Equity-focused monitoring, evaluation and capacity development in light of the SDG agenda

Session Number: 1634
Track: International and Cross Cultural Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Tags: Aid dependency, Country ownership, equity, evaluation capacity development, Statistica capacity building, Sustainable Development Goals
Session Chair: Michael Bamberger, Dr. [Independent consultant - independent consultant]
Presenter 1: Michele Tarsilla [Independent Evaluator and Capacity Development Specialist - Independent Evaluation Consultant ]
Presenter 2: Shravanti Reddy [Evaluation Specialist - UN Women]
Presenter 3: Ana Cristina Guimaraes Matos [Chief Monitoring and Evaluation UNICEF Brasil - UNICEF]
Time: Oct 28, 2016 (08:00 AM - 09:30 AM)
Room: International North A

Abstract 1 Title: Evaluating SDG at the national level: A Critical Review of main risks and key opportunities.
Presentation Abstract 1:

If it is true that the SDG Agenda takes different national realities, capacities and levels of development into account and it also respects national policies and priorities (UN SDG Resolution, para. 48), one might wonder what would happen in the absence of adequate technical monitoring and evaluation capacity at the country level. Wouldn’t that hinder the measurement of progress towards the achievement of the SDG targets? If so, wouldn’t the lack of adequate evidence hamper decision-making? Also, wouldn’t low- and middle-income countries with weaker statistical capacity be likely to increase their dependency on highly specialized M&E experts flown in from abroad?
In order to address all these questions, this presentation will review the experiences of different national governments and in-country organization that making some concerted efforts to best plan, monitor and evaluate their national SDG strategy.

Abstract 2 Title: Transforming how we assess progress against global goals
Presentation Abstract 2:

There are two key questions that the global evaluation community is currently confronted with. First, how can we collectively ensure that evaluation is planned, undertaken and used to support progress against all the Agenda's 17 Goals? Second, how can we systematically ensure that evaluation also supports progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment? This presentation will cover some of the specific initiatives that UN Women is currently coordinating in order to address not only these two questions but also the broader implications for the focus, scope and purpose of its own evaluation practice. The presentation will also provide the audience with a review of cutting-edge tools (guidance notes, action plans, scorecards) that could be adapted in the future to better serve the emerging needs and interests associated with the new SDG scenario.

Abstract 3 Title: Challenging the Tyranny of Percentages in Brazil: Equity-focused M&E for children’s rights.

Presentation Abstract 3:

Brazil has made significant progress in child rights in 25 years, achieving high rates in indicators such as school enrolment, which reaches 93% children. But what if the remaining 7% represent 3 million? What if the majority of the excluded ones are poor, indigenous or have disabilities, continuing their vulnerability cycle? Is 7% still acceptable? UNICEF Brazil has challenged these percentages and established equity-focused strategies to guarantee the rights of all Brazilian children. Using data and evidence, monitoring and evaluation become tools for empowerment of rights-holders. Local action connects with global goals, promoting an integral perspective of development. By unpacking indicators beyond numbers and drilling down into the smallest residual rates, the UNICEF Municipal Seal of Approval and the Platform for the Urban Centers are changing the way local decision-makers and communities perceive indicators and evidence. But being fully equitative even under these nearly ideal circumstances has its own challenges.

Audience Level: Intermediate

Session Abstract: 

The Sustainable Development Agenda adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015 consists of 17 Goals and 169 associated targets. Despite the encompassing scope of the document, the word equity is not mentioned in the text at all. Likewise, while the document recognizes country ownership of SDG processes, the mechanisms in place to evaluate the Agenda come across as a bit unclear. In response to such limitations, the panel will provide a critical analysis of how international agencies, national governments and civil society organizations have been able to measure equity in a responsible and sustainable manner at the national and sub-national levels. Drawing on the lessons learned in equity measurement thus far, the panel will advocate for the use of alternative measures to traditional statistical averages. Lastly, it will look at how existing evaluation capacity development programs could enhance further countries’ capacity to evaluate equity in the SDG era.