Abdul Majeed on the Importance of Evaluation Advocacy

Hi I am Abdul. I work in a nonprofit organization in Kabul. I a work as an M&E guy and strive for advocacy of evaluation which will lead to increased support from the people we work with and their belief in this process.

Advocacy for evaluation is as important as evaluation itself.. Most people think of evaluation as a research and cannot differentiate the two. Before conducting an evaluation, I think it is highly important to advocate for evaluation before diving into it. Working for organizational culture where the evaluation is seen as a basis for accountability, learning and evidence-based decision making is highly important. When people and the management of an organization believe in evaluation as a basis for accountability, learning, and improvement in management, it is highly likely that it will not only increase their interest but would motivate them to fully cooperate. Involving all parties in the evaluation process will strengthen the process and it would have a more meaningful result. Conducting meetings with management and talking about the expected advantages of evaluation will help in enhancing their participation and belief. I experienced it in my role when the funding agency emailed the top management about the schedule of evaluation. The staff (indeed) were not aware what evaluation is all about, why they are conducting, how they may conduct (methodology), who should/will participate, what will be its result, and what impact would it have on the relationship between the organization and the funding agency. This confusion and lack of knowledge made people doubt the importance of evaluation and the purpose of evaluation.

Lessons Learned:

  • Conduct a meeting with management prior to conducting the evaluation to discuss the purpose of evaluation, its methodologies, who will be effected, and what will be its result
  • Specify the stakeholders who will be part of this process
  • Idntify who has what role during the evaluation process
  • Share examples of evaluation that resulted in accountability, learning and improved management
  • Share the disadvantages of not conducting the evaluation

Advocacy for evaluation and consideration of the above points will boost the process and will gradually increase the beliefs of people in evaluation and their interest. Tell the staff that evaluation will improve management, increase transparency, accountability, and learning and above all, it will highly likely secure the funding by funding agencies. Once we do advocacy for evaluation we will succeed by attracting people’s support and their trust in evaluation that will strengthen the evaluation practice. Lastly, advocacy for evaluation requires collaborative and sincere efforts.

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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