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Plenary Sessions

The 2022 Plenary sessions will feature in-depth presentations that focus on this year’s theme: (re) shaping evalaution together. Take a look at what to expect from this session, and stay tuned for more details to come!

Schedule is subject to change.

Open Plenary Session

Re(Shaping) Evaluation: Decolonization, New Actors, & Digital Data

Wednesday, November 9 | 2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. CT

Speaker: Edgar Villanueva

About Edgar Villanueva: Edgar Villanueva is an award-winning author, activist, and expert on issues of race, wealth, philanthropy, and ESG Investing. Villanueva is the Principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital and author of the bestselling book Decolonizing Wealth (2018, 2021). He advises a range of organizations including national and global philanthropies, Fortune 500 companies, and entertainment on social impact strategies to advance racial equity from within and through their investment strategies.

Villanueva holds a BSPH and MHA from the Gillings Global School of Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe and resides in New York City.

Thursday Plenary Session 1

Co-creation of Strategic Evaluations to Shift Power

Thursday, November 10 | 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. CT


  • Elizabeth Taylor-Schiro/Biidabinikwe, Evaluation and Research Consultant, ETS Consulting
  • Dr. Gabriela Garcia, Community Advocate & Co-Creator at BECOME

About this session: As evaluators, we recognize that our approach to evaluation needs to evolve to be more equitable. But what are tangible steps we can take in that evolution? Looking critically at the question of who we involve in designing evaluations, and how much decision-making power they hold, is one tangible and essential entry point to reshaping and decolonizing evaluation. The more that evaluators, nonprofits and funders share decision-making power over evaluations with the people most affected by the programs and policies being evaluated, the stronger those evaluations will be. In this plenary, speakers who are at the forefront of this work will share how they co-create evaluations with the people most affected by them and how it improves the quality of those evaluations.

Thursday Plenary Session 2

The Next Frontier for Evaluators: Transforming the Capital Markets

Thursday, November 10 | 9:05 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. CT


  • Moderator: Jane Reisman, Social Impact Advisor, Jane Reisman PhD
  • Discussant: Veronica Olazabal, Chief Impact and Evaluation Officer, BHP Foundation
  • Panelists:
    • Lissa Glassgo, Director, IRIS+/Impact Measurement and Management Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN) at Social Impact Management Initiative, Japan
    • Belissa Rojas, Impact Measurement and Management Lead, UNDP SDG Impact Team

About this session: There is a new and fast-growing market emerging in the global economy. Let’s call it the impact market. Spurred by the urgent global climate crisis, widening social and economic disparities and injustices, and a recognition that all sectors are responsible for impact—whether negative or positive and intended or unintended—businesses and investors have newly become active players aiming at “doing good” through sustainable finance and impact investing. Formerly disparate efforts including corporate social responsibility, environment, social and governance (ESG) ratings, purposeful capitalism, impact investing and sustainable finance are converging in a market that is valued easily in the trillions of dollars and claiming to move the needle on the global sustainable development goals (SDGs). Considerations of impact in this market are usually based on metrics, scoring rubrics, and other data-related artifacts. The “market builders” are cross-disciplinary and include a small but growing number of evaluators. Significantly, when evaluators are at the table, the resulting measurement systems and approaches incorporate well-honed evaluation principles, methodologies and perspectives, including focus on equity, stakeholder voice, systems thinking, outcome measurement, and adaptive learning principles to inform decision-making. This panel features significant global illustrations drawn from Japan, the United Nations and the Global Impact Investing Network and points to the onramps for evaluators to further engage in the impact market. 

Closing Plenary Session

Big Data and Evaluation: Addressing Potential Sources of Bias Affecting the Understanding of Equity and Social Justice

Saturday, November 12 | 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. CT


Oscar Garcia
Director, Independent Evaluation Office, UNDP
Pete York
Chief Data Scientist and Partner, BCT Partners

Miriam Sarwana
Evaluation and Analytics Manager, BCT Partners


Jerusha Govender
Director, Digital Data Solutions, Data Innovators
Michael Bamberger
Senior Research Fellow, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation

About This Session: The data collection capacity and analytical power of big data makes it inevitable that these tools and techniques will become a standard part of the evaluator’s toolbox. However, an issue of concern is how the use of big data creates new sources of bias that evaluators must understand and address. Importantly, these biases can result in lack of attention to, or the misunderstanding of issues affecting equity and racial justice. The session will provide a framework for identifying sources of bias at each stage of the evaluation cycle, particularly as they affect issues of equity, and will propose guidelines on how to address these biases.