Back in February, ECDG’s website hit a glitch. WordPress updated the site’s theme that had been customized. The result was a visual nightmare with links randomly aligned on the right side of the homepage. We were able to put the pieces back together. And in the process, it allowed us to step back and take a look at layout and content.
We realized that our latest publication, ECDG’s New Guide to Evaluation Capacity Development, and the supplementary training materials, were available for download while our other publications, the ECDG Toolkit and Job Design, were located in the ECD knowledgbase.
They needed to be placed together. Why? These combined documents underpin ECDG’s philosophy of evaluation capacity. Each relates to a unique viewpoint – an individual, organizational, or a more complex, systemic context.
The Evaluation Capacity Development Toolkit focuses on creating organizational structures within an institution to support evaluation. They include organizational design, policies, budget, and considering evaluative processes among others.
The building blocks of organizational structures are the jobs that people perform. The Job Design document examines how organizations can include evaluation in the design of anyone’s job. Integrating evaluation into job descriptions contributes to meeting important individual needs while simultaneously contributing to increased organizational effectiveness.
The ECDG New Guide encourages a holistic consideration of all the actors who play a role within a system – whether organizational or national. It requires making explicit the ECD situation that should be changed; identifying all the critical actors who are or should be involved in the process; and making transparent how each actor envisions change to occur and the motivations behind this perspective. Integrating the needs and visions of all the actors can help advance sustainable evaluation capacity – within an organization or in the context of national evaluation capacity.
The integration of evaluative activities into the jobs people perform is one means to shape a more evaluative mindset. When people change their beliefs and attitudes of evaluation through personal experiences, it strengthens an organizational culture that appreciates the value of evaluation rather than fears or loathes it.
A culture of evaluation will expand evaluation’s purpose beyond accountability to improved planning, monitoring and institutional learning with better programming, policies and evidence-based decision-making.
Positive experiences with evaluation create better-informed voices among the actors in evaluation capacity initiatives.
See how it all fits together? We invite you to check out these documents at: