Strategies for Building Evaluation Capacity in International Organizations: Lessons from government, non-governmental, multilateral and private sector organizations

Session Number: 1780
Track: Presidential Strand
Session Type: Panel
Tags: development cooperation, Encompass LLC, evaluation capacity, evaluation capacity improvement, International Evaluation, Mercy Corps, USAID, World Bank, World Food Programme
Session Chair: Beeta Tahmassebi [Director - EnCompass LLC]
Presenter 1: Sonia Moldovan [Senior Technical Lead Monitoring Evaluation and Learning - Mercy Corps]
Presenter 2: Elizabeth Roen [Deputy Director and Supervisory Evaluation and Program Specialist - Office of Learning, Evaluation and Research at USAID]
Presenter 3: Julie Thoulouzan [Senior Evaluation Officer - World Food Programme, Office of EValuation]
Presenter 4: Jos Vaessen
Time: Nov 14, 2019 (03:45 PM - 04:45 PM)
Room: CC 200DE

Abstract 1 Title: Mercy Corp's experience building evaluation capacity
Presentation Abstract 1:

To emphasize the importance of evaluation and as a result increase program effectiveness, accountability to stakeholders and strengthen the learning culture, Mercy Corps is facilitating annual Program Evidence Workshops with senior leaders in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. These interactive workshops focus on managers’ role as consumer of data to assess performance, learn and make adaptations. The two day sessions get senior leaders to think critically about data needs, and provide tools to improve planning, implementation, and learning from data. Mercy Corps implemented a Master Service Agreement to give program teams access to nine Evaluation and Research firms with a range of qualified evaluators. This means program teams no longer have to go through a lengthy procurement process.  To further support our program teams, we also have a robust community of practice and guidance on developing a SOW, budgeting for evaluations and using evaluation findings. 


Abstract 2 Title: USAID's experience building evaluation capacity
Presentation Abstract 2:

Updated in 2016, USAID’s evaluation policy places the agency as a leader among federal agencies in standards for evaluation practice. Recent laws, such as the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2016 and the Foundations for Evidence-based Policymaking Act of 2018 provide a legal mandate for all CFO-act agencies to define evaluation standards and best practice, and to build and regularly assess agency evaluation capacity. USAID situates evaluation within a holistic Program Cycle that includes strategic planning, project and activity design and implementation, program monitoring, evaluation, learning and adapting. This ensures new evaluation is planned in advance and that evidence from evaluation is used to inform planning and design stages. USAID uses four main approaches to build agency capacity in evaluation: (1) classroom and online training, (2) technical assistance, (3) communities of practice to share peer learning, and (4) templates, tools and guidance.


Abstract 3 Title: World Food Programme's experience building evaluation capacity
Presentation Abstract 3:

The World Food Programme (WFP) has put increased emphasis on strengthening evaluation capacity across the organization following its commitment, under its Evaluation Policy (2016-2021) to combine a centralized evaluation function with a demand-led decentralized evaluation function. To ensure sufficient organization capacity to meet this commitment, WFP’s Office of Evaluation developed a comprehensive institutional evaluation capacity building approach that addresses specific learning and mentoring needs of different WFP country office staff involved in evaluation work. Key elements of this strategy include individual coaching by Regional Evaluation Officers, a central helpdesk, peer learning between Country Office staff and a blended Evaluation Learning Programme. While this programme has successfully engaged over 150 learners across 60 countries, WFP is currently reflecting on ways to make this programme sustainable over time.


Abstract 4 Title: The World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group's experience building evaluation capacity
Presentation Abstract 4:

The World Bank International Evaluation Group (IEG) has embarked upon a three-pronged evaluation capacity development approach: building capacities in IEG (e.g. through staff training, learning events and the methods advisory function), building capacities in the WBG (through learning engagements and collaboration with evaluation units/peers in the WBG, joint learning events (in the framework of the WBG’s M&E community of practice), joint policy initiatives (e.g. World Bank Group Evaluation Principles), building capacities in clients, partners and peers (e.g. through IPDET, CLEAR). The main challenge is to look for opportunities to better integrate the different components of IEG’s ECD approach. Examples are: closer collaboration between the CLEAR Centers (in the six regions) and the IPDET program, closer collaboration between the CLEAR Centers and building evaluation capacities in WBG clients countries (with WBG staff and clients), closer alignment between training initiatives and innovative evaluative practices (e.g. methods, data, processes).


Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

This panel discussion will support peer sharing around strategies and challenges for building evaluation capacity in international organizations working in countries across the globe. Comprised of representatives from a bilateral government agency, international multilateral organizations, private sector, and the non-governmental non-profit sector, the panelists will share strategies used to build evaluation capacity in their organizations and across borders. Topics to be discussed include key success factors of initiatives aiming at building leadership demand and staff capacity for generating and using evidence from evaluation and challenges and opportunities for sustaining evaluation capacity over time.