Duration: 13 June 2016
On the 13th of June CC&DW, together with SAMEA, co-hosted the Cape Town-based event at Imhoff Sports grounds in Newlands, which made for a beautiful backdrop to Prof Stevahn sharing her insights on competencies and professionalization within the discipline of evaluation. Prof Stevahn’s seminar could not have been better timed as these are currently hot topics in terms of debate and research in the evaluation discipline.
The session focused on the role that foundational standards, principles, and competencies play in the process of professionalizing the evaluation discipline. Through a highly interactive session, Prof Stevahn shared her wealth of knowledge in the development competencies for programme evaluators through her experience in developing the domain of competencies currently used as a core guiding document by the American Evaluation Association (AEA). This list of competencies has also been adopted for use in other countries including Canada, Germany, and Australia.
In her presentation, Prof Stevahn also touched on the standards used to define a professional discipline and drew attention to the issues of accreditation as well as the exclusion of unqualified practitioners. This was a well-debated topic with participants engaging in the ethical quandaries surrounding the exclusion of professionals from the programme evaluation discipline, especially within the context of South Africa and it’s history of marginalisation. Prof Stevhan responded to this with a considered recommendation in light of the country’s history by suggesting that the discipline approaches this issue in a creative way. She suggested framing evaluator standards and competencies in an inclusive way, which may then provide individuals with as many opportunities as possible to qualify as evaluation professionals.