Evaluation capacity development in selected countries in Latin America - FOCEVAL
FOCEVAL (Fomento de Capacidades en Evaluación) is a project that helps to build evaluation capacities (evaluation capacity development – ECD) in Costa Rica and other selected countries across Latin America. Commissioned by the BMZ, DEval is in charge of executing the project. The institute's political partner in Costa Rica is the Ministry of Planning (MIDEPLAN).
The overarching goal of ECD interventions is to strengthen the role of evaluations in policymaking. Costa Rica, in particular, already has a conducive environment for evaluation. The Costa Rican government has expressed a strong interest in strengthening evaluation capacities and is engaged in fostering professional expertise through, for instance, training programmes at university level. FOCEVAL is designed to build on these foundations in Costa Rica, but it also involves networking with central players based in other Latin American and Caribbean countries with the aim of advancing evaluation throughout the region.
The first phase of this project was conducted from July 2011 to June 2014 by GIZ. In July 2014, DEval assumed responsibility for implementing FOCEVAL on the German side. The second phase builds on the work done in the first, while also setting some new priorities.
Aims of the project
The project aims to achieve, by 2016, an enhanced role for evaluation in policymaking and in managing policy interventions in Costa Rica, and in other selected Latin American countries. The project provides a platform for activities in three key areas:
a) Training: The work of strengthening the array of training offerings in the field of evaluation is aligned to specific target groups. Thus, FOCEVAL creates training opportunities that are available both for those who want to commission or use evaluations and for specialists who are performing evaluations.
b) Institutionalisation: FOCEVAL endeavours to make evaluation an integral part of processes that occur in governmental and non-governmental organisations and in social sub-systems. Support is therefore offered on the platform for the establishment of monitoring and evaluation systems and for fostering an organisational culture of learning and evaluation.
c) Regionalisation: Assistance is also given within the FOCEVAL framework for the transfer of knowledge and sharing of expertise between various Latin American countries who are interested. The Costa Rican Ministry of Planning seeks to play a pioneering role in the use of evidence-based planning, monitoring and evaluation. In the countries who want to participate, the platform is essentially open for collaborations with institutions and individuals as well as with evaluation services.
Status and planned course of the project
The planning phase was concluded in October 2014, when the second planning workshop was held. The partners already involved in the first phase were then joined by other key players. All those involved were able to jointly develop FOCEVAL's strategy and organisational structure, agree the main points of the three key areas (training, institutionalisation, regionalisation) and plan actions in these three areas.
Steps have already been taken to roll out some initial measures. The project is, for instance, assisting the Network of Evaluation, Monitoring and Systematization in Latin America and the Caribbean (ReLAC) with the development of evaluation standards and giving the Costa Rican government consultancy support for the task of implementing its national evaluation agenda.
Project head: Dr Stefanie Krapp
Team leader: Erwin Geuder-Jilg
Evaluators: Sarah Desiree Klier, Juan Carlos Sanz