Authors: Marco Segone, Director of the Evaluation Office, UNFPA, Khalil Bitar, Chair of Eval Youth, and Lauren Weiss and Gregory McGann from EES
In September 2019, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all sectors of society to mobilize for a Decade of Action at the global, local and community level in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Eval4Action Campaign arose out of the Decade of Action, promoting the role of evaluation in supporting the global goals and accelerating action across the spectrum of activities in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
To date, a large majority of countries’ Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), which detail their progress towards achieving the SDGs, have not been informed by evaluation. To address this and other gaps, UNFPA’s Evaluation Office, EvalYouth Global Network and Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation (GPFE) partnered to launch the Decade of Evaluation for Action, also known as the Eval4Action Campaign.
The Eval4Action Campaign aims to accelerate the progress towards SDGs by making the case for influential, country-owned and country-led evaluation systems. Specifically, Eval4Action seeks to:
- Secure commitments from governments and organisations to strengthen evaluation capacity,
- Devise policies that integrate evaluation, and
- Align evaluation with their implementation of the SDGs.
Inclusivity lies at the heart of the campaign, both in its broad objective – which is to leave no-one behind – and its outreach. With a global scope, the Campaign’s target audience ranges from UN agencies, governments, policy-makers and development agencies to the private sector, academia and the media, as well as evaluation associations and youth groups.
@EES_Eval will actively support and promote #VOPEs and @Eval_Youth Young and emerging evaluators activities , to build a strong, active, open and creative evaluation community #Eval4Action https://t.co/x7XKdmBsfx
— Danièle Lamarque (@DanieleLamarque) May 21, 2020
Central to the Campaign is its focus on empowering regional, national and local actors to take action. The European Evaluation Society (EES), as the regional Voluntary Organization for Professional Evaluation (VOPE) in Europe, is a proud partner of the Eval4Action Campaign and is doing its part to implement the initiative, spearhead operations in its network and lead the initiative forward. Examples of its activities include:
- Three of EES’ board members, including its President Daniele Lamarque, participated in the inaugural Eval4Action Twitter Chat on May 21st, which brought together 27 panellists and 225 participants from 44 countries across the world, who posted more than 900 tweets in at least eight languages during the Chat. Nearly 7,100 users engaged with this content by retweeting and liking the chat discussion, exposing around 18 million unique users to the Chat.
- The EES President will also represent EES in the upcoming Eval4Action Global Marathon of Engagement on June 10th alongside EES board member Alena Lappo, who will be representing Young and Emerging Evaluators (yEES).
- Actively sharing information about the campaign through its social media channels and newsletter, including an upcoming release of its public commitments and lighting of the “EvalTorch” ceremony.
Lastly, EES’ ongoing activities, including its biennial conference, upcoming online webinar series in 2020-2021, and Voluntary Evaluation Peer Review (VEPR) all contribute to the Eval4Action Campaign, as they these activities focus on the role of evaluation in fostering transformative change and help to build evaluation capacity.
This was an amazing opportunity to connect with so many of you! Thank you @unfpa_eval and @Eval_Youth for stimulating this! I am proud of @EES_Eval@IOCE_eval and @EvalPartners! Next step: commitment to real changes#Eval4Action @msegone @asela_srilanka @KhalilBitar pic.twitter.com/iCfVh83DyZ — Weronika (@WeronikaFelcis) May 21, 2020
EES will also continue to participate in other Campaign-wide events, most of which are now occurring online to adapt to the changing context ushered in by COVID-19, and to ensure that the Campaign is truly global in scope. These events include:
- The Eval4Action Global Marathon of Engagement, which will be held on June 10th with participation of all partners, and open to all other interested parties. The event will feature UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem and United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake. You can find details of the event and registration here.
- The Eval4Action Campaign, in collaboration with regional partners, is organizing a series of regional consultations. The first regional consultation will be organized by the Asia Pacific Evaluation Association and will be held on June 25th at 8:00 ET. You can find the link to registration and further details here.
- The campaign has also planned social media events, monthly newsletters and blogs, among other activities, in which interested parties are welcome to engage.
These events are open to the broader evaluation community in the spirit of participation and inclusivity. If you want to get more involved, one of the best ways is to organise an event with your national or regional VOPE on one of the Campaign’s themes. To learn more about ways to participate, and the Eval4Action Campaign in general, check out its website.