Jennifer Nzambi Mutua

Jennifer Nzambi Mutua

Founder and independent consultant
Evaluation Society of Kenya

A leading M&E, Gender, Program and Organizational Management Specialist, with over 10 years of relevant experience. Member of UNFCCC's Team of Technical Experts (TTEs) under the international consultation and analysis (ICA) process, on Climate Change. Founder of Evaluation Society of Kenya (ESK). With her coordination, Kericho’s Health Sector Rapid Evaluation was Runners-Up in the 2022 IDEAS/GEI Global Award, under ‘Evaluation as Transformation’ category. It’s a joint initiative of ESK/MED, National Treasury and Planning, endorsed by the Council of Governors (COG), funded by the World Bank, towards promotion of the evaluation of the SDGs (under the EvalSDGs agenda). Runners-up recipient of the Africa Evidence Leadership Award. Recognized by Nation Media Business Daily as one of Kenya’s 2016 “Women in Top Corporate Leadership. Under her organizational leadership Kenya declared the 2018 Winner of the “EVALPARTNERS/EVALSDGs Global Outcomes Competition. Holds MA in Gender and Development; BA in Sociology and Philosophy. Education supplemented with formal professional trainings in M&E, policy, advocacy, climate change and gender, among others.

My contributions

  • In the latest EvalForward Talks session, I had the opportunity to share my experience on communicating difficult evaluation findings, drawing from the rapid evaluation I am managing on the assessment of service delivery of the health and water sector projects in Kericho & Kilifi Counties.

    One of the objectives of this evaluation is to identify lessons for technical officers and policymakers to improve service delivery. For this to happen, however, there definitely needs to be a certain degree of trust in the evaluation and confidence in the whole process.

    The context of this project evaluation is that of decentralized levels

    • Dear Malika,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. Our initiative as shared on this platform [], involves a joint partnership of the Evaluation Society of Kenya (ESK) and Monitoring & Evaluation Department (MED), funded by the World Bank. So our context is different from yours, as it involves coordination between national and county governments (making things more complex). Nonetheless, like you, our experiences were that indeed the rapid evaluations were not as quick as initially planned (and as the term seems to imply). Much more resources than initially planned were also expended. Some contributing factors to these were:

      • Slow start owing to the protocols/bureaucracies in communications between the national and county governments
      • Sometimes delayed responses at the technical level (especially where staff are thin on the ground)
      • Limited documentation including well analyzed and archived monitoring data
      • Generally, M&E Systems are weak. This limits the ability to make quick studies.  Alternative means involving wider scope and additional monies had to be employed, towards redressing data gaps

      In view of all these and subject to context, I think, it’s important to take into account these limitations, including potential budget over-runs at the evaluation planning stages.


      Kind Regards,



    • Dear Luisa and Lavina,

      Thanks for highlighting the critical need to focus on capacity building for various stakeholders  i.e. towards more participatory and effective evaluation.

      Currently, the Evaluation Society of Kenya (ESK) jointly with government (at national and county levels) with the World Bank's funding support are undertaking a pilot project in 2 of Kenya's Counties. 

      Notably, under the EvalSDGs/EvalVision (2016-2020) for  promoting the evaluation of the SDGs and their alignment to our country's Vision 2030, Devolution and "Big Four" agenda [Food and Nutrition, Universal Health Coverage, Affordable Housing and Manufacturing].

      The devolved level is the center of development execution in our country.

      The initial focus is on the water and health sectors. The activities are advocacy, trainings and rapid evaluations for related projects in each sector.

      The project puts special focus in strengthening the capacities of the various stakeholders. I mean towards their effective participation in the rapid evaluations and utilization of the findings for more evidence-based investment choices and service delivery.  

      So far, successful advocacy events towards buy-in/ ownership and more evaluation awareness (and which has been left behind in our country vis-à-vis monitoring) have been held.  

      These have been completed for one of the counties.

      They have targeted various categories of stakeholders i.e. each with a different targeted messaging as follows:

      • High political and executive leadership (governor/MPs, senator and cabinet secretaries at that level).
      • Members of the County Assembly (MCAs - they are the equivalent of MPs at the national level with oversight, budgetary and citizenry representation roles). Their buy-in just like the above category is deemed very critical towards the inculcation of a national culture and practice for evaluation (and which is currently weak).
      • Technical teams including directors, chief officers, planning and M&E officers.

      More stakeholder participation will be effected during the rapid evaluations including for the public and beneficiaries. The findings will also inform the earmarked trainings that will be customized, accordingly.

      It is expected that this will be replicated to the other 47 counties as we go along and across all sectors, in due course.

      NB: See more by scrolling down these links:

      Kind Regards,


      Evaluation Society of Kenya

  • This year's theme was: “Towards Realization of the Big Four Agenda: Evidence-based Decision Making for Sustainable Development”, the “Big Four” being the current national priority sectors: Food and Nutrition, Universal Health Coverage, Affordable Housing and Manufacturing.

    Coming against a backdrop of great developmental opportunities and challenges, with Kenya being the largest and most diversified economy in Eastern Africa, the Evaluation Week raised a call for more focus on the use of evidence.

    One of the objectives of the M&E Week was to “review and share practical approaches to enhance use of M&E findings in policy and programme implementation”