Meet the First cohort of GEI’s New “Hands-On Learning” Program for Young and Emerging Evaluators

Headshots of the five people who are part of GEI's first cohort of interns.
GEI’s mission to strengthen developing country monitoring and evaluation systems – to support the use of evidence for better decision-making and better lives - depends on many factors to succeed. A key factor is the availability of trained local M&E professionals who can support efforts that are country-owned and aligned with local needs and perspectives.

Maria Fyodorova is a Communications Consultant who helps develop content for GEI's communications channels.

Anna Aghumian (PhD in Government)  is a senior evaluation officer at the Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank Group, and the Global Evaluation Initiative.

 

“Monitoring and evaluation is a topic that is capable of changing the reality of governments and generating social impact.” - Gustavo Costa, GEI Internship Program participant

Mr. Costa and four other young and emerging evaluators (YEEs) joined the GEI Network in late summer 2022 as part of GEI’s new “Hands-On Learning” Internship Program.  The internship participants joined GEI’s Centers for Learning and Evaluation Results for Anglophone Africa (CLEAR AA), for Lusophone and Brazil (CLEAR LAB), for South Asia (CLEAR SA), and for Francophone Africa (CLEAR FA).

Through learning by doing, the participants of this program have been benefiting from the mentorship of seasoned monitoring and evaluation (M&E) professionals and have been exposed to a wide range of M&E roles and functions. This 6-month internship is intended to help YEEs gain skills and experiences to position themselves better when entering the M&E job market.

GEI’s first cohort of internship participants was selected competitively and come from Benin, Brazil, India, Mozambique, and South Africa.  The group includes three men and two women, representing a variety of academic backgrounds, with postgraduate degrees in economics, human rights, environmental health, and project management. Most have already had some level of professional experience, including experience with M&E, such as supporting program evaluations.  Others have seen the potential that M&E brings to other areas of work, including economic development or social causes. Most importantly, they all see M&E as an important lever for creating change.

 

In Their Own Words . . .

Gustavo Costa (working with CLEAR LAB in São Paulo):

“I was the first person in my family to be able to attend university and since then, I've been dedicated to improving my academic and professional life, always working on topics that have social relevance. I have a B.A. in Public Policy and a Master’s Degree in Human Rights. More recently, I have been working with monitoring and evaluation, a topic that connected all the other knowledge I had gained so far.

I started working in the field of monitoring and evaluation due to a trainee program in public management that I joined, which selects young talent to work in subnational Brazilian governments. I was selected for a position at the office of the Secretary of Planning and Budget for the State of Maranhão. I was responsible for the implementation and improvement of three evaluation methodologies, each one focused on a different moment of the policy cycle.”

Antonio Machava (working with CLEAR LAB in Mozambique):

“I have worked in project coordination, research, and evaluation for three years, taking on responsibilities such as administration, coordination, data collection through interviews, facilitation of focus groups and observations, report writing, and presentation of findings.  I was excited to pursue M&E because it is important for generating evidence-based knowledge and for better decision-making for future interventions.”

Nassibou Bassongui (working with CLEAR FA in Dakar):

“The most important thing that attracted me to the field of monitoring and evaluation is that M&E is a junction of all development policies. Through this internship, I have been involved in activities such as diagnostics and implementation of monitoring and evaluation systems, developing an evaluation plan, designing and collecting evaluation information, conducting evaluation using both quantitative and qualitative approaches as well as writing research papers and policy briefs. I am also benefiting from training in monitoring, evaluation of public policies, and impact evaluation methods. The most exciting part of this experience has been learning directly from teams of experienced evaluators.”

Dr. Mercy Fanadzo (working with CLEAR AA in Johannesburg):

“I have a strong social science background and am passionate about developmental projects that seek to change and sustain people’s lives.  My attraction to the field of monitoring and evaluation started when I was studying for my first degree. I selected Development Studies as one of my elective subjects, where I was exposed to all aspects of development and the setbacks that were faced by the African countries in the space. I decided to pursue this course at the Honors level. The Honors Degree in Development Studies was an eye-opener and a stepping-stone to the field of M&E, as my passion for meaningful and sustainable development change grew.

As part of the internship, I am involved in projects focusing on capacity building/strengthening for governments and I will develop a module in the UNNESSA Learning Program on 'National Evaluation Systems/Policy' and deliver it through a learning and management system.”

Supraja Parthasarathy (working with CLEAR SA in New Delhi):

“As a fresh Economics graduate, I was interested in knowing how key development questions were answered and this led me to research. The project I had worked on before joining this internship focused on implementing research related to daily wage workers and involved daily field-based interactions, implementing data collection, setting up an appropriate collection mechanism, and closely monitoring incoming data. These tasks made it easy for me to understand the significance of monitoring data that is being collected for an evaluation. This experience also made me want to learn more about impact evaluation more broadly, and more specifically, about how evaluations are designed and implemented.”

 

Why Has GEI Invested in this Internship Program?

GEI’s mission to strengthen developing country monitoring and evaluation systems – to support the use of evidence for better decision-making and better lives - depends on many factors to succeed.  A key factor is the availability of trained local M&E professionals who can support efforts that are country-owned and aligned with local needs and perspectives. 

Unfortunately, the current supply of local M&E professionals - especially in lower-income and fragile countries of the world - is insufficient. Investing in building the capacity of a new generation of local evaluators is essential to strengthening M&E ecosystems, as well as creating opportunities for new and diverse voices to enter the profession. YEEs have the potential to drive change in the M&E field, helping it be more responsive to today’s complex, interconnected challenges like climate change, poverty, and food insecurity. However, YEEs often face obstacles with accessing M&E skills, career development, and professional support.

To help address some of these challenges, GEI launched the internship program focused on practical experience, which is particularly important since it can serve as an entry point into the M&E labor market and can expand YEEs’ professional networks.

This internship program complements existing internship, fellowship, or mentoring programs offered by individual GEI Network Partners.

In addition to the internship program, the GEI Network supports YEEs by providing scholarships to its flagship training programs (e.g., IPDET) and collaborating with GEI Partners that work on YEE issues, like EvalYouth.  In addition, the GEI Global Team is now developing the first-ever global directory of M&E academic programs, which will launch in January 2023 on GEI's knowledge platform, BetterEvaluation.

 


We welcome you to join the conversation! Comment on this blog or reach out to us on social media: LinkedIn and Twitter. What has been your experience working with young and emerging evaluators? Are you a young an emerging evaluator yourself? Share your stories with us.

If you would like to contribute your knowledge to this blog, we would be happy to work with you - please contact us contactgei@globalevaluationinitiative.org

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