Evaluation as a tool to promote governance: a forum with presidential candidates in Costa Rica

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An online event on public policy evaluation was held on January 20th in Costa Rica and was attended by seven candidates running for president on the upcoming February 6th presidential election.

The event was hosted by a group of academic and civil society organizations, as well as the Costa Rican Monitoring and Evaluation Network (Costarican VOPE), and supported by DEval, Mideplan and the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI).

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Political party representatives discussed the importance attached to policy evaluation on their future government agendas and how they intend to encourage its use or continue promoting a culture of evaluation within the country.

Prior to this event, a document was sent out to all the political parties, entitled “Public Policy Evaluation in Costa Rica: Context and Current Status,” so that each representative would have similar background literature. With this paper as a starting point, two questions were addressed to the participants, followed by a question put forward by civil society and a further one by the Costarican VOPE. The event was facilitated by GEI consultant doctor Gonzalo Hernández Licona.

This is the first time in the electoral history of any country that an electoral event is held having evaluation as its prime focus. Activities of this type not only provide visibility but also put policy evaluation on political parties’ agendas, which is clearly valuable and worthy of being further promoted.

Please see the video of the event in Spanish here.