The final set of Competencies for Development Evaluation Evaluators, Managers, and Commissioners was adopted by the IDEAS Membership on 07 February 2012.
Faithful to its commission, IDEAS looks for practical ways of promoting development evaluation in developing countries and transitional economies. To meet that goal, it encourages the application of the highest intellectual, ethical and professional standards in the field of development evaluation.
At the IDEAS meeting on July 3, 2008, issue was raised about the need for consolidating and bringing clarity to discussions around credentialing and what capabilities or credentials an entry-level evaluator of development interventions, or an intermediate or advanced evaluator, should have. Given increased recognition world-wide of the importance of monitoring and evaluation and related increased demand for evaluation and evaluators, attendees noted a problem in that some with little or no training are conducting development evaluations, including impact evaluations, and at times, quality is lacking in the products. Among the current challenges discussed was that even with a resume in hand it is difficult to check if an individual has background appropriate to the evaluation task. One thought was that designated international evaluation competencies could be used to review an individual’s qualifications. Attendees indicated that developing competencies for development evaluators could be a good initiative for IDEAS since the needed perspective is international.
Meeting attendees noted that many competency systems have recently been developed for specific countries or organizations. For example, DFID has a competency framework for evaluation managers. It includes competencies such as managing stakeholders and writing terms of reference (TORs). Another effort has taken place in the UN system to define competencies for evaluators in UN organizations. The UN framework covers a broad spectrum of competencies. Recently, the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES) has undertaken a major effort to develop a set of evaluation competencies that will be part of a CES voluntary credentialing system. Much of the extensive CES background work in researching and comparing existing systems could facilitate an IDEAS effort to think about international development evaluation competencies.
A volunteer committee chaired by Linda Morra Imas was established at the meeting to work on the issue of international competencies for development evaluators. Members include Charles Lusthaus, Miguel Robolledo Dellepiane, Heather Buchanan, Cesar Guedes, and Alison Girdwood. So that the committee is more broadly representative of IDEAS, a few more IDEAS volunteers were sought. The committee will operate with recognition that definitions of development are broad and therefore many types of evaluations also flourish. It will stress the importance of discourse on this issue.
The working group agreed on five major tasks:
- Review the work on evaluator competencies developed by various organizations that have implications for IDEAS members.
- Obtain members’ views, develop a position and supporting rationale on the role of IDEAS in establishing and supporting an overarching competency framework.
- Develop, a system of international core competencies for development evaluators, reflecting members’ input.
- Develop a statement of ethics and standards for international development evaluators.
- Develop mechanisms for implementing the system.
The documents available on our website represent the results of our Working Group's efforts over an estended period.