11.09.2020 - UNDP-Panel on national evaluation systems in Latin America
At the UNDP National Evaluation Capacities 2019 conference in Hurghada, Egypt, the DEval-Project FOCELAC organized a panel on the experiences of some Latin American countries of building national evaluation systems. FOCELAC supports actors in selected Latin American countries in playing an increasingly active role in evaluation functions in the context of the Agenda 2030. Some of the main takeaways from the plenary are now presented by FOCELAC-Evaluator Nataly Salas in a UNDP report on the conference.
FOCELAC reflected on the construction, implementation, strengthening, and management of national evaluation systems in four Latin America’s countries, as well as the challenges faced and the lessons learned. The conversation was based on FOCELAC’s experience and those countries’ reflections about the development of their national evaluation system.
Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Colombia are examples of the region’s national evaluation systems that can be taken as models of good practices. A more wide and integrative reflection of the strengths and challenges in the consolidation of national evaluation systems was also presented, from the regional perspective of the Regional Evaluation Network.
In the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, national evaluation systems might enable the technical, conceptual, and political conditions to evaluate the progress of a country towards the Sustainable Development Goals. This may be done by reviewing programs from a holistic point of view and by facilitating the inclusion in the public agenda of the civil society, the academia, and the private sector.
Some of the main lessons learned from the promotion of FOCELAC’s systemic approach for its evaluation capacity development project are that in stable systems that do not yet have adequate evaluation structures, there are good starting points to promote the use of evaluations in political decision-making processes. The willingness of stakeholders plays a considerable role in the success of the systemic approach (even under difficult conditions). And stakeholders’ awareness of the usefulness of evaluation can be raised and the discourse on evaluation can be encouraged.
An example of the outputs of FOCELAC’s approach is shown in another article of the publication, written by the former head of Planifica Ecuador, Viviana Lascano. She points out the importance of strategic partnerships with actors involved in evaluation not only locally or regionally but also globally, which can foster to promote evaluation in the country and the active involvement of civil society.