Thursday 25 December 2014

Moral judgment

It is somewhat late in the year to share observations from the 11th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society which took place in early September. Apologies! This year has been a bit breathless for me - more on that in a different, future post.

Meanwhile, one particularly gripping topic at the EES conference was moral judgment, and the question whether evaluators should exercise it even if the evaluation terms of reference were only about, say, value for money. As one speaker put it, “you’re going to crash into [ethics] in the course of your normal trafficking around as an evaluator”. Not only because you need to do your best to avoid hurting anyone’s rights or anyone’s safety, but also because you are bound to bump into things that are bad, or that you might find bad.

Examples abound.

Saturday 15 November 2014

Nice movies on coffee and gender in Uganda

I have promised posts about the recent European Evaluation Society conference in Dublin. Apologies that'll have to wait for a few weeks! I have been too busy preparing for my next assignment: a multi-country evaluation of a project that promotes gender equity and value chain development. A couple of beautiful short videos illustrate the approach, in two parts: Coffee Value Chain Uganda, Part 1, and part 2. Very commendable! Versions in French and Portuguese are available as well.

Saturday 18 October 2014

Best Poster Award at EES Conference

Our poster "Paths to Effective Evaluation" won the Best Poster Award at the 11th biennial conference of the European Evaluation Society in Dublin. We - co-researcher Wolfgang Stuppert and I - are delighted, because we did put in much effort to find ways to translate complicated findings from Qualitative Comparative Analysis into something comprehensible to an audience of development practitioners. Find linkes to the poster, as well as to the full documentation of the research, on our dedicated blog

Wednesday 24 September 2014

EES presentation: Evaluation methods and approaches

Next week in Dublin, at the 11th Biennial Conference of the European Evaluation Society (EES), I'll present the findings of our review of methods and approaches in evaluations of interventions on violence against women and girls (written by Michaela Raab and Wolfgang Stuppert, commissioned by the UK Department for International Development DFID).

In case you happen to be at the conference, you are warmly invited to drop by at one of the two sessions where our findings will be presented:

Monday 22 September 2014

To my readers, especially those in Ukraine

Six years ago, in October 2008, I started this blog. I had planned on developing a website to advertise for my consulting services. I kept pondering what would need to be on that site, what the design would need to look like to attract a wide range of potential clients, and so forth. At the same time I was quite busy with my consultancies, learning exciting things and meeting interesting people. I had started a couple of mailing lists which just kept growing, because I wanted to share so many things with so many professionals around the world. In the end, I decided to stop sending mass mailings and to start blogging instead. It turned out to be very easy, and a bit addictive.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

A gender-sensitive Human Development Index (HDI)

The latest Human Development Report (HDR) comes with interesting news on gender inequality. This is because, in addition to the gender inequality index (GII), UNDP has calculated male and female human development indices (HDI) separately. Comparing the "female" and the "male" HDI yields a new index called the Gender-related Development Index (GDI).

There is a huge difference between the GII and the GDI.

Tuesday 12 August 2014

3ie comment on video tutorials

3ie, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, has sent a comment explaining why you need to register if you wish to take the useful tests that come with their video tutorials on impact evaluation. For some technical reason their comment cannot be displayed under my original post (below), so I am taking the liberty to post it right here:

Thursday 7 August 2014

Video tutorials on impact evaluation

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) have published a set of six video lectures on impact evaluation. They are available here. The lectures are presented by different specialists; the slides accompanying the lectures can be downloaded from the same website.

Monday 4 August 2014

Ending violence against women - what works?

In case you have not come across this yet: the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has published a whole series of "How To Notes" and "Evidence Digests" to guide work on violence against women and girls. There is a dedicated web page (click on the link to get there) where you can download the guides. 

The web page includes a link to Violence against Women and Girls Newsletters, which are published at quarterly intervals. The newsletters are rich in information on a wide range of interventions and tools.

Quality and quantity

In this holiday season I visited my sister, who has been passionate about gardening. I brought a beautifully illustrated book for her, about pear orchards in Prussia. Prussia, a belligerent kingdom that ceased to exist in 1918, was mainly known for its military dominance in the region, and for an obsession about order and discipline. So I was hardly surprised to find, in that book, a table showing drawings of differently shaped pears, arranged in neat rows and columns. The roundest pears were displayed near the top left corner, the thinnest, longest ones near the bottom right, with dozens of intermediary states in-between. Every pear came with a drawing of its appearance, as well as a transversal cut, which was criss-crossed by lines and dots dividing it into neat circles and measurements. "Look," I exclaimed, "the Prussians developed a system to classify pears!" My sister took a quick glance and responded, somewhat bitterly, "according to size, of course".

Tuesday 15 July 2014

We're still alive!

This is the first time I have not posted anything on my blog for 2 months in a row. It has been a very, very busy time. My associate Wolf Stuppert and I have completed our review of evaluation approaches and methods for interventions related to violence against women and girls. If you want to find out more about it, please visit the dedicated blog, where you can also download the full review report, as well as the scoping and inception reports. 
Watch this space for more posts in the very near future. Thank you for your patience!

Monday 14 April 2014

Resources for facilitators

A friend has asked me about resources on facilitation of planning workshops. This makes me realise that my approach in facilitation is fed by many different streams. Some favourite resources in English:

Friday 4 April 2014

Review of Evaluations - Inception Report ready

It has been quiet again on this blog - this is because we have been busy producing the Inception Report and pursuing our research on approaches and methods in evaluations of interventions on violence against women and girls. (Apologies I still haven't found a shorter way of saying this!)

You can download our full inception report and find the link to an interesting discussion of our work by Rick Davies on our dedicated review blog

Friday 7 March 2014

Gentle evaluations for huge projects?

Some weeks ago we – Wolf Stuppert (my associate and co-author of this posting) and I – noticed a call for evaluation proposals that seemed exciting. It was about a 50-million-USDollar initiative in a field where both of us have substantive experience. 

At first sight, the terms of reference (TOR) looked exciting: an ambitious, nationwide programme that would have to be asessed for its replicability in other contexts. But our level of excitement dropped dramatically when we studied the TOR in more detail.

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Tell a story: Evaluations that Make a Difference

The research project "Evaluations that Make a Difference" is looking for stories about evaluations. The idea is to explain what has made evaluations influential or successful in an emotionally more engaging way than scientific publications. A lovely idea! Find more information by clicking on the following link: Call for Stories | Evaluations that Make a Difference

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Evaluations of interventions related to violence against women and girls

A quick update on our review of evaluations - the full scoping report, a link to dozens of published evaluation reports in the field of violence against women and girls, and more are now available on our dedicated blog
We have started the blog because we use a particularly interesting method in our review - Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Our inception report, to be posted on the blog in March, will provide more detail. Come and have a look!