SAMEA strives to cultivate a vibrant community that will support, guide and strengthen the development of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) as an important discipline, profession and instrument for empowerment and accountability in South Africa.

Through this it intends to promote the recognition of M&E as a profession and discipline essential to development, and practiced and used in a manner that adds significant value to effective, sustainable development in South Africa.


  • Provide a platform for interaction and information sharing among all those interested in M&E.
  • Promote high quality intellectual, ethical and professional standards in M&E.
  • Increase the use of M&E theory and practice.
  • Promote the development and adoption of M&E approaches and methods suitable to a South African and development context. 
  • Promote post-graduate education and continuing professional development in the field of M&E.
  • Increase the profile of South African M&E at national and international level.
  • Help build understanding of international developments and trends in M&E. 
  • Be a resource on M&E in South Africa.


  • Web portal - Check out this web portal and scroll through useful resources and links, upcoming events, training opportunities, opportunity alerts and join SAMEA at the membership page. The portal allows members to interact with each other and to not only consume but also to debate and provide M&E information via the listserv. Please let us know if the portal works for you. 
  • Standards - SAMEA is developing M&E standards and guidelines that will assist in promoting good practice. Engage with these at the standards page.
  • Bibliography - Read and write on the bibliography page with local publications and papers on M&E in the South African context.
  • Stakeholders - Numerous stakeholders in M&E can be defined. Let us know the obvious ones that are not included yet and interact with those that are listed.
  • Opportunities - For training and work demand & supply visit the training and work pages.
  • Conference - The first SAMEA conference was geared towards Evaluation in Action. This broad theme allowed a wide focus. Typical areas that were covered include: utilisation of evaluation practices and findings; knowledge management; the challenges of building evaluation systems for complex programmes; and building evaluation capacity.

Organisation of the Association

SAMEA was founded in November 2005 as a non-profit (section 21) association. The association was formed and is governed by a board of directors.

SAMEA has members in every province and encourages the formation of provincial or regional chapters that will offer services such as resource networks, professional development activities, and forums for members to explore, discuss and get involved with evaluation interests.


SAMEA embodies the formalisation of the South African Evaluation Network (SAENet). SAENet was an informal network aimed at building an active South African community of evaluators and others interested in evaluation.

SAENet was established after the well-known evaluator Prof Michael Quinn Patton visited South Africa in April 2002. Over 300 people from all sectors in South Africa and abroad attended his courses. During his visit, the need for the establishment of an evaluation network was identified. Zenda Ofir from Evalnet was tasked with taking the initiative forward. By the end of 2003, SAENet had developed into a vibrant M&E forum, counting 400 members.

The Third AfrEA Conference, held in December 2004 in Cape Town, provided an excellent opportunity to move the Network to a next phase of development. Zenda organised a special meeting with more than 70 South African Conference participants to plan the way forward for the next two years. The meeting's discussions resulted in the establishment of a Task Team of 16 volunteers, which was given a mandate to formalise the conceptualisation, governance, operations, and key priority tasks of SAENet.  

In the process of formulating a concept document, the organisation's vision, mission, and objectives, feedback was invited from the South African community of evaluators and interested parties through a public stakeholder workshop and an online needs survey. Informed by this input, the Task Team-work resulted in the launch of SAMEA, the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association, in November 2005.