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Evaluation Capacity DevelopmentLatin America and Caribbeanconcluded


The Focelac project (Fomento de capacidades en evaluación en Latinoamérica = Strengthening Evaluation Capacities in Latin America) aimed to help actors in selected Latin American countries to make increased use of evaluations in the context of the 2030 Agenda. The project’s political partner was the Costa Rican Ministry of Planning, Mideplan. The project was completed in 2020.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined in the 2030 Agenda are binding for all countries. Specific skills and knowledge are required in order to extensively verify, analyse and assess the goals. Evaluation capacities are needed for steering and decision-making with a view to the SDGs if these processes are to be structured and shaped on the basis of scientific findings.

The Focelac project was launched on 1 January 2019 and was built on the lessons learned from the Foceval project (2014 – 2018).

It comprised five components:

The promotion of evaluation structures and functions in state institutions

Together with the Costa Rican Ministry of Planning, Mideplan, the project was promoting the development of evaluation capacities at state evaluation units in the region. Moreover, the project was helping Mideplan to adapt its national evaluation system to the requirements of the 2030 Agenda and to document and disseminate the process as a best practice example.                                                   

The promotion of practice-relevant education and research offers

Universities and other educational institutions were encouraged to offer practice-relevant training and further education in the field of evaluation that is geared towards different target groups. Through the promotion of corresponding research projects in the region, educational and scientific institutions were to promote the development of methods for evaluating the SDGs.

The promotion of practical and methodological competencies of evaluation professionals

Through education and further training, the project strengthened the practical and methodological capacities of new evaluation talent in particular. This increased the number of competent evaluation professionals available in the region. Governmental and non-governmental institutions were sensitised to the importance of the inclusion of new evaluation talent.

Strengthening the participation of civil society in evaluation processes

Evaluation is intended to make political action more transparent and promote accountability. The project therefore supported efforts to involve civil society actors in evaluation processes – through introductory courses and information on inclusive and gender-sensitive evaluation approaches, as well as through workshops and advisory services.

The promotion of networking and the exchange of relevant actors

To create a favourable social environment for evaluation and thus contribute towards SDG 17 (“Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development“), the project aimed to promote exchange and cooperation between evaluation performers. The project followed the principle of the multi-actor platform here. Such a platform was established as a national platform in Costa Rica together with the Foceval project.

Por la razón o la fuerza

The documentary “Por la razón o la fuerza” (by reasoning or strength) provides an insight into people’s experience of participatory evaluation processes in San Bernardo, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Santiago de Chile. The non-governmental organisation Techo (English: “roof”) helps inhabitants to organise themselves with a view to working together to improve their living conditions (in Spanish, 26 minutes).

About the film

The documentary “Por la razón o la fuerza” portrays a reality from the viewpoint of participants in a participatory evaluation in San Bernardo, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Santiago de Chile. Here, the non-governmental organisation Techo (English: “roof”) strives to turn the inhabitants into protagonists of change in their community through voluntary cooperation.

In working groups, the participants set up initiatives and make decisions together to improve the living conditions in the community. They create community halls and emergency accommodation, pave streets, organise courses for further training and implement projects that the community considers to be important.

In cooperation with DEval’s Focelac project and the Petas study programme („Programa de Estudios del Trabajo, el Ambiente y la Sociedad” = study programme on work, environment and society) run by the National University of San Juan, Argentina, Techo conducted participatory evaluations in Chile, Uruguay, Mexico, Paraguay and Ecuador in 2019. This involved participants analysing how well the working groups function and what strengths and weaknesses their work has from the viewpoint of the community.

Based on close dialogue with the inhabitants of San Bernardo, the documentary relates the organisation’s experiences, describes the struggle and also portrays the hope for better living conditions. The video aims to give a voice to the inhabitants of San Bernardo, in other words to those who can report on their own day-to-day experience in the settlement.

The film was produced with the support of Petas, Focelac and local experts from the film, music and communication industry.



Portrait von Sarah Desiree Klier
© DEval

Sarah Desiree Klier

Evaluator - Team Leader ECD

Phone: +49 (0)228 336907-943

E-mail: sarah.klier@DEval.org

Portrait von Dr. Sven Harten
© DEval

Dr Sven Harten

Head of Competence Centre for Evaluation Methodology / Deputy Director

Phone: +49 (0)228 336907-950

E-mail: sven.harten@DEval.org

Publications on ECD

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