Translating commitments into actions – Engagement of the Parliament of Tanzania in the development of a National Evaluation Policy

On 27-28 April 2019, the Parliament of Tanzania – a founding member of the African Parliamentarians Network on Development Evaluation (APNODE) and one of the 7 Parliaments in Africa that were signatories to the 2014 Yaounde Declaration of African Parliamentarians on Evaluation – collaborated with the Tanzania Evaluation Association (TanEA) to organize a workshop on the roles of parliamentarians in the development of national evaluation policy. The event was supported by UNICEF, as a partner of the Tanzania Evaluation Association (TanEA). One of the main objectives of the workshop is to support the Parliament of Tanzania to translate the commitments made in Yaounde Declaration into actions. Fifty six parliamentarians from 12 Parliamentary Committees participated in the meeting.

Speaker of the Tanzanian Parliament Hon. Job Y. Ndugai, opened the meeting and stated, “I would emphasize that evaluation is among functions of the Parliamentary Committees. This effort should be strengthened  by having a policy to be done at all levels in the Government as we implement the Five Year Development Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).. We have to start thinking of a National Evaluation Policy as it has role in managing our development agenda. We can gauge the level of success or failures through proper monitoring and evaluation guided by the policy.”

The two-day event chaired by Hon. Immaculate Sware Semesi – Secretary of APNODE Tanzania and Dr. Francis Mwaijande – Chairman of TanEA, enabled participating parliamentarians to gain a better understanding of the role of evaluation for oversight functions and to deliberate on the engagement of parliamentarians in the process of developing a National Evaluation Policy for Tanzania. Global and regional experience and lessons learned  were shared and discussed by Evelyn Mpagi-Kaabule -Vice President  of APNODE and Asela Kalugampitiya – Secretariat for the Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation (GPFE).

During the meeting, participants openly discussed and agreed on the ways forward. The APNODE Tanzania will take lead in convening further deliberations with extended members on the roadmap and concept note for the development of a national evaluation policy. In order to gain a stronger leadership in the Parliament, the APNODE Tanzania will follow up with the Speaker to get his guidance and support for the next steps.