AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

TAG | international development

My name is Rafael Monterde-Diaz, and I am an Associate Professor at Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), where I teach Project Management and Program Evaluation. I blog at EVALUATECA and you can also find me on twitter: @rafa_monty

Rad Resource – EVALUATECA is a blog devoted to evaluation. I try to share events and resources mainly focused on evaluation, but from time to time I also bring tools and approaches from other areas to push collective thinking and innovation in evaluation issues. The blog is entirely written in Spanish. Most of the entries are mainly related (but not exclusively) to International issues and Development Aid.

Hot Tips – favorite posts:

  • Mapeo de actores (Actors’ mapping): One of the most visited posts ever. It’s clear that practitioners need useful tools ;-)
  • Evaluado la libertad (Valuing Freedom): My first comment (2007) about Amartya Sen’s Capabilities Approach and its potential as an evaluation approach.
  • Hagamos la excepción de romper las reglas (Let’s make the exception of breaking the rules): After an evaluation in Ecuador, some reflections about my limitations to express in a report the real change in people’s lives.
  • Será por métodos (They will be methods): A humble contribution for measuring vulnerability and resilience in rural development interventions using a multicriteria approach.
  • Estándares para el desarrollo de capacidades en evaluación (Evaluation Capacity Development Standards): It’s only a brief comment about the ECDG (Evaluation Capacity Development Group) support for an ISO International Workshop Agreement, but it generated a fresh and passionate discussion in the Spanish speaker’s evaluation community.

Lessons Learned – why I blog: I started blogging in 2007, when Evaluation was barely present in Internet social networks. I found a big gap in the Spanish speaker’s evaluation community, at that time one could hardly find Web 2.0 sites for discussion and sharing. After four years, I think we still have a low level of exchange in both directions. There are very interesting experiences in the Spanish speaking world that remain unknown in other regions of the world and they could become a very useful input. But I think we also miss discussions that take place at an international level because the information is not in Spanish. EVALUATECA helped me to understand the global dimension of the language of blogs and social networks: they are a privileged way to bring ideas across different cultures.

Lessons Learned: I believe it is important to combine blogging with other networking tools, mixing everything into a daily routine. While mailing lists or forums allow more in-depth discussions, social networks such as Twitter or Facebook help you to find fresh cost-effective information. But be careful! It is very easy to get overloaded and end up paralyzed.

This winter, we’re running a series highlighting evaluators who blog. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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