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National Evaluation Capacities Conference 2019 – “Leaving no one behind: Evaluation for 2030”

Session 14 – How can a new generation of evaluators transform evaluation?

Moderator: Mariana Branco (IEG, World bank)

Speakers: Aman Ali (Pakistan); Dariia Oharova (Ukraine), Rafael Hernandez (Mexico); Sasha Jahic (IEO UNDP), Ana Jovanovska (Macedonia)

Note taker: Sujeeta Shakya Bajracharya, QA and Reporting Specialist, UNDP Myanmar


Summary of main message or discussion points (4-5 bullet points)

In this Era to achieve SDGs, there is critical need to sustain a supply of evaluators who can contribute to the transformative change. Including young and emerging evaluators in the evaluation team can be one way of fulfilling the demand for transformative evaluators that doesn’t exist now. Youth engagement in evaluation is a key way to achieve SDG goal because it meaningfully engages youth participants in the design, implementation and use of an evaluation that considers and reflects their values, identities, and culture. In long run this will bring the paradigm shift in evaluation field.

  • Diversity strengthens the quality of evaluation. Youth represents the big community who are left behind (1.2 billion population, 14% world population), who can generate a wider range of perspectives, and develops more knowledge than is possible with only a few voices. Youth are future leaders, they need to get engaged in development issues, capacitated themselves to ask right questions, explore new knowledge and act as change agent though evaluation findings.
  • Young evaluators can value add in following areas (1) youth are strongly connected by technology and networking, world is much more connected through them that can benefit unreached people and unheard voices (2) youth are more skilled in handling data – possess analytical and organizing skills (3) youths are enthusiast and energetic in exploring by engaging in data collection (4) youth have energy, passion, and hunger for innovation and new knowledge , more inquiry can bring insights to solution to the development challenges (5) youth have new values and perspectives – care for environment, humanitarian and they are very open to  multicultural aspect (6) young evaluators can help develop a cadre of young people who have a growing sense of civic responsibility, and who are ready to address the challenges faced by their community.
  • Evaluation will bring benefit to youth as well (win win) in terms of skill development like research, critical thinking, communication; social skills to learn how to interact in various setting. Youth take on new roles as researchers, evaluators, and action planners, broadening their perspectives as well as their sense of empowerment and possibilities with more employment opportunities. The experience of being heard and having one’s voice matter increases a sense of social responsibility and may lead to greater youth civic engagement.
  • We need to create evaluative mindset and to understand evaluation culture. We need to improve capabilities of young evaluators by investing in evaluation degrees and learning programmes focusing on specific capabilities and competencies need. They also need to develop soft skills like leadership, communications, critical thinking, coordination, planning, negotiations etc. They need to get exposure to work in multi-disciplinary teams; need continuous mentorship (knowledge transfer); sectoral experience in field; sponsorship to the less reached youth including women.
  • Youth can’t be just seen as vessel or channels. They need to be partners and co-creators. Youths needs platform where they are encouraged to put their voices as evaluation partners from design, implementation, data mining to use of information in strategic decision making.

One key message (if any) related to the theme of evaluation and leaving no one behind.

Youth are strongly connected by technology and networking, world is much more connected through them that can benefit unreached people and unheard voices. Youth have new values and perspectives and they are open to diversity.

One memorable quote from the session (if any) that could be included in a summary conference presentation or paper

We are the first generation in the planet to know that we are destroying the planet and last one who can do anything about it.

  • Presenter quote famous evaluator Michael Patton

Some glimpse of session