Dr. Michele Tarsilla , Vice-President of the Evaluation Capacity Development Group (ECDG), will present at the Network for Peacebuilding Evaluation on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 2:30PM EST.
The presentation will cover the following topic: How to Improve the Effectiveness of Evaluations in the Field? Rethinking evaluation language from the design of evaluation strategy and Terms of Reference to the write-up of evaluation reports.
More details on the presentation
“When we are all speaking the same languages, there are many other ‘languages’ at play behind and within what the speakers mean and what we in turn understand” (Minnich, 1990). Echoing these words, the proposed Thursday Talk will review a number of implicit assumptions behind the use of the language in evaluation which profoundly impacts on the equity of evaluation efforts, just as much as – if not more than- the degree of rigor associated with the methods and designs being use. Building on a research currently conducted by the presenter in the English and French language, the Talk will provide numerous examples of how seemingly identical language could: (i) have distinct meanings; (ii) be perceived differently from stakeholders; and (iii) produce different effects on evaluation. Such “constructive deconstruction” (Cornwall, 2007) will encourage the audience to question some of their uses of language (both spoken and written) in evaluation towards a more equitable practice.
Far from being a theoretical presentation, the proposed Talk will be quite pragmatic in that it will not only provide a useful list of words and expressions that have been considered either effective or detrimental to the success of past evaluations efforts but it will also offer a snapshot of some participatory data analysis, citizen feedback loops and other technology enhanced processes effectively used in post-conflict and humanitarian settings over the last few years (Bonino, Jean, and Knox Clarke, 2014).
About the Speaker: A field person at heart with a good understanding of HQ processes, Dr. Tarsilla has, among other things, designed performance and impact evaluation strategies at the World Bank; set up a M&E system for a youth empowerment project implemented in a refugee camp in Northwestern Kenya; and evaluated the performance and efficiency of a “Culture and Development” program aimed at rehabilitating street children living in a marginalized neighborhood of Kinshasa through the use of arts. More recently, he has been working on comprehensive research on Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD) in a number of countries and is currently developing a new analytical and evaluative framework to detect and prevent unintended outcomes of development programs.
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