The Role of Evaluation in Ensuring that No One is Left Behind

Session Number: 3210
Track: Presidential Strand
Session Type: Panel
Session Chair: Svetlana Negroustoueva, PMP Certified [World Bank]
Presenter 2: Alyna Erin Wyatt, Partner [Partner - Genesis Analytics]
Session Facilitator: Michael Bamberger, Dr. [Independent consultant - independent consultant]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Denise Baer, 85409 [Director of Evaluation - Center for International Private Enterprise]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Alyna Erin Wyatt, Partner [Partner - Genesis Analytics]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Nicole R Bowman, Ph.D. [President - Bowman Performance Consulting]
Time: Nov 16, 2019 (11:15 AM - 12:00 PM)
Room: CC 200DE

Abstract 1 Title: Evaluation in Democracy and Governance for Accountability and Learning from SDGs
Presentation Abstract 1:

The work of DG practitioners provides a distinctive lens for viewing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  The global call by AGDEN, AfrEA (Africa), EvalGender+ and UN Women, RISE, AEA (USA), CoE (South Asia) and ReLAC (Latin America) to all evaluators to integrate gender and equity dimensions into all evaluations, regardless of sector, scope or purpose has a resonance to DG practice because this is the space we work in.  These efforts are also aligned with AEA’s call for assessing our evaluative contributions and leadership in the renewal and relevance of our profession.  DG evaluators use evaluative thinking in their practice as do all competent evaluators. 

Because democracy and governance programs seek to promote transparency, accountability and openness by fostering human rights, rule of law, independent media and other essential democratic institutions, including addressing capacity and representational gaps in civil society and governing institutions, DG practitioners view equity as a core part of DG projects they evaluate. 

The following core components of DG evaluative practice to ensure that no-one is left behind will be discussed:

·  Building local evaluation capacity and ownership. 

·  Special care in equity regarding all people including marginalized communities. 

·  Educating Parliamentarians and Public Officials on Responsible Data and Evaluation Evidence. 

·  Understanding the Contexts including Rights Frameworks Where We Work. 

·  Reassessing Evaluation Standards to Include Equity and “Do No Harm” Approaches. 

·  Addressing the “Tricky Triangle” of the Independent Evaluator Role to Ensure Responsible Equity-Focused Programming and Adaptive Project Management. 


Abstract 2 Title: Social Impact Investment for Measuring SDGs
Presentation Abstract 2:

It is recognised that all global stakeholders are needed in the global effort towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the emergence of impact investors into the more traditional social sectors means that it is critical that such players are held to the same standards as traditional actors.

According to a series of case studies conducted by the Global Impact Investor Network (GIIN) in 2016, many impact investors were mapping their existing portfolios and impact themes to the SDGs, with more reporting in the last three years.  

Unfortunately, the measurement of ‘impact’ in the impact investment space has been inadequate, often measuring shallow metrics with limited meaning, and in fact, in the emergence of increased technology-based solutions, has led to an emphasis in the digital divide between the most vulnerable groups.  Evaluators bring with them an approach and comfort that lends itself well to the measurement of complex market-based solutions to development issues. Evaluators need to actively influence the billions of dollars available within the capital markets to have a true influence on the achievement of the SDGs, and in particular, those that are the hardest to reach and most easily left behind.


Abstract 3 Title: Indigenous Perspective on Evaluation and Ensuring that No One Is Left Behind
Presentation Abstract 3:

Everything power does, is done in a circle. Indigenous scholarship and traditional ecological knowledge must be central and be a critical and active role within any post-contact scholarship or activities regarding sustainable development goals. Ignorance, indifference, or exclusion of Indigenous people, wisdom, and Tribal/First nations in SDG activities is unacceptable to us. 

Post-colonial impacts need to be explicitly included in the situational analysis, theoretical and methodological evaluation designs, and instrumentation for measuring the short- and long-term negative impacts that colonization had and continues to have regarding the SDG 2030 agenda. The systems, institutions, and their privileged partners and stakeholders are the funding and foundation to the problem.  Evaluators who do not directly address these structural inequities, politics of power, and enduring post-colonial bioecological impacts in their studies, lack the required scientific competencies and skills to truly address the SDGs, let alone reverse the harm being done to all living beings and the planet.  Evaluating the SDG goals in the context of communities and human and earth rights requires evaluators to have a moral and ethical responsibility to each other, to our profession, and to all we are to be living in good relation with on and including Mother Earth. It means using common sense, observation, listening, and lived experiences not just to ponder why we are here in the first place but frankly, to connect cause and effect.  In other words, evaluating the root causes that necessitate us to even have to have an SDG 2030 agenda.

As a professional field, we have the collective potential to contribute to reversing harm and being the good relatives that are so desperately needed to help build the evidence base for others to govern and lead in ways that transform our ecosystem and Mother Earth back to health.


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

 “Leaving no one behind” is a core principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda). The principle is about all populations, and evaluation methods reflecting attention to them, as well as an enabling environment.  

Whether your work is international or domestic, the principle applies across sectors and jurisdictions. USA has not yet submitted their Voluntary National Review (for example, Canada did in 2018), so the timing may be right to raise awareness, and highlight the important role of AEA, and VOPEs at large, and evaluation in these processes. Members of the different TIGs will talk to LNOB principle answering the following questions: 

  • Why almost all programs leave some groups behind
  • Why this matters
  • How evaluation can promote social inclusion
  • Will big data and new information technologies promote social inclusion or will they increase the dangers of social exclusion?

AEA evaluation community will be called to  integrate gender and equity dimensions into all evaluations, regardless of sector, scope or purpose to alignment with LNOB principle.