2015 was officially declared as the International Year of Evaluation at the Third International Conference on National Evaluation Capacities held in São Paulo, Brazil, 29 September-2 October 2013.
The aim of the International Year of Evaluation (EvalYear) is to strengthen the demand for and use of evaluation to inform public policies. This strategic year is a time for the evaluation community to promote evaluation in the development and implementation of a new set of internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), informed by evidence generated by country-led monitoring and evaluation systems, rather than donor-led systems.
EvalYear will be celebrated at global, regional and national levels, and is led by the global partnership EvalPartners, a national evaluation capacity development initiative. Bringing together diverse stakeholders, EvalPartners is facilitating a global dialogue to advocate and promote evaluation and evidence-based policy making at international, regional, national and local levels.
“EvalYear provides an opportunity to shine a light on the value of evidence-based policy making. In the context of public policy and the public sector, it is an opportunity for showing citizens that government, especially local government, is accountable, listens to citizens about what works and what doesn’t, and cares about providing the best possible services,” says Elena Mancebo Masa, Senior Researcher at Creative Consulting & Development Works, sharing her excitement for the 2015 International Year of Evaluation. “In South Africa, I would like to see considerable sharing of how evaluation has helped develop better public policies for citizens, in a language and format that people on the ground can understand.”
Susannah Clarke, Research and Evaluation Manager at Creative Consulting & Development Works, echoes Elena’s comments and welcomes EvalYear 2015 and the growth it will bring to the sector. “Creative Consulting & Development Works has been undertaking evaluations for the past 11 years and I am elated to see how the industry has grown to include large multi-country donor funded programmes, however, there is still more room for growth. I hope that EvalYear will highlight the intrinsic value of evaluation and the benefits it can bring,” she says.
Creative Consulting & Development Works interviewed Mark Abrahams, Senior Lecturer at University of the Western Cape and ‘unofficial’ South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA) Western Cape Coordinator to discuss his thoughts on the EvalYear 2015. He recently reached out to the SAMEA network to encourage local evaluation actors to engage and together mark this declaration of the 2015 year of Evaluation. Here’s what he had to say…
What does 2015 hold for the future of evaluation?
This International Year of Evaluation is long overdue! In 2005, at the joint international conference in Vancouver, there was an indication of how evaluation has matured and the extent to which it’s grown. This, for me, demonstrated pillars were in place and signalled that we had arrived. Beyond that, similarly significant things happened to announce EvalYear, catapulting monitoring and evaluation (M&E) to the spotlight, particularly in policy-making and service delivery. While it’s a huge task bringing the two together, evaluation can play this role. The 2015 International Year of Evaluation will highlight the responsibility that we have and it is an opportunity to show the importance of bringing together policy and delivery.
What will EvalYear do for the sector?
In terms of the network that we have, my activities are with a range of people, including practitioners on the ground as well as policy makers. We must push on all these fronts and we need to be involved on more levels. Practitioners on the ground must show government how it’s done and also demonstrate the consequences on the ground. The range of involvement this year should be across the spectrum of M&E, from practitioners to participants engaging with the projects.
What would you like to see locally in the Western Cape and South Africa, in terms of recognising EvalYear?
While SAMEA is meant to centralise these activities, I would like for people on the ground to lead in EvalYear activities instead of waiting for SAMEA to take the lead. There is an opportunity for us to get together, come up with something meaningful, yet simple at the local level – like having a breakfast. Nationally and regionally the usual events will come too and we still have time to come up with innovative ideas involving a broader range of people. My hope is that we will have some bright ideas that incorporate new ways of getting a wide range of people together at the local level – not only practitioners but also recipients of these projects.
Creative Consulting & Development Works is an evaluation, research and communications consultancy, servicing nonprofits, governments and donors with innovative solutions within the development context. For more information about evaluating your programme, please contact our Research & Evaluation Manager, Susannah Clarke. For more information about how you can get involved with EvalYear in the Western Cape, please contact Mark Abrahams.
No comments yet.