A new three-part mini-series titled “Sustainable Development Goals: evaluating progress for a brighter future” is the result of a partnership between EvalSDGs (a network of development institutions, policymakers and practitioners), the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), UNICEF and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, with funding contributed by EvalSDGS through its membership of EvalPartners.
In the second episode, Dirk Hoffmann and Nataly Salas Rodríguez from DEval hosted two sessions (one in English and one in Spanish) with several experts in evaluation theory and practice. The focus of the discussions were questions like “How do you perform an SDG evaluation?”, “What are the best methods and potential challenges?” and “Why have so few SDG evaluations been performed up till now?”. A commonly shared opinion was that SDG evaluations are complex and require judging the progress against a range of objectives and not just a single target. In this regard, the speakers stressed that it is crucial to pay attention to the overarching principles of the Agenda 2030 like “participation”, “integration” and “leave no one behind”, among others.
This second episode delved into the topic from different perspectives based on two concrete cases: the first ever national evaluation of the SDGs in Finland and a country led evaluation with an SDG component carried out by DEval´s partner Mideplan (Ministry for National Planning and Economic Policy) in Costa Rica. While Finland chose to focus on the top five sustainability concerns for the country, Costa Rica evaluated international development interventions in the fields of biodiversity and climate change. All participants underlined the importance of SDG evaluations in accelerating sustainable transformations and encouraged other countries to get started.
For more information on the guest speakers and the main takeaways from the podcast, check out the IIED webpage.