Institute of Development Policy and Management, University of Antwerp (IOB) This two-week evaluation capacity development (ECD) seminar funded by the Belgian Development Cooperation’s Special Evaluation Office (SEO) aims to bring together leading evaluation experts (members of National Evaluation Societies, VOPEs) in developing countries to strengthen those evaluation societies in taking up the role of developing national M&E capacities and use. More specifically, this seminar will enable 25 evaluation experts – who are members of national evaluation societies – to become driving forces in strengthening their national M&E systems and their own evaluation societies.
The importance of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in the area of development is widely acknowledged and may be understood from its two major objectives, i.e. learning and accountability. M&E is a crucial ingredient in the move towards more evidence-based iterative policy-making and implementation (learning) and, in hands of non-governmental actors, M&E functions as an instrument of accountability. However, establishing well-functioning country-owned M&E systems and arrangements is considered a major challenge (see e.g. the annual Paris Declaration Monitoring Surveys). One of the actors which has largely been neglected in this context, so far, are National Evaluation Societies (NES) or Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation (VOPE). NES/VOPE are organizations which bring together M&E practitioners and experts from different settings (government, NGO, parliament, universities, donors) and which can play an important role in strengthening national M&E capacities and use of M&E.