Developing evaluation standards for Latin America
19.03.2015 - Efforts are being made through the FOCEVAL programme to support a ReLAC initiative to formulate evaluation standards for evaluation practice in Latin America. This initiative has produced some preliminary results, which were collated and presented on 9 March in a workshop on evaluation standards organised under the umbrella of the fourth ReLAC Conference in Lima and held at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. The standards initiative is headed by a working group consisting of experts from a number of countries who can draw on broad professional experience as academics, evaluation practitioners and in other roles. The group includes Sarah Klier and Ana Luisa Guzmán, who are both members of the FOCEVAL coordination group.
The workshop discussed the importance of developing standards as general principles that raise the quality of evaluations and can serve as a guide to professional practice. Consideration was also given to the evaluation standards used by various institutions and networks, including the Joint Committee of Standards for Educational Evaluation, the European Evaluation Society and the African Evaluation Association.
The workshop also dealt with the question of the appropriateness of the standards set for Latin America. Do they fit the social, cultural and economic conditions specific to the region? Should they aim only at assuring the quality of evaluations or also serve to strengthen the professional and ethically correct implementation of evaluations in practice?
A conference panel discussion led by Sergio Martinic provided a forum for a wider audience to discuss the relevance of standards. In addition, a questionnaire survey was conducted among the participants of the fourth ReLAC Conference to find out more about the views of a wider group of professionals on the relevance of evaluation standards to Latin America and the Caribbean.
These events yielded some very valuable information which will benefit the groups of experts as they continue their work.