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Who We Are?


We began in 1999 as a mathematical formula in response to a call by the Planned Parenthood Association of South Africa to increase its sustainability. Errol Goetsch was invited by the director, Sipho Dayel, in 2002 to become director of the  PPASA’s Centre of Excellence. When its Bill and Melinda Gates/USAID funding ending, the XE4 Foundation for Excellence launched as a training and consulting centre in 2004. The service range widened , no longer being tied to health and HIV/AIDS.


This led to the South African Grantmaker’s Association – an alliance of corporate donors – engaging Errol as its sustainability consultant. Errol trained many of South Africa’s biggest donors. In 2007, Vannessa Westcott joined as partner, adding fundraising and fundraising training to the mix. In 2009, Supreme Management Consultancy appointed Errol as a trainer for World-Bank sponsored Government projects in Nigeria.

Our History


1999 – Discovery that E = X4

2002 – PPASA Centre of Excellence

2004 – XE Foundation for Excellence

2004 –SAGA sustainability consultant

2006 –Red Cross audit exposes corruption and failure

2007 – Vannessa Westcott joins

2009 – Supreme Management Consultancy

2010 – Start training Nigerian Government project teams

2012 – The RJC audit exposes corruption and failure

2012 – Presentation to AfrEA conference

2013 – Summit Management Consultancy

2013 – Presentation to UKEA Conference

2014 – Presentation to EES conference

2016 – FFF Award

2018 – Presentations to EES and AEA conferences

2019 – Develop M&E system for African Youth Development Fund

Our Goal



To train M&E professionals to oversee all 10 areas of the project or organisation and empower a new era of cost-effective service delivery

Our 2018 presentations to EES and AEA

The Measurement Of Organisational Capacity

M&E’s development as a scientific and professional discipline is hampered by the number of areas that remain hard to measure. One area that has been out of reach is the organisation’s “capacity”. Capacity is the key variable in the project’s success. It is the first step in the production cycle (input->throughput->output->outcome) and the results-cycle (capacity->performance->delivery->impact). Practitioners want a robust method to monitor and evaluate capacity in order to direct funding, warn of gaps and predict failure before the project launches. This presentation fills that gap. It suggests a model of capacity and the algorithm for calculating it. This presentation suggests a model and method that can credibly serve the profession as a standard tool for measuring the capacity of the organisation in 4 dimensions – its ability to effectively decide, design, deliver and document a project.

A Standard Theory of Change

The quality of a project’s Theory of Change is key to funding, managing, measuring and reporting it successfully. In practice, they are often imprecise, inaccurate, incomplete or inconsistent. This leaves managers uncertain, monitors confused, evaluators frustrated and donors dissatisfied. A standard would bring clarity to the profession, comfort to the donors, results to the beneficiaries and rigor to the discipline. This presentation suggests a comprehensive Theory of Change that satisfies role-players and stakeholders as accurate, complete, consistent, equal and precise when describing any and every project in the international development aid sector.

A Method to Convert Project Information Into Impact Prediction

M&E will mature as a scientific and professional discipline when it can turn its information into foresight. One area that is both high-value for donors and hard to predict is the project’s “impact”. Impact is the key variable in aid-effectiveness and social development. It is the final step in the production cycle (input->throughput->output->outcome). This presentation suggests a model of impact and the algorithm for predicting it. This presentation suggest a prediction model that can credibly serve the profession as a standard tool for estimating the impact of the project at 5 penultimate stages – when planning, when spending, when launching, when implementing and when delivering. It offers the practitioners a robust method to predict impact so we can influence funding, warn of risks and predict failure before the project starts or ends.

Mapping Roles and Responsibilities in International Development Aid

The model expresses a quality standard for a universal set of job descriptions that serves every M&E practitioner. It has many benefits. It helps evaluations help people to improve their lives and make our societies more resilient. It reduces unpredictability and complexity. It helps when designing and managing evaluations. It informs evaluation systems. It helps to rethink evaluation methods, design and criteria. It combines methods in evaluation. It addresses delivery risk in uncertain futures. It facilitates collecting and analysing data and reporting issues particularly in challenging contexts. It provides a dashboard that integrates ICT, M&E and managers. It supports emerging technologies including social media, big data, location systems, cyber ethnography etc. It enables evaluation to become foresight. It rewards flexibility and handles complexity. It develops the field of Evaluation to promote resilience and action in critical time. It captures challenges and opportunities for the evaluation field. It addresses some of the dilemmas and trends in professionalism, standards and ethical norms. It advances the theory and applies ethical values to evaluation. It promotes Evaluation Associations as custodians of professional standards. It protects the independence of evaluators and our relevance and responsiveness. It highlights the partnerships and stakeholders who make up the international development aid industry and greatly strengthens the communicating, using and embedding of evaluation.

A Standard for the Scope of the Evaluation in the Terms of Reference

By mischief or mistake, implementation agencies can conceal embarrassments from external evaluators by tweaking the Terms of Reference. By restricting our ability to discover and disclose, the agency can avoid accounting to donors or beneficiaries any diversions of funds or defects in delivery. A standard for the scope of the Terms of Reference removes the risk of an accidental or deliberate cover-up, bringing transparency to projects, independence to the profession, comfort to the donors, results to the beneficiaries and rigor to the discipline. This presentation suggests a model Terms of Reference that satisfies role-players and stakeholders as accurate, complete, consistent, equal and precise when scoping the evaluation of any project in the international development aid sector

A Method to Balance Donor Budgets, Agency Capacity and Project Impact

In austere times, donors cut budgets, reducing the capacity of agencies and the impact of their projects. Capacity produces impact via the project cycle (input->throughput->output->outcome) and the results-chain (capacity->performance->delivery->impact). When proposals are submitted and contracts are negotiated, donors need to see and agencies need to set the boundary between fat and muscle. When we write reports, we want a robust method to measure the capacity gaps and explain or signal project failure. This presentation suggests a method to link budget, capacity and impact. Without a link, donors can demand more than they pay for and agencies can accept a burden they cannot carry. The method can credibly serve the profession as a standard tool for right-sizing project budgets and impact projections, hence increasing the aid-effectiveness of donors and the cost-effectiveness of agencies.

Recommendations for strengthening the independence of evaluators

Our profession is the natural speaker of truth to power but implementation agencies can hide financial crimes and project failure from us by skewing the Terms of Reference or scare us into silence by withholding work. This paper suggests remedies. It posits a false claims hypothesis to explain why procurement fraud in the international aid industry is high. It describes types of financial crime in the author’s experience. It tracks the flow of funds from donor to beneficiary. It applies Public Choice Theory to intermediaries and Agency Theory to implementation agencies, showing how donor interests are repressed and development funding is captured. It analyses the corporate finance of aid and shows that donors and agencies have inverted financial goals, leading to opposing definitions of project success and attitudes towards evaluation. It applies the theory of Market Failure and especially Information Asymmetry to implementation agencies.

Deji & I 2
Deji & I

Our principles


Measure and report Quantity and Quality

Avoid self-reporting

Democratise data capture and reporting

Cost-effectiveness produces service delivery

Democratic (matrix) management

Every role produces something

The size of management is a constant

What people say

March 15, 2013 Errol Goetsch is a member of good standing of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) and the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA). Errol’s work fits under the theme of “Evaluation Made in Africa” and his contributions are always thought provoking and exciting. He has contributed significantly to the evaluation field both in South Africa and Africa.

Jennifer Bisgard Southern African AfrEA Representative
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