10.1. How to break the wheel: Allow Young and Emerging Evaluators to enter the evaluation career path
Young and emerging evaluators often hit a hard brick wall (which becomes a vicious cycle) when trying to find a job in evaluation: they are not hired because they don’t have enough experience, but cannot gain experience if they are not hired.
About 3 years ago, EvalYouth LAC conducted an online survey to address the needs of young and emerging evaluators in the region. This assessment found the need of more capacity building opportunities and also pointed out some contributions that YEEs bring to evaluation teams. Yet, one of the most important challenges was to find a job in the evaluation field. This challenge is not ready to overcome for several reasons, including few job opportunities available. Moreover, YEEs found themselves in a never-ending trap: they cannot find a job because jobs require work experience in the evaluation field, but they cannot gain this experience because they are not hired.
How can we help young and emerging evaluators better enter the evaluation career path?
10.2. The role of Young and Emerging Evaluators in informing post Covid-19 recovery developmental discourse (in Kenya and other counrties)
YEEs in Kenya have not been actively engaged in developmental discourse and discussion. They are not on the table where decisions are made. And there are quite a number of obstacles on there way, such as a minimum 3-5 years in evaluation practice which majority don’t have and lack of capacity in evaluation discourse. This limits their participation.
Coming in the wake of the unprecedented and devastating Socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing adverse effects of climate change, the times are challenging. Generation and utilization of up-to-date data has been one of the key hallmarks in the national and global response to COVID.
With the recent launch of the UN-led “Eval4Action” Campaign is a strategic opportunity for YEEs and M&E to gain prominence like never before. Taking cognizance of these, it is important to underscores the need for the YEEs and Evaluation Society of Kenya (ESK) to position itself strategically to add value to Kenya’s developmental discourse.
Strategically focusing in capacity building and professionalization as well as linkages to the wider national M&E practice/thinking, it will give YEEs a chance and opportunity to participate in M&E discourse. Importantly, within a context of weak national practice and culture for evidence-driven socio-economic growth and M&E being a young and emerging profession.
Therefore, with special focus on providing affirmative action to our Young and Emerging Evaluators (YEEs) in terms of professional development. The cross-cutting issues of social equity, gender and climate change are also given special emphasis, in light of the emerging COVID-19 context. I recognize that success is depended on the ability to generate the necessary resources through development partners.
How can Young and Emerging Evaluators in Kenya and other countries participate in post-Covid recovery and evaluation development agenda?