Proceedings from the Second International Conference on National Evaluation Capacities20 Dec 2012
UNDP Evaluation Office and the Office of Public Service Commission of South Africa co-hosted the second International Conference on National Evaluation Capacities (NEC) in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Conference was a follow-up to the 2009 Conference on National Evaluation Capacities held in Casablanca, Morocco. The 2009 Conference brought together national partners from over 20 countries and regional/global experts in evaluation, generating collective peer exchange and learning, which provided opportunities for South-South partnerships and cooperation in evaluation.
Evaluating public policy performance is a fundamental step towards fostering accountability and good governance and improving the overall effectiveness of development efforts. Efforts to build and sustain effective national evaluation systems face several challenges, including institutional design, political dynamics, limited technical skills, poor access to tools and resistance to change.
To guide the selection of topics and enhance the quality and value of the conference, the UNDP Evaluation Office and the Office of Public Service Commission of South Africa surveyed evaluation practitioners in the UN system and select countries that have public policy evaluation systems. Participants of the 2009 NEC Conference chose the theme of the 2011 Conference, ‘Use of Evaluation in Decision-making for Public Policies and Programmes’. The 2011 Conference identified the main elements that support the development of national evaluation capacities: enhancing the quality and use of evaluations, developing technical capacities and securing adequate funding to conduct evaluations.
Similar to the 2009 Conference, lessons and outcomes were summarized in the conference proceedings, which will further contribute to knowledge sharing and South-South cooperation among countries that are strengthening their evaluation-related efforts. This report provides a conceptual framework for the conference theme in order to introduce and support the discussions and experiences shared by papers submitted by participant countries. To increase relevancy for policy makers, this report presents a set of select papers by conference participants and provides country examples that support its analysis.