Interest and concern over public policy evaluation have grown globally during the first two decades of the 21st century. This is reflected in various ways: (a) theoretical production and its consequent methodological reflection in the field of evaluation; and (b) the increase of evaluation practices and national evaluation policies in countries on every continent, reflected in the increase of evaluations embedded in institutions and the rise of various initiatives focused on professionalising this practice.
Hello, I’m Emma Rotondo (*), member of the Peruvian Evaluation Network. I would like to share about the importance of soft skills and facilitation skills for evaluators in evaluation processes.
One of the definitions for evaluation that I most like is that through carrying out the evaluation, society learns more about itself. Another important element in the definition of evaluation is the importance of enhancing pluralism, the different perspectives held by the participant stakeholders in an initiative. It emphasizes the importance of empowering these stakeholder groups so they can make decisions. And so they can think critically. So they can opt for and develop activities that are guided by the evaluation’s recommendations.
Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is known for its lush green landscapes, beautiful beaches and friendly people. But, unfortunately, it also stands out for its high incidence rates for several kinds of cancer. This prompted the region’s Health Boards (local bodies who monitor the quality of health services) to request an evaluation of cancer care and prevention services, taking advantage of the fact that at the time there was an open tender organised by the Costa Rica Ministry of Planning (MIDEPLAN) and the German cooperation programme, FOCEVAL to support capacity strengthening in evaluation.
One of the challenges of participatory evaluation is that of including a broad diversity of stakeholders, many of whom have no training or previous knowledge of evaluation.
In this testimony Olga Nirenberg highlights the importance of the tools and techniques employed. These must be at the same time effective in tackling the topic and simple so as to be within the reach of all the participants. Including the voices of a vast and diverse array of stakeholders in the process is the best way towards a useful, transformational and high quality evaluation.
Olga Nirenberg has a PhD in Social Sciences (UBA, 2005) and a diploma in Public Health (UBA, 1976). A founding member of the Local Development Support Centre – CEADEL -(https://ceadel.org.ar, 1986 – 2020), she developed the Self-Assessment Tool for Education Quality project – IACE- (UNICEF/CEADEL, 2007-2017). She has worked as a consultant/evaluator for UNICEF Argentina, the ARCOR Foundation, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She has also worked in different social areas of the national government in Argentina. She has been an evaluator of extension projects and a teacher in both public and private universities and has published books and articles on social planning and evaluation. She is a member of the Argentine Network of Evaluation (EvaluAR) and of the Latin American and Caribbean Monitoring, Evaluation and Systematization Network (ReLAC). She is currently collaborating with the EvalParticipativa initiative.