gLOCAL 2024 Kicks Off with a Discussion on Rethinking Evaluation: Driving Transformative Change

gLOCAL 2024 kicks off with a discussion on "Rethinking Evaluation: Driving Transformative Change." The virtual event will take place on May 29, 2024 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM Eastern Time (ET). gLOCAL is organized by the Global Evaluation Initiative (GEI) and the Centers for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR), GEI's implementing partners in different regions of the world.
The gLOCAL 2024 opening event explored the role of evaluators in driving transformative change and the need to embrace new perspectives and methodologies to transform evaluation processes.
30 May 2024

On May 29, the Global Evaluation Initiative launched gLOCAL Evaluation Week 2024 with a virtual discussion on how evaluation can drive transformative change. The event featured candid and heart-warming stories from six female evaluators, who shared their journeys through the world of evaluation and their perspectives on how to make evaluation transformational.  

Sonal Zaveri, an evaluator from India and co-chairperson of EvalGender+, emphasized the role of evaluators as agents of change. She explained that for evaluations to be transformational, they must ensure accountability to the people they serve. Her message underscored the importance of community-centered evaluation processes that prioritize the needs and voices of those who are directly affected. 

Josephine Watera, assistant director of the Department of Research Services at the Parliament of Uganda, echoed the importance of accountability, introducing the Ugandan concept of baraza, where communities gather to give local voices a platform to express their needs. She said that transferring power to communities enables them to identify their priorities and ensures that evaluations reflect their real needs. 

Amna Aaqil, director of the Center for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Pakistan and Central Asia, spoke of the importance of evaluation to transform systems. She advocated for learning-focused approaches that drive systemic change. To create meaningful impact, she believes that the focus must shift from mere outcomes to the process of learning and growth within the system. 

Adriana Anacona, a Yanakuna woman from Colombia and a professor at the Universidad del Valle, stressed the importance of valuing community input and responding to people's needs. She said evaluators need to be weavers of processes, ready to disrupt societal norms if we want to build a sustainable future.  

Ana Erika Lareza, a young and emerging evaluator from the Philippines, shared her personal journey of empowerment through volunteer work and finding an enabling environment that allowed her to grow her skills as an evaluator. Her story highlighted the critical role of supportive environments in nurturing the next generation of evaluators.  

Weronika Felcis, vice president of the International Evaluation Academy, shared her own transformative experiences, including the birth of her four children and building communities that support women. She expressed her decision to avoid evaluations that focused solely on economic growth, advocating instead for addressing the "cry of the earth and the poor." She also emphasized the need to consider the interconnected challenges of climate change, inequality, and social cohesion in evaluations.  

The event signaled the beginning of gLOCAL Evaluation Week, a global knowledge-sharing event that GEI organizes every year. gLOCAL 2024 takes place June 3 to 7 with more than 370 events happening online and in person in various regions of the world. "Evaluation and Transformational Change: Balancing Ambition and Realism" is this year's gLOCAL theme.