EvalAgenda Stocktaking & Engagement
The Global Evaluation Agenda 2015-2020 identified four key pillars:
- Building individual capacities
- Building institutional capacities
- Creating an enabling environment for evaluation and
- Establishing interlinkages across these dimensions
2020, with its unexpected turns, provided an ideal opportunity to pause and reflect on the successes – and failures – of the EvalAgenda and therefore in 2020, EvalPartners identified a comprehensive roadmap to review the progress the larger global evaluation community has made towards these pillars.
To allow for this reflection, we developed a Roadmap to 2030, marked by four key steps:
- Stakeholder engagement and consultation
- Drafting of the new EvalAgenda2030 and
- Dissemination and advocacy of the renewed EvalAgenda
And so, under the first step – stocktaking – EvalPartners embarked on a collective review exercise that combines multiple processes and consultations with various EvalPartners taskforces, committees and networks.
In May this year, EvalPartners published the Evaluation of the Strategic Plan 2018-2020, a key milestone in our evolution as a movement, providing substance for the stocktaking process and directly informing the new Strategic Plan from 2022 onwards.
Other data sources were also consulted, including:
- vibrant ideas raised by our panelists at gLOCAL, the European Evaluation Society and the Russian Evaluation Association’s virtual conferences and the UNEG EvalPartners Partnership Forum
- self-reflections from the EvalPartners networks
- a UNEG progress report on the implementation of the 2014 UN Resolution, and
- an EvalAgenda review survey
The review survey was launched in March 2021 in four languages, and it was closed on 5 June. EvalPartners received 130 responses from a diverse range of stakeholders across the globe and true to the EvalPartners constituency-base, our respondents largely represented VOPEs and development agencies.
When asked to rate the level of progress in each of the four dimensions of the EvalAgenda, respondents believed that most progress was achieved under the pillar of Strengthening institutional capacities, including those of VOPEs and civil society.
45% of respondents felt that the EvalAgenda led to stronger institutional capacities to a very large or large extent.
The dimension in which respondents felt the second most progress was achieved was that of strengthening individual capacities (with 40% of respondents agreeing to this), following shortly and in third place by the creating of an enabling environment for evaluation (with 39% of respondents agreeing that the EvalAgenda achieved this outcome to a very large or large extent).
The dimension where respondents felt more progress could be achieved is the creation of stronger interlinkages between each of the dimensions. 33% of respondents felt that the EvalAgenda achieve little or very little progress in this regard, while 39% had a neutral feeling.
This finding challenges us to rethink, not only the role of evaluators, but also the role of EvalPartners in a small, but dynamic and ever-evolving ecosystem, marked by growing multiplicity.
One respondent summed it up well:
“There is an increased complexity of growing partnerships and evaluation architecture that should be considered more holistically to make sure we manage the risk of working in silos”.
And while we strive towards an EvalAgenda that foster greater collaboration, interlinkages, and connection, we cannot turn a blind eye to the challenges we face.
Even before the pandemic struck, progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda had been slow. Today, many of the 169 targets set by global leaders may be near impossible to reach for most countries.
The critical need to regain and accelerate progress towards the SDGs has a ripple effect on our profession. Let me highlight from the survey, only a few of the problems our respondents felt the EvalAgenda should consider in the road to 2030. They include:
- Cultural responsiveness in evaluation
- Growing inequality, mirrored by inequity in the evaluation discipline itself
- Persistent attention to the supply rather than the demand side of evaluations
- Evaluation’s connection with the SDGs, specifically at community and local levels
- Integration of a social justice orientation to evaluation
- Digital work practices and the digital divide
- Awareness raising beyond our evaluation circle, specifically in the private sector and
- Professionalization, to name a few
There were strong sentiments expressed for an EvalAgenda2030 that promotes transformation and puts greater emphasis on global inequities and climate change.
Have your say in this process as we move towards the co-creation and dissemination of the EvalAgenda in 2022.