Editorial Comment: We are most pleased to have the final blog of 2014 contributed by Alexey Kuzmin who shares a thoughtful word on evaluation in the new year to come.
Your International Year of Evaluation
The coming year (2015) was declared as International Year of Evaluation. On 17 December2014, Ambassador Thomson of Fiji Mission to the United Nations (sponsor of the UN resolution on National Capacity Development), Deborah Rugg (UNEG Chair and OIOS Evaluation Director) and Marco Segone (EvalPartners co-chair and UN Women Evaluation Director) lighted the 2015 International Year of Evaluation Torch. The torch will be symbolically passed on to the global evaluation community throughout the 20 events scheduled all over the world to celebrate the International Year of Evaluation. http://mymande.org/evalyear/evaluationtorch2015
This is wonderful! We shall follow the news on the web and share the excitement with the participants of those events. But my guess is that some evaluators will be able to attend none of those gatherings. And I am sure that very few people will have a chance to attend more than one of them. So, the question is: What can 2015 become for each of us? What will your International Year of Evaluation look like?
My suggestion is: let us have our own (individual) Years of Evaluation agendas. Let us do what is most natural for us considering our cultural, economic and political environments. Those could be small things. But small is beautiful! Let us simply talk to people about evaluation – just a bit more people and more talks than usual. Let us inform people about the 20 events. Let us use social networks to share that information with our friends and colleagues. We may want to do some pro-bono evaluation related work or write articles on evaluation for non-evaluation journals. There are national evaluation associations or networks in most countries. Let’s check what they are going to undertake and support their efforts.
Let me give one example of how small interventions can lead to considerable results. We started to talk to our colleagues, partners and clients about the International Year of Evaluation several months ago. At some point in time we talked to the leadership of the so called Russia’s Donors Forum that unites over a hundred foundations working in our country. It turned out that the Donors Forum was looking for a core theme for their next year’s activities (studies, discussions and conference). On December 14, 2014 they decided that the core theme for 2015 will be “Development of evaluation culture in the charitable organizations in Russia”. Wow! This will be a big deal.
I do believe that the International Year of Evaluation can and should be celebrated by each of us individually. By doing small things we can make a difference and will contribute to evaluation capacity development worldwide even without attending conferences in North America, Australia or Nepal. And it will be fun!
ECDG Advisory Group