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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Michele Tarsilla
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation
Title: Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD): The Contribution of National Evaluation Associations in DRC, Niger, and South Africa towards a More Inclusive and Measurable ECD
Dr. Chris Coryn, Chair
Dr. Michael Bamberger
Mr. James Rugh
Date: Monday, November 5, 2012 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
4410 Ellsworth Hall
Building on both the current thinking among international development practitioners and the on-going scholarly debate on evaluation capacity development (ECD), this study aims to identify strategies that might help to strengthen national evaluation capacity in a variety of countries in a more inclusive and sustainable fashion in the future. Based on a case study design featuring an extensive literature review of specialized literature (both within and outside the evaluation field), a series of semi-structured interviews and three rounds of on-line validation sessions held with ECD researchers, funders and implementers; this study aims at three main objectives. First, in an attempt to enhance a more proper use of the term ECD as opposed to that of evaluation capacity building (ECB), several ECD central attributes are identified. Second, based on data collection carried out in Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa, the capabilities (and corresponding weaknesses) of national evaluation associations as well as the magnitude of their contribution to national ECD programming, are assessed. Third, based on the analysis of the shortcomings associated with some of the existing ECD evaluative frameworks, some essential criteria for measuring ECD results more effectively in the future are presented. Results show that, for the sake of promoting a national evaluative culture in international development contexts more successfully in the future, two main strategies ought to be pursued. First, to make ECD programming more participatory, a plurality of governmental and non-governmental actors need to be involved in both the design and implementation of ECD programs. Second, in order to enhance info-sharing and evaluation knowledge-building among a variety of ECD stakeholders both in the public and private sector, the feasibility of implementing sphere-crossing initiatives within the scope of national ECD program needs to be explored more systematically. Such is the case of activities and programs supporting the creation and/or strengthening of formal and informal national evaluation associations, increasingly referred to by development agencies as Voluntary Organization of Professionals in Evaluations (VOPE).