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Evaluation Professionalisation In Action- Pilot Experiences of the EES VEPR

Riitta Oksanen is the President of the EES. She works as a senior advisor at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Development Evaluation Unit. In this post Riitta discusses a new EES initiative - the ‘Voluntary Evaluator Peer Review’ (VEPR) process to promote evaluation professionalism - with Bob Picciotto who leads the EES Professionalizing Thematic Working Group and Pam Oliver who is leading the EES’s pilot of the VEPR.

Key Points

Dia-blogging: New opportunities – Evaluation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Riitta Oksanen is the President of the EES. She works as a senior advisor at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Development Evaluation Unit. In this post Riitta diablogues with André Martinuzzi who is founding director of the Institute for Managing Sustainability at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (

Triangulating: Can evaluation add value to market-oriented development?

Riitta Oksanen is the President of EES. She works as a senior advisor at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Development Evaluation Unit. In this post Riitta triangulates with Fredrik Korfker former Chief Evaluator of the EBRD and now active as development finance consultant focusing on the private sector and Marvin Taylor-Dormond, current Director of Independent Evaluation for Financial, Private Sector and Sustainable Development at the World Bank Group.

Key points:

  1. Market-oriented development initiatives, often supported by public funds, are an essential part of efforts to achieve the global development commitments. Evaluation in this field is ongoing – but is the service industry involved in the evaluation of social impact investments willing to work together with the development evaluation community?
  2. Evaluating market-oriented development implies finding a balance between the rapid efficiency of the industry, and thinking through the systematic application of evaluation standards in this context. It is essential that evaluation approaches be aligned and responsive to the private sector/market-base nature of operations, instead of lazily adapting public sector practices. 
  3. Bringing together the stakeholders for dialogue is the best way forward, and urgently needed.

The EES Professionalization Agenda: Myths and Realities

There is no ‘immaculate conception’ in the birth of a profession.  Professionalization is driven by the collective exertions of a cohesive occupational group competing in the public arena. Thus, medicine triumphed over homeopathy. Psychiatry took over the terrain of personal relationships previously occupied by the clergy. Accountants fought their way from book keeping and cost accounting to management advisory services.

More issues for the Global Agenda 2016-2020

The consultative process carried out by EvalPartners aims to identify key priorities for evaluation for a Global Agenda geared to achieving progress towards a more equitable world.  Strong support has been voiced for evaluation independence, quality, capacity building and partnerships. While progress in all these areas has been significant there is still a lot to do.

I wish to stress 3 points:

What about evaluation and the private sector in the Global Agenda 2016-2010

The Global Agenda 2016-2020, well defined, represents a well thought long term agenda for evaluation.   The key priorities for evaluation i.e., independence, capacity building and quality, partnerships and equity are well laid out within four main sections.  Of course there are some improvements to be done.   For example, the remark by Henrik Gudmundsson on the contradiction of “independent evaluation reporting to President or PM” is most accurate, and though I am a fervent supporter of the value of “equity focused and gender responsive”, the fivefold repetition in the agenda seems a bit ov

Is something still missing from the global evaluation agenda 2016-2020?

My warm thanks to all who contributed to the first round of discussion on the Global Evaluation Agenda 2016-2020! The dates of the 2nd EvalPartners Global Forum have now been set. The global evaluation community will review and endorse its 2016-2020 agenda in Nepal on 23-25 November 2015. This makes possible another round of exchanges about for our Society’s contribution to that 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.


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