This week’s posts highlight reflections from the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI), a global network of organizations and experts working together to support the strengthening of monitoring, evaluation, and the use of evidence in developing countries. GEI uses an integrated systems-based approach and works closely with governments, evaluation professionals, and other stakeholders on efforts that are country-owned and aligned with local needs and perspectives.
-Liz DiLuzio, Lead Curator, AEA365
Hi! My name is Patrizia Cocca and I lead the Communications and Knowledge Management team of the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI). This year, together with Shaha Zehra and Claudia Olavarria, I coordinated gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2023, which saw an estimated 20,000 participants joining 300+ events hosted in 53 countries.
gLOCAL is a unique knowledge-sharing event. Over the course of a week, participants from all over the world join events – in their neighborhood or across the ocean – to learn from each other on a vast number of topics and themes. By encouraging peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, gLOCAL helps to inspire and energize a global movement of individuals and organizations who value the power of evidence to improve people’s lives.
This year’s theme “The Future of M&E: Culture, Context, and Collaboration” resonated with many. In today’s fast-changing world, M&E approaches developed decades ago may no longer be effective in responding to the need for evidence that can support complex decision-making.
The success of gLOCAL 2023 is not a sudden achievement. gLOCAL originally started as EvalWeek in Latin America in 2015, organized by the Center for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Latin America and the Caribbean (CLEAR-LAC). Over the next few years, EvalWeek continued to grow regionally, and in 2019, the international CLEAR Initiative, with support from the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), scaled EvalWeek up for a global audience, launching gLOCAL Evaluation Week. GEI took the helm in 2020.
GEI’s main role in managing gLOCAL is to provide guidance and technical support to a group of regional coordinators who curate and manage events, helping organizations and individuals all over the world share their knowledge and experience on a variety of M&E topics.
What have we learned so far in managing gLOCAL that could help you launch your own global knowledge-sharing event?
- Create a new, easily recognizable brand: Using a brand not associated with the host institution, and one that can be easily adopted by other organizations, facilitates a sense of ownership across regions, countries, and organizations.
- Empower organizers: As the event gains strength from an empowered community, both organizers and participants feel more ownership, allowing gLOCAL to operate more independently. gLOCAL continues to evolve into a self-sustained entity, with GEI’s role transitioning into that of a facilitator. Employing a robust central coordination system with a decentralized operational approach empowers all individuals to make contributions and assume responsibility according to their roles.
- Select a compelling main theme: Select a theme that resonates as a relevant crosscutting global debate, but also welcomes context- and culturally-responsive knowledge exchange. This approach is crucial for effectively engaging people from all over the world.
- Promote, promote, and promote: Constant promotion, reminders, and the use of a variety of channels, ensure that people interested in M&E stay informed about upcoming events, make time to attend, and do not forget when events are happening.
- Leverage the event’s momentum: The enthusiasm of the participants during gLOCAL is both contagious and inspiring. The volume of knowledge exchanged during the week is substantial. However, sustaining this enthusiasm beyond the event week poses an ongoing challenge. We are actively exploring ways to improve how we capture data, collect event proceedings and engage with the international gLOCAL community to extend the event’s impact and reach after the week concludes. Your suggestions are highly valued as we continue to evolve and grow.
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