Upcoming conference: Evaluation Revisited

Context, international cooperation; Learning by Design and Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation are organising a conference on evaluation for development. The conference, called “Evaluation Revisited: Improving the Quality of Evaluative Practice by Embracing Complexity” will be held on May 20- 21, 2010 in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

The 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.

Key note participants during this two day conference will be Sheela Patel (co-founder of SPARC and award-winning activist); Prof. Dr. Patricia Rogers (award winning evaluation specialist with focus on evaluative practice for understanding complexity ( and Dr. Maarten Brouwer – Dutch ‘Ambassador of International Cooperation’, DGIS (Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The Conference is fortunate to have as its Chair, Dr. Isaac Bekalo, President of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR).

‘Evaluation Revisited’ will draw together 150 people from around the word. In depth discussion on innovative cases of evaluative practice form the core of the Conference (day 1 and 2). To give a flavor of the diversity of cases that will be showcased and debated, confirmed cases include:

  1. Understanding the impact of capacity development (commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs with 7 partial studies and some 25 cases);
  2. Social Return On Investment - how communities themselves value deeper social and environmental changes as a result of integrated rural development (Indian NGO Cecoedecon);
  3. Participatory assessment of development ( in West Africa – how do local people value the impact of aid?

More information about the conference can be found on Please note that the deadline for registration is March 30, 2010.