JOIN IN THE DEBATE ABOUT THE GLOBAL EVALUATION AGENDA!

Your opinion matters to us. It will help shape the EES contribution to the deliberations that will culminate in the official launch of the Global Evaluation Agenda in Kathmandu (Nepal) in November 2015. Preliminary priorities identified through the EvalYear process so far are listed below.

You may wish to support, elaborate or engage critically with one or more of these ideas - and/or you may wish to add your own perspective on how evaluation can contribute to a better human future. We would appreciate receiving your views by logging in and adding your comment underneath.

1. Creating a Favourable Enabling Environment for Evaluation

  • Promote equity focused and gender responsive evaluation policies and systems at all levels
  • Promote Independent evaluation units at government level, particularly a national performance management unit established under the presidency or the prime minister’s office
  • Strengthen national data management system which contributes to evidence based decision making
  • Expand partnerships including with parliamentarians and policy makers to mainstream equity focused and gender responsive evaluation at national level.
  • Ensure the quality of evaluation through credibility, innovation and human resource development
  • Use high quality advocacy to promote equity focused and gender responsive evaluation culture particularly through media
  • Evaluation units should be established within parliaments to provide briefings and technical inputs to parliamentarians
  • Generate a national “State of Evaluation” report with a view to assess the current status of evaluation at the national level.

2. Strengthening institutional capacities of VOPEs and Civil society

  • Institutional capacity building of VOPEs and CSOs to promote equity focused and gender responsive evaluation.
  • Strengthen knowledge sharing and networking - Funding support and resource development
  • VOPEs to build partnerships with o Champions such as parliamentarians and government key players
  • Academic institutions to start joint university courses on monitoring and evaluation
  • Encourage formation of national evaluation societies and their interaction with regional and professional evaluation organizations for knowledge and product sharing.
  • Continue to invest in emerging regional societies by offering support.
  • Build on and enrich the existing MyM&E web portal http://www.mymande.org/elearning to further offer of e-learning, resource materials and webinars on the theory and applications of gender responsive and equity focused evaluations.

 3. Developing individual evaluator capacities

  • Professionalization with certification of evaluators and accreditation of courses/ institutions.
  • Evolve a set of national competencies in tune with international standards/ competencies frameworks.
  • There should be an accreditation and certification system to ensure availability of competent professional evaluators.
  • Develop a cohesive professional learning programme that explicitly aligns with the wider strategic programme and EvalYear 2015 objectives
  • Offer a wider range of opportunities for learning including inter- and multi-disciplinary speakers
  • Development of young/ emerging evaluators: Establish training courses for emerging evaluators
  • Establish a mentoring programme between young evaluators and experts; hire emerging evaluators (shadow evaluator) together with experienced evaluators for evaluation assignments.
  • An e-Library to serve as a knowledge and resource centre accessible to all professional evaluators to facilitate this process of knowledge acquisition.
  • Promote sharing and networking for innovation in theory and tools.

4. Inter-linking the enabling environment, institutional capacities and individual capacities

  • National, regional and global partnership initiatives for equity-focused and gender responsive evaluation (i.e. EvalGender) is the key to ensure that enabling environment, institutional capacities and individual capabilities will mutually reinforce each other.
  • The partnerships should include governments, parliamentarians, VOPEs, civil society, United Nations and any other interested group. It is also important that resource materials are available in different languages at least in UN languages.
  • VOPEs are the main entities that should connect these three levels together and lead the process at country level. VOPEs have the coordination and communication role with other stakeholders.
  • Promote national evaluation agenda/ plan which can link different aspects together.
  • There should be a push for a national plan for equity focused and gender responsive evaluation.
  • There should be a resource mapping with regard to capacity development in equity focused and gender responsive evaluation.
  • Equity focused and gender responsive evaluations are to be mainstreamed in the national planning with focus on social inclusion and gender equality.

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Comments

It is great if Europeans could also influence the GLobal agenda for evaluation, which so far has been discussed by people in development evaluation. What do we have to offer, will be interesting to find out. The list above is interesting as it takes up both structural and institutional aspects (evaluation systems; VOPE organization; international linkages) as well as individual capacities. As for the Enabling Environment for Evaluation, it (a fuzzy concept) requires new organizing both within the government and the Parliament which, in general, does not have enough administrative resources to promote evaluations. However, the cross-cutting priority concerning the task of promoting gender and equity responsive evaluations is challenging, because evaluation even in the traditional gender neutral sense is still a goal that is quite far away in many countries. Thus, the VOPEs (evaluation societies) should play a more active role in the promotion of evaluations in general and those from the gender and equity perspective in particular. On the other hand, the latter can also be based on results-based evaluation which quite often is mechanistic, managerial and value neutral, as has been seen in recent examples. However, VOPES seldom have the resources, nor contacts for liaising with power holders. Maybe the excellent blog by Riitta Oksanen and her American colleague on this site, can lead us forward, how to deal with the 4Ps (policymakers, politics, the public, the press) and the 3Is (independence, interdependency and interconnectivity ).

Much evaluation is focused on 'auditing' donor funds outcomes... which is understandable and needed, but what is missing is promoting national evaluators to be on evaluation teams to help shape learning the countries themselves want from evaluations, to have community participants tell us what outcomes (much less impacts) they expected too. VOPEs can be excellent training foci as donors and implementers sometimes say 'we could not find qualified national evaluators) yet we need to replace ourselves, ultimately. Importantly, evaluation also needs to strongly include participants' views on (self) Sustainability of activities, on what they felt was effective etc. More at www.ValuingVoices.com. Thank you for asking and yes, let's build a nourishing Enabling Environment :)

I do not believe bullet #2 under 'Creating a Favourable Enabling Environment for Evaluation' is well thought out. The reference to 'independent evaluation units' is important. but how could such units be 'independent' if placed under the President or Prime Minister's office of a government, as the paragraph reads? I would rather recommend to place units at arm's length from the executive branch, under the Parliament, or perhaps under the judicial branch, or at even greater distance, if 'independence' is the goal here.

All of these points are important. My personal favorite, however, is "Strengthen national data management system which contributes to evidence based decision making." I would extend it beyond the national level, however, to basically all evaluation activities carried out across sectors. It is my belief that data collection receives lamentably little thought and attention relative to its flashier cousin, data analysis. Of course there is vast diversity between and among institutions, projects, and networks, but all too often data collection is done behind the scenes by people who receive only a footnote or at best a brief acknowledgement in the final product(s). I would claim that pumping up the status, recognition, and prestige of data collection activities would benefit most if not all of the stakeholders in evaluations.