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The Revolution will not be Evaluated!

[Culled from the Lyrics and Performance at the 2011 Stauffer Symposium by Rodney Hopson, Duquesne University. Originally Scott-Heron G. (1970). The revolution will not be televised, In Small Talk at 125th and Lenox.]

You will not be able to avoid the usefulness and ubiquity of evaluation,
You will not be able to mislabel, misappropriate, misconceive, misapply or misuse evaluation, limiting it to settings of programs, policies, projects and personnel
You will not be able to refer to the usual distinctions between research and evaluation, draw simple conclusions at the end of a program evaluation, or avoid instances of bias and conflicts of interests, as if our only concern in the discipline rests on value judgements or our only claim to fame is to inform decision – making
Because the revolution will not be evaluated

The revolution will not be brought to you by the civil society organizations and aligned through the sustainable development goals and veiled allegiances of low hanging fruits, Click To Tweet

The revolution will not be brought to you by the civil society organizations and aligned through the sustainable development goals and veiled allegiances of low hanging fruits,
The revolution will not continue to pay honour and homage to the roots of the field in recognition of the Carl Reindorf and Jacob Egharevba and other forefathers without attention to the foremothers or even specifically those evaluators who either studied with them but nobody cared or knew their names.
The revolution will not be evaluated.

The revolution will not be brought to you by the African Evaluation Association or Nigerian Association of Evaluators and will not star Wole Soyinka, Omoyele Sowore, or Chidi Odinkalu.
The revolution will not give you free education, free healthcare, free water facilities
The revolution will not get you published, promoted, or funded;
The revolution will not use evidence-based, performance-measured, scientifically legitimate arguments, assumptions, and logics,
Because the revolution will not be evaluated

There will be no pretty little pictures of logical frameworks, theories of action, theories of change, or whatever you want to call or confuse these graphic conceptual models – used and abused without careful and critical thinking about their use at various stages and development in serious, systematic evaluations;
Funders and clients will not require that we focus only on goals and objectives – in fact, we will do our damndest to stay away from them and those who run these programs since their story is not likely the one that has most merit.
The revolution will not be evaluated.

There will be no democracy or equality without evaluation and no evaluation without attention to democracy or equality Click To Tweet

There will be no references to the 1929 Aba Women’s Market Rebellion, the Biafra secessionist movement, the National Assembly, the enlightenment era in Lagos;
There will be no democracy or equality without evaluation and no evaluation without attention to democracy or equality;
There will be more high stakes evaluations who continue to show how traditionally poor, underserved, and minoritized communities do not benefit from donor funds;
There will be more locally engineered evaluations showing students do not learn effectively, all because, historically, they are reading the science of another environment!
There will be no “gender – related” evaluations that will provoke change in our society, all because, it doesn’t add Ten Kobo to the less privileged, and that this revolution will not be evaluated!

 

There will be no evaluation of the Abachas, debt ceilings, and wasteful military industrial and prison complex spending and shenanigans in religion or national security and war on Boko Haram.
NERDC, NUC, JAMB and WAEC will no longer be relevant;
Standards, principles, criteria, and checklists will no longer be restrictive unless they lead to creative, meaningful evaluation practice which generates new knowledges, epistemologies, and methodologies.
The revolution will not be evaluated.

There will be no academic programs in the social or natural sciences, law, humanities, without evaluation – interdisciplinarily or interdisciplinarily;
There will be no static or finite presentations, textbooks, or articles about evaluation models, and approaches written by the usual suspects.
There will be no relevant academic papers if they do not refer to the work of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, D.O Fagunwa, Chinua Achebe, Alain Mabanckou, Aminatta Forna, Mariama Ba
The revolution will not be evaluated.

 

The revolution will not be defined only by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or the Agenda 2063, or other goals that will be agreed to, after 2030 and 2063 Click To Tweet

You will not have to worry about whether what we do is scientific, whether it informs accountability or whether it is useful, feasible, proper or accurate;
We will not need to wait till after a program has ended, before conducting rigorous evaluations;
The revolution will not go better with desired outputs or outcomes;
The revolution will not be on Facebook, Twitter, and accessible on your iPhones and iPads;
The revolution will be live.



5 Comments

  • NANKRE MANDA

    I had a good read, thought provoking and a call for action.
    The revolution will indeed be LIVE.

  • Babakay

    Wow! I never knew this before.

    ”There will be no Democracy or equality without evaluation”

    Great job!

  • Tunde

    This is already happening. It just haven’t been on a full scale already. Lean data by Acumen is a lean way to evaluate and I’ve seen some INGO trying to emulate it (though I don’t believe there’s one way to evaluation).

    By now, we all know (let me say some of us) that development will never work with its current model and when you look deeply, you’ll see how many people already started talking about social impact.

    The revolution need not be evaluated, for results will start being feasible and its either you perform or you’re out of the game.

    While the article is a great read, I think it’ll be more of a difficult read for many people. Most especially those ones who aren’t adept to the current shift and happenings.

    I would have loved if you could relate the article to the present move in VC (they are now moving away from traction investment) where they now go back to the basics of profit and loss and not traction, this led to Softcom dissolving its WeWork investment, it affects Uber considering how they’ve been running at loss, it also affects Peloton and many IPO that was started this year as many people didn’t buy into the model that got many IPOs company there without no clear cut profitability model.

    You missed the chance to make it more eloquent by directing the conversation towards revolution (many folks aren’t adept in history like you).

  • Olusegun

    The revolution will not only call for a redefinition of needs assessment, it’s going to be a total overhaul of it. It’s LIVE! T

  • Kennedy OTA

    “The Revolution will not be Evaluated” is a very beautiful piece. Apart from the use of beautiful imagery to capture the pains and burning concerns of the author, he also employed an excellent style of delivery that optimized the art of rhetorics and mass sensitization faculties. I love this well crafted essay that seeks to translate evaluation into nation building.

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