Conference Objectives

A recent study on National Evaluation Policies indicates that in countries showing evaluation maturity, there are institutional arrangements for conducting evaluations in many domains, as well as disseminating them and a culture of discussion and debate on evaluation findings (Rosenstein, 2015).  In our 5th Biennial Conference we are seeking to understand the methods that have improved the responsiveness of evaluation, especially in developing country environments. Such responsiveness of evaluation can come from designing the evaluation to the requirements of the relevant stakeholders and/ or programme/ project requirement to increase utilization of evaluation.

In addition, we are also interested in understanding contextual factors and how capacities of the different stakeholders increase the likelihood of evaluations being used. In short, we are interested in use of evaluations, and the factors that would increase the likelihood of an evaluation being used to change policy and practice.

The objectives of the Conference are:

  • To demonstrate the importance and usefulness of evaluation for enhancing quality of development interventions
  • To Increase attention on contextual factors that include policies, resources and political climate  to positively impact on the use of evaluation
  • To understand capacities amongst governments, non-governmental organisations and evaluation professionals to foster good governance through evaluation
  • To support the build up towards EvalYear 2015, through exchange of ideas on practice, processes and paradigms emphasising equitable and sustainable futures.

To bring out the subtleties in different experience we propose to call for papers in the themes below. They are not exhaustive and if the papers received indicate a different classification that would bring out the message better we will consider changing or introducing new theme/s. Association of the themes with aspects of Responsive Evaluation is only to provide guidance on application, and is not to limit them to mentioned areas.

Theme 1: Contextualizing Evaluation. For evaluation to be useful it should provide information that can effect changes within and outside the evaluated domain.  We are seeking to understand how evaluations are contextualized and made responsive.  Experiences can come from evaluation of polices, programmes and projects related to provision of basic services, social protection, livelihood services and facilitation of equitable implementation of laws. Contextualization can also come from evaluations enhancing gender equality through the incorporation of gender and women’s rights dimensions into evaluation approaches, methods, processes and use. The context in which the theme is embedded can include the following:

  • Evaluation and its use in enhancing economic and social development and empowerment
  • Access to justice and its nexus to peace and reconciliation

Theme 2: Governance/ Institutional aspects: Funding organizations recognize that ownership by governments is important thus ensuring assistance is aligned with national policies and priorities and funding through the national budget as per the Paris Deceleration targets (Vivideconomics, 2011; Global Environmental Facility, 2013). There are ongoing efforts to increase ownership in evaluation amongst governments (Global Environmental Facility, 2014), but more needs to be done. Consideration also requires to be given to increasing private sector invovlement in development activities and their effective use of evaluation.

The context in which the theme is imbedded can include the following :

  • Capacity, ownership and use of evaluation
  •  Technological adaptation to increase visibility of evaluation findings
  • Role of traditional and new media in enhancing reach of evaluation messages

Theme 3: Capacity: Utilisation will also depend on the actual and/or perceived quality/ credibility of the evaluation. We would like to understand from the evaluations you have been involved in how credibility was built for the evaluation.

The context in which the theme is imbedded can include the following :

  • Improving evaluation acceptance through a combination of methods that include capacity development of evaluation managers and practitioners, communication strategies and methods