gLOCAL is My Favorite Time of the Year! But I Need to Catch My Breath

Claudia Olavarria
24 June 2024
gLOCAL is My Favorite Time of the Year! But I Need to Catch My Breath, a blog post by Claudia Olavarría, gLOCAL Coordinator and GEI Communications and Gender Evaluation Consultant
What makes the gLOCAL spirit so contagious? In this blog post, GEI Communications Consultant and gLOCAL Coordinator Claudia Olavarría describes the joy and excitement that gLOCAL Evaluation Week radiates and the vibrant community that makes this global knowledge-sharing event a success every year.

Claudia Olavarría is a communications and gender evaluation consultant at GEI. She is also the global coordinator of gLOCAL Evaluation Week.


It's been three weeks since gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2024 ended, and I can still feel its energy in the air. Following a week packed with knowledge-sharing opportunities, I still need time to process the many new ideas, connections, and inspirations I gained. 

Ever since gLOCAL Evaluation Week started in 2019, we—the community of M&E practitioners—have eagerly awaited the first week of June. It's that special time when we meet colleagues to share what we've learned, what's been keeping us busy, and what worries us about developments in our field. 

This year, attendees could choose from almost 370 events happening across five regions. These events were hosted by 270 organizers, including international organizations, national and subnational governments, voluntary organizations for professional evaluation, civil society organizations, universities, think tanks, evaluation companies, and individuals. Their enthusiasm and generosity in sharing their experiences make gLOCAL a success year after year. At the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI), we are very proud of this collective effort. 

What I love most about gLOCAL is that it's truly owned by the global M&E community - GEI and the CLEAR Centers are merely the facilitators. I've been a gLOCAL fan since the beginning, organizing many events and participating in even more. Today, I have the honor of coordinating it globally. 

To make gLOCAL happen and ensure you have the best experience, we prepared for a year and were eager to see the response from organizers and participants. We are thrilled to celebrate a record number of events and participants this year. Many thanks! 

This year, I joined more than a dozen high-quality events that allowed me to participate in debates from India to Costa Rica. I wish I had more time and energy, and I wish the day had more hours to attend even more events. The great news is that anyone registered on the gLOCAL platform can revisit any event by watching the recordings and reviewing additional materials made available by the organizers. 

For gLOCAL 2024, we discussed "Evaluation and Transformational Change: Balancing Ambition and Realism," and the week turned into a knowledge-sharing festival with plenty of space to: 

  • Collectively understand and conceptualize transformational change and the ways evaluation can contribute to it.  
  • Reflect on pressing development challenges and how evaluation can provide better evidence for tackling them.  
  • Learn from experiences of transformational evaluation, understanding both successes and failures.  
  • Analyze how evaluators can adapt our work and revisit our conceptual and methodological toolbox to better contribute to transformations. 

I was very inspired to see that knowledge and learning flowed in many directions, not only from the global to the local level, from big organizations to smaller ones, from academia to practitioners, and from senior to junior professionals, as we are used to. I am proud and happy that we, the M&E community, were able to use gLOCAL as a platform where everyone can host an event and invite others to a constructive conversation, regardless of their position, organization, location, or years of experience. Everyone’s voice was welcome at gLOCAL. 

I can't wait for gLOCAL 2025, but first, let me catch my breath.