Share a coffee and meet the authors of new books on multilateral finance and evaluation
The Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), Oscar A. Garcia, launched his new book "Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Rural Transformation, World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development Volume 9" during a Café Session of the 13th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society. Todor Dimitrov, Head of the Independent Evaluation Office of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, also presented his new book "Multilateral Development Banks, Governance and Finance" in the same session.
The event took place on 3 October in Thessaloniki, Greece.
For additional information, visit the conference website.
EVAL-ForwARD launched at EvalColombo2018
EVAL-ForwARD is a new Community of Practice on evaluation for Food Security, Agriculture and Rural Development, jointly promoted by the evaluation offices of the Rome-based agencies: CGIAR (formerly known as the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), FAO, IFAD and WFP.
Its first public launch took place at EvalColombo2018 during the side event The role of Evaluation in the public sector: how best to support national capacities. Conference participants had the opportunity to engage with the Directors of the Evaluation offices of FAO, IFAD and WFP on the aims, opportunities and thematic focus of this initiative.
The objectives of EVAL-ForwARD are to enhance awareness and capacities at country-level about evaluation in the agriculture, food security and rural development sectors, with a close focus on the evaluation of efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2 – End Hunger.
Evaluators, development practitioners, researchers and government officials are welcome to join the Community of Practice and:
- Exchange evaluation information, practice and knowledge;
- Propose resources and blogs;
- Post information about events, conferences, training opportunities.
The first EVAL-ForwARD webinar on Evaluating with a Sustainable Development Goal 2 lens: experiences to date is planned for the second half of October and aims to uncover the challenges encountered and the good practices on which the development community could build, fostering further discussion and exchanges on the topic, which is at the core of the Community’s mandate.
EVAL-ForwARD uses a Dgroup mailing list for knowledge-sharing and a website as a repository of information and resources. To sign up to the Community and to find out more, please visit: www.evalforward.org
For more information, contact Renata Mirulla at: email@example.com
European Evaluation Society Biennial Conference
The 13th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society (EES) took place from 1 to 5 October 2018 in Thessaloniki, Greece. The leading theme of the EES2018 Conference was “Evaluation for more resilient societies" and the conference included five days of debates on evaluation in times of financial, geopolitical, environmental and humanitarian crises.
The Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), Mr Oscar A. Garcia, took part in the conference and presented his new book "Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Rural Transformation: World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development, Volume 9" during a Café Session. He also participated in a panel session on the UN's evaluation functions for more resilient societies.
Ms Johanna Pennarz, IOE Lead Evaluation Officer and Mr Hansdeep Khaira, IOE Evaluation Officer, organized two roundtable sessions: Evaluations in Fragile Contexts: How do they differ? and Enhancing the use of evaluation findings for decision making and reform processes, the latter in cooperation with World Food Programme. Ms Pennarz presented papers in two sessions, Learning from Evaluation and Evaluation Systems, while Mr Khaira presented the session entitled Conducting impact evaluations in difficult contexts using geo-spatial analysis.
The aim of the session Evaluations in Fragile Contexts: How do they differ? was to discuss the possible approaches for undertaking evaluations in fragile contexts, based on practical experiences from a range of different contexts. The expertise of the panellists covered a broad range of themes, including gender and rural poverty, humanitarian crisis, conflict and peace-building and development in fragile situations.
In the session entitled Enhancing the use of evaluation findings for decision making and reform processes – experience from IFAD and World Food Programme, Ms Pennarz presented IOE's progress in moving towards a more rigorous methodology on evaluation syntheses. Mr Khaira's presentation focused on the synthesis of the impact evaluation criterion in country strategy and programme evaluations (CSPEs).
In the session Learning from Evaluation, Ms Pennarz presented the synthesis methodologies used in four recent Evaluation Synthesis Reports (gender, scaling up partnerships and rural finance). She also presented the experience from the CSPE Egypt in the Evaluation Systems session.
Finally, Mr Khaira contributed to the session Conducting impact evaluations in difficult contexts using geo-spatial analysis, wherein he presented the methodological work related to geospatial analysis that was undertaken as part of IOE's impact evaluation of the Agriculture Support Project in Georgia.
For more information on the event, visit the conference's website.
Book Launch: Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Rural Transformation - World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development, Volume 9
On Friday 21 September, the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) hosted the launch of a new book on evaluation practices and how they can help to foster inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. The book Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Rural Transformation: World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development, Volume 9 was co-authored by Oscar A. Garcia, Director of IOE, and Osvaldo N. Feinstein, Professor in the Evaluation Master’s Programme of the Complutense University of Madrid.
The event was attended by about 75 participants, including IFAD's Executive Board representatives, Senior Management, Vice-President Cornelia Richter and Associate Vice-President Charlotte Salford, staff from IFAD, FAO, WFP, students from La Sapienza University and evaluation associations.
The book, published by Routledge, is part of the World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development and looks at how evaluation practice has evolved to reflect, respond to and inform changing expectations of development assistance. It reveals how evaluation products and methodologies have benefited from key reviews, revisions and lessons learned, and how they have progressively strengthened IFAD’s capacity to assess its operations and better understand its results. The book concludes with reflections on some of the challenges that lie ahead, and how the independent evaluation function can continue to evolve to meet these future challenges and enhance the impact of development initiatives on people’s lives.
After the opening of the event, Oscar A. Garcia and Osvaldo N. Feinstein provided an overview of the book, explaining how in addition to proving an overview of achievements and examples of influential evaluations, the book offers reflections on how evaluation can continue to evolve to meet future challenges and improve the impact of development initiatives on people's lives in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the evolution of evaluation. The session was chaired by Nicoletta Stame, Former President of the European Evaluation Society and former Professor of Social Policy and Evaluation at Sapienza University. Panel speakers were Fabrizio Felloni, IOE Deputy Director, Mona Bishay, Former IOE Deputy Director, Paolo Silveri, Acting Director Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division of IFAD and Per A. Eklund, Independent Researcher.
For additional information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sri Lanka: EvalColombo2018
Evaluation experts, development partners and parliamentarians from all around the world convened on 17-19 September 2018 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to discuss the benefits of a better use of evaluation evidence in governments' policy making. The forum was organized jointly by the Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation (GPFE), EvalPartners and the Sri Lanka Evaluation Association to share experiences and success stories of how evaluation has triggered change within political systems.
The director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE), Mr Oscar A. Garcia, delivered a keynote speech on lessons learnt from Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), sharing experiences, successes and challenges, with a view to accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. VNRs seek to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The statement was very well received by the audience and disseminated through various channels, including social media and blogs. An interview was also published in the October issue of the Political and Economic Sikkim Journal in India.
The Forum's objectives were to:
- Reaffirm the importance of building capacity among parliamentarians to use evaluation evidence for governance purposes
- Promote dialogue between parliamentarians, governments, evaluation practitioners and civil society to pave the way for a better use of evaluation
- Raise awareness of the role of parliaments in driving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda
- Agree on the way forward for the Colombo Declaration, including country commitments regarding National Evaluation Policies/Systems and VNRs
For more information, visit the Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation (GPFE) website or the event webpage.
Knowledge-Sharing Seminar: Evaluation Synthesis on IFAD’s support to livelihoods involving aquatic resources from Small scale Fisheries, Small-scale Aquaculture and Coastal Zones
On 7 September, the Independent Office of Evaluation (IOE) held a knowledge-sharing seminar to present and discuss the main findings and recommendations arising from the recent evaluation synthesis report on the support provided by IFAD to livelihoods involving aquatic resources from Small-scale Fisheries, Small-scale Aquaculture and Coastal Zones.
The Synthesis draws on the evaluations of all aquatic resources-relevant projects supported by IFAD since 2009. In addition, the report provides an analysis of the evolution of IFAD's portfolio in terms of aquatic resources-relevant projects since 1979, when the first project in this sector was approved.
The objectives of this evaluation synthesis were to assess the extent of IFAD’s work in support of these sectors and generate findings, documenting lessons, good practices and challenges that can inform the design and implementation of ongoing and future policies, strategies and investments by IFAD in these sectors.
The workshop was attended by the Associate Vice-Presidents of the Strategy and Knowledge Department and the External Relations and Governance Department of IFAD, IFAD Directors, technical experts in fisheries, and staff as well as colleagues from the evaluation offices and fisheries divisions of FAO and WFP.
AfDB Development Evaluation Week 2018
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) participated in the Development Evaluation Week 2018 organized by the Independent Development Evaluation (IDEV) of the African Development Bank. The theme was 'Strengthening Development Impact' and the event was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 5 to 7 September 2018.
The objectives of the three-day knowledge sharing forum were:
- To champion development evaluation as a valuable tool to monitor the progress of the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063, and to inform future policies and programs for greater impact.
- To facilitate sharing of knowledge and experiences on the evaluation methods and practices that help to foster the achievement of development results.
- To enable interrogation of approaches in the area of development evaluation that foster innovation, uptake of lessons, and broader learning.
Fabrizio Felloni, Deputy Director, Independent Office of Evaluation, IFAD, participated in a panel discussion on Agricultural value chains in Africa challenges & opportunities. He was part of the panel with the Regional Office for Africa of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
IFAD's Independent Office of Evaluation launches "Roots", a podcast aimed at rural communities
Rome, 4 September 2018 – On 4 September, the Independent Office of Evaluation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) launches "Roots", a podcast created to disseminate the voice of rural workers in their own communities and in the world.
From Peru to Niger, Belize or Nepal, each month "Roots" will present a new episode sharing the experience of beneficiaries of IFAD supported and evaluated development projects in different regions.
The podcast will be available for free on the website of the Independent Office of Evaluation and may be used by radio stations throughout the world to be included in their schedule of programmes.
"This podcast is intended to share with rural communities the human stories living behind each effort made to reduce poverty and promote sustainability of economic activities in rural areas," Oscar A. García, director of the Office Independent Evaluation of IFAD, said.
"Roots" is the first communication product created specifically for beneficiaries of programs evaluated by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD.
"Roots is an opportunity to learn and to allow rural communities to observe what is working well, what it is not, why, and what needs to be improved to promote a sustainable and inclusive rural development", García underlined.
The podcasts will be produced in the language of each visited country and will have a maximum length of four minutes to facilitate its use by radio stations.
In the two first episodes, "Roots" will visit: The Department of San Martin, in Peru's High Rainforest and the Toledo District and Stann Creek, in Belize.
Press release No.: IFAD/63/2018
IFAD has invested in rural people for 40 years, empowering them to reduce poverty, increase food security, improve nutrition and strengthen resilience. Since 1978, we have provided about US$19.7 billion in grants and low-interest loans to projects that have reached some 474 million people. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency based in Rome – the UN’s food and agriculture hub.
How can evaluations help to fuel rural transformation?
By Oscar A. Garcia
Oscar A. García is Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) and co-author of a new book on evaluation practice and how it can help to foster inclusive and sustainable rural transformation.
Three questions lie at the heart of every effort to improve social and economic conditions in the world’s rural communities: How are we doing? Why is that? and How can we do better? These questions reflect the need to regularly assess development initiatives and to share knowledge to improve both efforts and results.
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has produced a book entitled, Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Rural Transformation: World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development, Volume 9, to shed light on the process behind the evaluation of development policies, strategies and programmes, and to share lessons learned from some key assessments.
Independent evaluation is fundamentally important to IFAD’s work to support inclusive, sustainable transformation in rural areas, in keeping with its mandate and in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
IOE aims to promote accountability and learning through independent, credible and useful evaluations. It evaluates IFAD-funded projects and programmes, provides assessments of what works and what does not, identifies the factors leading to good performance, and determines to what extent IFAD’s policies and strategies are successful in alleviating poverty in rural areas, and why.
The importance of evaluation to IFAD and to the work of other international institutions is reflected in the book’s roster of expert guest contributors who have added their perspectives to those co-authored by me and Osvaldo N. Feinstein, an Argentinian academic, practitioner and reference in the field of development evaluation.
Evaluations have helped IFAD to boost its development effectiveness by leading to structural and organizational changes, new corporate policies, and more streamlined internal processes. For example, IFAD increased its country presence as a result of an influential evaluation and, following another, it took on direct supervision of IFAD-funded projects.
Inclusive and sustainable transformation of the rural sector
IOE evaluations in recent years have reflected increased recognition of the connections between social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. They have considered such issues as gender equality and women's empowerment; the need to engage more effectively with indigenous peoples, and changes in previous assumptions about the ways in which pastoral communities function.
The evaluation of IFAD’s support to environment and natural resources management found that IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division was established, environmental and social safeguards were upgraded and a new programme was launched to channel climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers. Still, the evaluation noted, farmers needed more support, incentives and environmental and natural resources management capacities to effectively adapt to the devastating effects of climate change.
In addition to looking at how evaluation at IFAD has evolved, the book also looks at the methodology used to gather and analyse information and make assessments on performance, which may include the views and perceptions of project beneficiaries; the country programme managers; staff members responsible for delivering projects, and written reports and other secondary documentation.
Effective and relevant evaluations require professional rigor and transparency but, also, they benefit from the buy-in of as many institutions and people as possible.
Asking the right questions, looking for the signs of what is working, what is not, what is needed and why, is not the sole responsibility of evaluation professionals. It is part of an ongoing process of examination and evidence-gathering which can take place in rural homes, on the farm, at the fishing docks, at the market, in parliamentary halls, and at the work desks of numerous government officials and educators.
Despite its successes, IFAD’s mission faces new challenges every day, amid rapidly-shifting scenarios and the numerous ongoing, interconnected social, economic and environmental factors which have an impact on people’s capacities to lift themselves out of extreme poverty, protect natural resources, and transform food systems and government policies in sustainable and nutrition-sensitive ways. Evaluation helps the Fund to keep in step with these changes.
2018 Spring Meeting of the Evaluation Cooperation Group of the Multilateral Development Banks
The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) had the opportunity to share its evaluation knowledge and experience by participating in the 2018 Spring Meeting of the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG) of the Multilateral Development Banks. The event was hosted by the Independent Evaluation Department of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in its capacity as ECG Chair 2018, at ADB offices in Manila, Philippines from 30 May – 1 June 2018.
In addition to the standard two-day meeting for ECG members, this meeting included, for the first time, a joint meeting with staff Managing for Development Results (MfDRs) which took place on 30 May 2018.The three day meeting included discussions on: (i) The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Criteria; (ii) Scope and Role of Corporate Evaluation Policies; (iii) Interconnection between Self Evaluation and Independent Evaluation; iv) Additionality; v) PPP/Private Sector; (vi) Evaluation and Audit and (vi) External Evaluation.
Oscar A. García, Director of the IOE, moderated the session on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Criteria with the ECG members.
The Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG) was established in 1996 to promote a more harmonized approach to evaluation methodology, standards, and practices to allow better comparability of results, taking into account the differing circumstances of its member institutions.
Further updates will be posted closer on the ECG official website.