The Institute hosts debates on Pan-African political,
socio-economic, and cultural issues.
Since its inception, the IPATC has established itself as one of the leading Institutes on Pan-African thought on the continent. It has particularly fostered its expertise in the area of Africa/European Union (EU) Migration in which it has engaged in research and policy development. In order to facilitate and shape the implementation of the 2018 United Nations (UN) Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration; IPATC, along with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) EU office in Brussels, and the Africa, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) Group secretariat, convened a one-day policy dialogue in the Belgian capital in October 2018 two months before the UN Global Compact on Migration was agreed in Marrakesh. IPATC received funding from the German Federal Foreign Office for a 6-month project on “Implementation of the UN Global Compact: Conflict, Governance, and Migration in Africa/EU Relations” which was implemented through the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) between July and December 2019. In order further to consolidate the impact of this work, IPATC has been implementing a 9-month project (May-December 2020) funded by the German Foreign Office through IFA titled “Implementation of the UN Global Compact: Building a Community of Practice in Addressing Conflict, Governance, and Migration in Africa/EU Relations.”
A fundamental purpose of this project has thus been to establish a CoP on implementing the 2018 UN Global Compact on Migration. The informal group consists of African and European government officials, EU and African regional bodies, policy experts, and civil society activists from both continents. This goal was partly achieved through organising a two-day policy dialogue in Johannesburg in October 2019 with African and European actors to assess ways of implementing the UN Global Compact. This 2019 policy dialogue was built on an October 2018 policy meeting in Brussels which the Institute had co-hosted with the then ACP Group secretariat and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) office, both in Belgium. This latter meeting helped shape the ACP’s policy positions in its negotiations of a new trade accord with the EU, while its policy brief helped to inform government delegates who participated in the Marrakesh meeting two months later at which the UN Global Compact was finalised.
The University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation (IPATC) in South Africa received funding from the German Federal Foreign Office for a 6-month project on “Implementation of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact: Conflict, Governance, and Migration in Africa/EU Relations” which was implemented through the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IFA) between July and December 2019. A two-day policy dialogue was held in October 2019 from which a 6-page policy brief was produced and launched at a public dialogue in the same month. In order to consolidate the impact of this work, IPATC has been implementing a 9-month project (May-December 2020) funded by the German Foreign Office through IFA on “Implementation of the UN Global Compact: Building a Community of Practice in Addressing Conflict, Governance, and Migration in Africa/EU Relations”.
The IPATC’s project on Africa/EU Migration project has three key goals:
Between July – December 2019, IPATC consulted an external evaluator to establish indicators and baseline values for the implementation of the Policy Development on Migration in Africa/EU Relations Project. The team presents both baseline values and evaluation results of the project based on its Theory of Change (ToC) and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework. An analysis of the baseline indicators tracking the progress of the IPATC in meeting its objectives show a positive trend particularly for the Policy Conference and Public Dialogue in 2019. In 2020, IPATC also appointed an external evaluator to revise the Theory of Action, Theory of change and present the M&E framework.
The external evaluators used a Theory of Action and Theory of Change in framing the M&E framework. A Theory of Change is the causal (or cause-effect) logic that links research activities to the desired changes in the actors that a project or programme is aiming to change. The ToC was ideal because it explained how the activities, including the 12 and 26 June 2020 webinars, 6-page policy brief published in August 2020, and 13 November 2020 policy dialogue have contributed to changes in the formulation and implementation of policies on Africa/EU migration. Three specific tools were employed:
Between May and November 2020, IPATC held six M&E workshops, led by the external evaluator. A monitoring and evaluation workshop on 17 July 2020, led by the external evaluator, and attended by five IPATC staff provided a nuanced understanding of monitoring and evaluation, and expanded IPATC staff’s grasp of key terminology; the Theory of Action and the Theory of Change; and its monitoring and evaluation frameworks. IPATC staff and the instructor further engaged on the vision and mission of the project, the desired outcomes, and how the current activities (the two webinars, two newspaper articles, a policy brief, and a policy dialogue) align with IPATC’s intended outcomes. The staff and the instructor brainstormed on refining the Theory of Change and the existing indicators with the aim of achieving a more effective evaluation of the project. Another workshop was organised on 29 July 2020 to build on the M&E introductory workshop where the team had updated the Theory of Change framework based on comments and discussions emanating from the meeting on 17 July 2020, as well as from staff feed-back on 27 July 2020; she facilitated the meeting on 29 July 2020, with the team discussing and debating several aspects of the existing Theory of Change document.
On 6 and 7 August 2020, the team further revised the Theory of Change framework. The external evaluator introduced the team to her proposed Theory of Action, which was based on IPATC’s research activities and outputs such as public dialogues, policy briefs, and newspaper articles. After reviewing the written feedback from the team, the external evaluator incorporated them into the broad framework of the project, leading to revision of the new Theory of Change. On 28 August 2020, the team also reviewed all of IPATC’s projects and activities, and agreed on the most appropriate approach to measuring each activity. The team was guided to set specific targets for the activities and to identify the most realistic ways to measure the impact of aspects of the project such as hosting a policy seminar or public dialogue within a specific timeframe, like six months or one year. The team further identified the tools required to evaluate its key IPATC’s activities.
An M&E workshop, titled “Qualitative Data Analysis”, was held by Zoom on 30 September 2020: The IPATC team discussed and debated the current Theory of Change (ToC) and activities log-frames. The meeting provided a clear overview of the M&E process for IPATC’s migration work, and staff were given a chance to reflect in order to inform their day-to-day work. Following the meeting, the external evaluator developed a new evaluation instrument which correlates closely with the Theory of Change and activities log frames, thus making the monitoring and evaluation of the project more coherent, logical, and systematic.
The external evaluator is presently conducting a strategic review of the IFA-supported project on Africa/EU Migration within IPATC’s broad core projects in order to ensure the coherence and complementarity of the Institute’s work; ensure that Africa/EU Migration is mainstreamed throughout all of the Institute’s projects. The evaluator would also refine the Institute’s methodology, develop semi-structured interview guides, and construct an analysis and valuing framework structure to assess institutional performance against the project’s results chain. This report will enhance the efficiency of IPATC’s work on the migration project.