaluation Matters.
  • Third Place: USD 500 (Five hundred dollars) and publication of the essay in evaluation Matters. 

Eligibility

  • African(s) who participated in an aspect of the evaluation(s) of interest for example, managing, designing, executing and ensuring use of the evaluation.   
  • The evaluation(s) of interest must have been based in Africa.

Submission

Submit your essay, which must not exceed 4,000 words (written in English or in French; in Microsoft Word; 12 pt font size; double spacing) to 2012 essaycontest@afdb.org by 24:00 hours (GMT), on 11th November 2012.   

Selection Process and announcement of winners

  • A panel, comprising five AfDB staff from the Research, Policy and Evaluation Departments, will select the three best essays.   
  • Winners will be informed by 20th November 2012