May 9, 2024



The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), a governance evaluation framework established by the African Union, aims to promote good governance and sustainable development in Africa.

However, its influence on public policy outcomes has been limited due to inadequate evaluation research and a focus on outcome-oriented approaches.

A study by Dr. Martin Kizito, a senior lecturer at Uganda Christian University (UCU) proposes a framework to enhance the APRM’s influence, addressing knowledge gaps and recommending inclusive participation, aligned activities, and a well-domesticated legal framework.”

This study analyses the implementation of APRM as a governance evaluation framework mandated by Article 5(2) of the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act of 2000.

 It aimed at generating a framework for enhancing the APRM and in turn positively influence public policy outcomes.

The study observes that, in researching evaluation influence, limited empirical field studies have been conducted especially about African home-grown initiatives, to guide stakeholders on how evaluation inputs translate into activities and consequently policy outcomes.

It argues that APRM, as Made in Africa Evaluation (MAE), adopts a rational and outcome-oriented approach to evaluation, focusing on direct use of data, with good performance primarily evidenced by ratification of agreed governance standards.

So, limited attention to the process has resulted into concerns about emerging patterns of evaluation under-use, misuse and non-use. This trend if not researched may result in an evaluation crisis, affecting the sustainability of the APRM as a catalyst to the realisation of the AU Agenda 2063.

Using a mechanism-based approach, this thesis aims at bridging the knowledge gap by empirically drawing on qualitative data of 35 stakeholders’ perceptions on how evaluation inputs, activities, and outputs affect the use of APRM data in Uganda’s public policy.

It takes a case analysis of Uganda’s first and second-generation peer reviews as well as the refugee policy framework between 2005 and 2018.

The findings reveal that, well as the APRM’s first National Plan of Action (NPoA) was among the 23 core studies that directly informed the formulation of Uganda’s initial National Development Plan (NDP I), its influence is declining to showcase best practices, with increasing, symbolic use but also misuse of APRM recommendations.

 This is attributed to inadequate financial and technical capacity inputs, lack of a well-domesticated legal framework supporting APRM structures and activities, stakeholders without a well-established culture of evaluations, and a political context that allows selective use of evaluations in national policies.

In the proposed framework, the study recommends inclusive participation in evaluation input, activities aligned with government plans; institutionalizing government-wide reporting on NPoA implementation and establishing a well-domesticated legal framework.

Compiled by: Irene Best Nyapendi

Edited by: Jimmy Siyasa