gLOCAL Evaluation Week: Connecting People, Places, and Ideas by Shaha Zehra & Leonardo Lemes

We are Shaha Zehra, Evaluation Consultant and Leonardo Lemes, Senior Operations Officer, both writing from the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group and affiliated with the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI). In June 2019, our partner, the CLEAR Initiative launched gLOCAL Evaluation Week with an aim to reach more people in more places by fostering local, regional, and global knowledge sharing and networking opportunities.

gLocal Evaluation Week 2021 Sharing Local and global M&E knowledge banner showing dates May 31-June 4

In the short time since gLOCAL was launched, partners from around the world have hosted M&E focused events across five continents in multiple languages. The inaugural gLOCAL Evaluation Week in 2019 took place in 38 countries, with support from 177 event organizers and an estimated 22,000 participants. Last year, in 2020, gLOCAL occurred virtually and included more than 250 events hosted by 188 institutions in 40 countries.

In 2020, gLOCAL organizers adapted quickly in the early stages of the COVID- 19 pandemic and met the challenge of transforming their in-person events to virtual formats. Most saw this as an opportunity to be truly gLOCAL and expand their reach (see figure 1). The online format allowed the events to include speakers and participants from different countries and regions, resulting in richer discussions.

Throughout the week, government institutions, non-profit organizations, academic and private sector entities hosted events across different regions and time zones (see figure 2). Events were divided largely among key technical topics, such as digital M&E and performance-based budgeting, and cross-cutting themes like social inclusion, climate change, and gender. COVID- 19 and crisis response stood out as a prominent theme for the week — more than 25 events across all regions focused on the pandemic or related lessons learned from past crises.

This year, we want to continue these important conversations that began in 2020 about how M&E can help build governments’ capacities to use data for decision making and be better equipped to respond to crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Thinking ahead to the next few years, we believe advances in planning, systematic monitoring, and rigorous evaluation will be needed to ensure that projects, programs, and strategies are informed by evidence to effectively contribute to ‘building forward better.’ This is the special theme for gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2021, which is fully virtual. Many events are also taking place under traditional themes such as Evaluation Capacity Development, Evaluation Communication and Use, and Evaluation Methods – we encourage you to participate by going to gLOCAL Evaluation Week and viewing 2021 Calendar of Events for topics that interest you.

Get Involved:

Do you want to be involved? Please consider:

  • Promoting gLOCAL Evaluation Week through your professional networks and social media channels. More information is available on gLOCAL’s website; and
  • Encouraging everyone to participate in gLOCAL Evaluation Week events. Go to gLOCAL Evaluation Week to see the 2021 Calendar of Events.

Share your knowledge, experiences, and make new connections. Together, we can strengthen local and global monitoring and evaluation capacity and help close the M&E gap to promote stronger development outcomes.

For more information, please visit the Global Evaluation Initiative, follow GEI (@GEI_GlobalEval) on twitter, or email

gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2020: Global Participant Registration

World map showing global participant registration by shading countries

Figure 1:The virtual format made it possible for participants from all over the world to join events

gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2020: Regional Breakdown of Event Organizers

Stacked bar graph showing gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2020: Regional Breakdown of Event Organizers

Figure 2: Non-Government and Government were the largest share of gLOCAL Event Organizers

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