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EvalPartners Celebrates 50th Newsletter

It is my great pleasure to issue the 50th EvalPartners newsletter. This series of newsletters was initiated in March 2014 as a monthly news briefing and disseminated regularly to all the EvalPartners constituencies around the world. I am sure thousands of evaluators have enjoyed reading the newsletter to stay informed about what goes on in our ever-growing EvalWorld. It is also an opportunity to express our gratitude to Asela Kalugampitiya who stands the challenge every month to identify, track and report on key evaluation events and initiatives that take place across the six continents. A special recognition also goes to Jim Rugh who provides editorial support to the newsletters. 

The year 2018 has been a busy year for EvalPartners networks, VOPEs, country partners and the evaluation community in general. We currently have an active portfolio in more than 35 countries, thanks to the generous support of the Swiss Development Cooperation and the US Department of State (Peer-to-Peer, innovation challenge, Focus Countries, etc…). all these projects and programmes contribute actively to our work which is guided by the Global Evaluation Agenda (EvalAgenda2020)  which embeds the DNA of EvalPartners.

Our flagship event for 2018 EvalColombo2018 brought together parliamentarians and evaluation professionals from more than 70 countries to reflect on how evaluation can help parliamentarians in achieving the SDGs. The High Level Political Forum in July 2019 will discuss in New York "empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality" through the SDGs and EvalPartners is planning to organize a parallel event to stress the transformative power of evaluation and its contribution to the process. We will also conduct the second evaluation of EvalPartners as a follow-up to the one that was completed in 2014. We look forward to the new year and wish happy holiday season for everyone.

Ziad Moussa, EvalPartners Co-chair

P2P Project: Sustainable Cities and Measuring Development Processes

In 2017, the Quebec Evaluation Society (SQEP) together with the National Monitoring and Evaluation Network of the Kyrgyz Republic won a Peer to Peer grant for implementation of a project on Sustainable Cities and Measuring Development Processes. The Eurasian Alliance of National Evaluation Associations was the regional partner in the project.
The project theme was extremely important in the context of urban development, especially in the Eurasian Union countries, where one can observe more and more interest groups form around city development - urban businesses, urban communities, local governments and architects. 
As part of the project, in August 2018, two seminars were delivered for representatives of Bishkek City Hall, urban activists, instructors of the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and members of the National M&E Network of the Kyrgyz Republic. During the seminars, the Canadian experience was presented and offered the participants new approaches and methods for measuring urban development, taking into account the interests of all groups of influence. A day seminar for Osh city Council (second largest in Kyrgyz Republic) was also held. The seminar helped participants to understand the relevance of new participatory democratic approaches to urban development.
Urban authorities and activities showed great interest in participatory evaluation methods after the seminars held in Bishkek. A Toolkit of these approaches will be created as a result of the project in Russian language and shared widely. Webinars in Russian for members of the Eurasian Alliance of National Evaluation Associations, and webinars for French and English-speaking audiences were held in October and November 2018. Experience with this P2P Project was also presented by Tatyana Tretyakova at the National Evaluation Conference in Kazakhstan on November 19, 2018.

AEA Conference 2018, Cleveland, USA

2018 marked the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) 32nd Annual Conference. It took place on October 31-November 3 in Cleveland, Ohio. Evaluation 2018 brought together evaluators, evaluation scholars, students, and evaluation users from not only around the United States but also from many countries around the world. They came together to assemble, share, and learn from the successes of the international discipline and practice of evaluation.  In addition to the 3,100 who attended this conference in person, 628 colleagues from 80 countries participated in the virtual conference – they were able to view the plenaries and presidential strand sessions online in real-time.
The theme of the conference was "Speaking Truth to Power". The conference included pre-conference workshops, panels, key note speeches, plenary presentations, exhibition, side events and 2018 AEA Awards ceremony.  You can read more about it and other news from AEA in their latest newsletter .

Kenya Evaluation Week 2018

Since the year 2012, the Government of Kenya has been hosting Annual National Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Week on the 45th /46th week of every year which aims at promoting the M&E culture in the country. In the same spirit, the government hosted the 7th National M&E week in Mombasa from 11th – 17th November 2018. The theme was “Towards Realization of the ‘Big Four’ Agenda: Evidence Based Decision Making for Sustainable Development.'' 

The 7th National M&E week brought together county, national, regional and international thought leaders and multidisciplinary development practitioners drawn from government, civil society organizations, private sector and development partners to learn, share and exchange knowledge in the field of M&E. The M&E week provided an opportunity to discuss generation and use of M&E findings to inform policy decisions both at the national and county levels of government. The week also provided a platform to share good practices towards formulating and implementing monitoring and evaluation of the big four areas of priority. In addition, it provided an opportunity to national and international M&E practitioners to discuss new developments in Monitoring and Evaluation as well as sharing experiences in M&E of emerging issues such as climate change, gender equality and human rights.

EvalMENA Evaluation Conference and General Assembly Held in Rabat, Morocco

The Moroccan Evaluation Association (L'Association Marocaine de l'Evaluation or AME) and the Middle East and North Africa Evaluators Network (EvalMENA) organized the 7th Annual Evaluation Conference in the MENA region, on the theme "National Evaluation Policies in the MENA Region: Institutional Framework and Processes at National and Subnational levels'', with the support of several partners (UNICEF, UN Women, UNFPA, WFP, FAO, WFD, EvalPartners and 3ie).

This 7th conference was held in Rabat from 27 to 30 November 2018 and was moderated by experts from the evaluation, research and development fields in the MENA region with the participation of the delegations of Governments, Parliamentarians and representatives of Civil Society of the MENA Region plus Africa, Europe, and North America.

The 7th EvalMENA Conference aimed to be a platform for sharing knowledge and experiences in public policy evaluation in the MENA region. This international event was such a crossroads to forge new partnerships and strengthen the ongoing work to develop national and sub-national capacities (at regional territorial level) in development evaluation and public policies at the regional level, scale of the MENA region. The conference also addressed the issues of capacity building for young evaluators and the professionalization of evaluation.

A series of cross-cutting topics were also on the agenda, such as the use of evaluation to inform the decision-making process, the role of parliamentarians in promoting evaluation, the sensitivity of national evaluation systems for equity and gender; national evaluation capacity building; EvalAgenda2020; and EvalPartners flagship programs.

ANZEA Evaluation Conference 2018

The 2018 Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) Conference brought together over 200 evaluators from across the Pacific. Under the banner of Evaluation for Change: Change for Evaluation, the conference explored the role and process of evaluation to enable positive change.
Four keynotes from within and outside evaluation challenged participants on how evaluation can keep making a positive difference in a world marked by stark inequities and hierarchies of power and privilege. American-based evaluator Dr. Katrina Bledsoe discussed evaluation’s identity, why we’re here and what our future looks like. Frances Valentine, a futurist thought leader, challenged evaluators to think about their role in a data rich and digitally defined world. Dr Jess Berentson-Shaw gave delegates fresh insights into communicating quality evidence in an age of misinformation. The conference concluded with an inspiring address by Marcus Akuhata-Brown on lifting the lid on aspirations and consciousness to change futures.
Delegates warmly congratulated Associate Professor Robin Peace, an evaluation leader in Aotearoa, for becoming a companion of the Royal Society of New Zealand, recognising her leadership and sustained contributions to science and the humanities.
ANZEA is delighted that in February 2019, Aotearoa’s first Indigenous People’s Conference on Evaluation will be held, led by Mā te Rae – Māori Evaluation Association. For more information, please visit the website.

GPFE Awards 2018 - Global Winner

The Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation awards 2018 were presented at the EvalColombo2018 conference held in Sri Lanka. Hon. Ananda Prasad Pokharel, former Member of Parliament of the Nepal received an award for his outstanding contribution at the global level to the Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation. 

Hon. Pokharel is one of the three parliamentarians who initiated the parliamentarians movement for evaluation in early 2013 together with two MPs from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. He was a leader in initiating the Nepal National Parliamentarians Forum on Development Evaluation Policy which is the first ever national forum. He was instrumental in initiating the Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation. He took the lead in celebrating the International Year of Evaluation 2015 at the Parliament of Nepal marking the first ever evaluation event in a national parliament. 

Evidence Conference, London, United Kingdom

3ie wrapped up its 10-year anniversary celebrations with a series of well-received panels and interactive sessions at the 3ie London Evidence Week 2018 conference. Around 180 people, including donors, researchers, policy makers and representatives from development organisations attended the two-day conference. The conference included key note speeches, panels and various other sessions. 

The Executive Director of 3ie Emmanuel Jimenez delivered the opening remarks, highlighting some of 3ie’s achievements, including supporting the generation of evidence in challenging contexts and sectors; how 3ie-funded evidence has been useful for decision makers; and, how members have helped form a community of like-minded champions of evidence. He also asserted that 3ie’s innovations, including evidence gap maps and repositories have contributed to strengthening the enabling environment for evidence-use. Gonzalo Hernández Licona (CONEVAL and former 3ie board commissioner) presented challenges to setting up national monitoring and evaluation units and how evaluators have to work within political systems to create impact. He stressed that evidence needs to be narrated in a way that is accessible and easily understood by all stakeholders.