Conference on evaluation for development May 2010

On May 20-21, 2010, a conference on evaluation for development will be held in The Netherlands: “Evaluation Revisited: Improving the Quality of Evaluative Practice by Embracing Complexity.”

This conference focuses on how evaluative practice can be improved, given the need to view much of development as a process of social transformation and, therefore, complex. Current evaluation practice has not yet embraced the full implications of assessing `the complex’ and existing approaches often fall woefully short. During the conference, participants can explore concrete evaluation practices that reconcile an understanding of complex societal change processes with quality standards, including rigorous, ethical concerns, appropriateness and feasibility.

Effective development is being understood in many quarters as revolving around people-centeredness and institutional transformation, thereby inherently complex, i.e. non-linear, emergent, unpredictable. However, discussions on measuring development effectiveness have zoomed in on methodologies suited to measure simpler, more linear interventions. The risk is that development, in order to facilitate its measurement, is reduced to simple interventions. These two mutually influential trends sit side-by-side in increasing discomfort for those who understand development as societal transformation.

The Conference aims to contribute to clarity in the development sector about what constitutes robustness, i.e. core values and quality standard, for evaluative practice in development that recognises the complexity of societal transformation.

You can find the flyer and registration form at:

The Organising Committee:
Jan Brouwers (Context, international cooperation)
Irene Guijt (Learning by Design)
Cecile Kusters (Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation)


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