Podcasts on Evaluation in Crisis

Welcome to the #EvalCrisis Podcast Series

Part of the bigger Evaluation in Crisis initiative by the DEVCO / Evaluation Support Service, this series aims to serve the evaluation community by sharing teachings on the adaptation of evaluation to crisis situations, such as the current global health pandemic caused by COVID-19.

The series features interviews with evaluators and evaluation commissioners from around the world, who share their experience with the ESS team and the listeners to the podcast.

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ZIAD MOUSSA (Independent Evaluation Expert), who describes himself as an evaluation enthusiast, holds a plea for passionate, indigenous and human centered evaluation: it is human interaction that defines a good evaluation and in particular if proper use is made of local capacity. The present crisis may provide an opportunity towards a strengthened and more articulate role for local evaluators.

Ziad Moussa is a multi-disciplinary development professional with a proven track record in the fields of local governance (design, execution & evaluation of programmes and projects) with an intellectual and professional passion for evaluation. He is the EvalPartners immediate past co-Chair and the IOCE (International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation) immediate past President.

In his 22 years long working history in numerous development projects covering the entire Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean countries involved in the Euro-Med process, as well as significant parts of the African Continent, Ziad Moussa conducted several large-scale evaluations for IFAD, ILO, the European Union and IDRC, among others, and has been particularly active in promoting the emergence of an “indigenous” M&E culture in MENA.

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MICHAEL BAMBERGER (Independent Evaluator) discusses the potential and limitations of the use of big data in evaluation and how, in times of the global pandemic, when field-based data collection is virtually impossible, it can provide a good addition to remote data collection. His challenge to the evaluation field: if evaluators want to remain relevant in the years to come, they simply cannot ignore big data.

Michael Bamberger has over 40 years of experience in development evaluation in Latin America, Africa and Asia. This included 15 years in community development in Latin America and 20 years with the World Bank.  He has also consulted on evaluation with 10 UN agencies, multilateral and regional development banks, bilateral aid agencies, foundations and NGOs. Over the past few years, he has been working on ways to use big data to strengthen development evaluation and humanitarian programs. Recent publications include: "Dealing with complexity in development evaluation", "Real World Evaluation: Working under budget, time, data and political constraints".  "Evaluation in the age of big data".

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Early July the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET), together with EvalYouth, launched the very first Evaluation Hackathon, inviting creative individuals from around the world to unite their skills, knowledge and inspirations to find creative solutions to challenges of our times. In this podcast, STEFANIE KRAPP and ANTONINA RISHKO-PORCESCU share their enthusiasm about this unique event that led to a multitude of new ideas, tools and even apps by participants from around the world, aiming to make evaluations worthwhile and inclusive, even under the current COVID-19 restrictions. Read more on the Hackathon on our blog page.

STEFANIE KRAPP, is the Head of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) at the University of Bern, in Switzerland. She has more than 20 years of experience in monitoring and evaluation, particularly in the context of development cooperation.

ANTONINA RISHKO-PORCESCU is a member of the EvalYouth Management Group, a co-chair of EvalYouth Eastern Europe, Central Asia & South Caucasus, and a Consultant in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Support in UNFPA Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

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GEETA BATRA, Chief Evaluation Officer at the Independent Evaluation Office of the Global Environment Facility, reflects on how the COVID-19 crisis can mean a reset of our evaluation habits. It forces us to reflect on how we can better use evaluation resources at our disposal and focus on what is important: what do we really want to know and do we really need to gather information ourselves?

Before joining the Global Environment Facility as Chief Evaluation Officer and IEO Deputy Director, Ms Batra worked in the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group since 2010, most recently as Manager in the Country, Corporate and Global Evaluation unit and, before that, as Chief Evaluation Officer in the Strategy unit. Prior to joining IEG, she spent several years with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), notably as the Global Head of Results Management for IFC’s Advisory Services. In all, she has been with the World Bank Group for about 17 years.

Ms Batra holds a PhD in economics and has a strong background in international economics, econometrics, and development. Apart from her excellent evaluation and research skills, she has gained extensive operational experience both in the Bank and in the private sector.

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In this episode, DUSTIN GILBREATH, who is the Deputy Research Director at the Caucasus Research Resource Centers in Georgia, argues that conducting fieldwork under Covid-19 is not a good idea for as long as there is still a risk of endangering people's lives. Instead, he explains how his research centre has adapted to remote (experimental) techniques, and what unexpected advantages these sometimes carry.

Dustin is a researcher with a strong background in evaluation. One of his key interests is in research design, using fully and quasi-experimental methods.

Having been based in Georgia for many years, he has substantial knowledge of the South Caucasus, and worked with a wide variety of development partners in Georgia and further afield.

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In this episode, FRANCOIS DUPAQUIER discusses the importance of fieldwork in evaluation, and what to do when fieldwork is difficult in situations of conflict or fragility, difficult access or the Covid-19 pandemic.

François Dupaquier is a specialist in evaluation, research and analysis in the humanitarian and the development fields. He has extensive experience overseeing large-scale assessment and research projects in more than 20 countries and you have worked closely with dozens of NGOs and multilateral and bilateral agencies on the evaluation of humanitarian issues, stabilization, peacebuilding, and the fragile link between humanitarian aid and development.

He is an extremely versatile and productive professional; graduated in International Law and lecturer at the University of Aix-en-Provence, he is the founder and manager of the company FrontView, where, in addition to consultancy work, he also produces documentaries. With such extensive experience working in war zones and critical contexts, adaptation to crisis situations has become second nature.

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In this podcast, NANTHIKESAN, the Lead Evaluation Officer at IFAD’s Independent Office of Evaluation, argues that we need to rethink evaluation in the face of the current global crisis. We need to look again at upward and downward accountability - and make sure that the latter does not get lost through remote data collection-, methodologies, but also at roles: this might be the right time to strengthen local capacity. In other words: forget the past, think freely!

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In this podcast, MARGIE BUCHANAN-SMITH, a leading evaluator in the field of humanitarian action, shares her experience in dealing with ethical issues when conducting evaluations in contexts of fragility. She reminds us that, in such difficult times of pandemics, with reduced access to the field, an increased need for time and efforts to conduct evaluations, it is crucial to be strategic in our planning of evaluations, and make sure that those that we choose to do are really insightful and benefit our organisations in these really challenging times. In other words: Do less, but do it really well.

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OSCAR GARCIA, director of the Independent Evaluation Office of the UNDP, turns the travel ban to an opportunity to rethink evaluation, focusing on better design and smarter use of available resources.

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ANDRE KAHLMEYER (Director of Conflict Management Consulting (CMC)) argues that sensitivity needs to be put in context to understand and properly respond to it, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected environments.

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RICK DAVIES speaks about diversity as a key point of entry to evaluating the future.

Rick Davies is an Independent Monitoring & Evaluation Consultant and author of, among others, the Most Significant Change methodology and the ParEvo app. See also the blog published under the same title on this web site.

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Evaluation Support Service
last update
29 September 2020

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