Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Conference on Program Evaluation



June 7 – 8, 2011


Deadline for Proposals: February 18, 2011

The State Department will hold its Fourth Annual Conference on Program Evaluation at the George Marshall Conference Center of the Harry S Truman building in Washington, D.C. on June 7-8, 2011. The theme for the 2011 Conference is “Diplomacy, Development, and Defense – Working Together to Achieve Foreign Policy Goals.”

The conference will bring together evaluation practitioners; program managers at State, USAID and the Department of Defense; other government agencies; academicians and students; representatives from international affairs and foreign embassies; non-governmental organizations; and the private sector. The conference represents a unique opportunity to gather with colleagues around a shared interest in exploring the role of evaluation in supporting and advancing successful defense, diplomacy and development initiatives.

Call for Presentations. The Program Committee cordially invites proposals under four different themes/tracks:

· Diplomacy

· Development

· Defense

· Building Evaluation Capacity

Diplomacy/Development/ Defense. Proposals within each of these three tracks should address effective evaluation methods to assess the coordination and implementation of the contributions of diplomacy, development, and defense to optimize military and civilian institutions at home and abroad. Proposal abstracts should clearly indicate the theme/track for the proposal and have that theme/track as its principal focus but incorporate a “3D” framework to managing today’s global challenges. For example, proposals under the Diplomacy track might discuss approaches to evaluate diplomatic programs (e.g., democracy, rule of law, anti-crime activities, non-proliferation) and specific recommendations for more effective engagement of state and non-state partners to work with development and defense institutions to address security threats and help build stable economies.

Proposals from government and non-government entities are welcome. Organizations whose proposals are selected will be invited to present on their topic in an individual 45-minute workshop at the conference. Workshop presentations can take any of the following formats:

· Presentation with Discussion will consist of a 20-25 minute presentation of research, theory, or issue followed by questions and discussion involving the attendees.

· Demonstrations will present a useful evaluation concept or tool and provide attendees with a step-by-step explanation and, if possible, demonstration of the concept or tool.

· Panel presentations will involve 2 or more presenters who will offer coordinated presentations on a similar topic.

· Roundtables will include 15 minutes of presentation followed by 30 minutes of discussion and feedback. Roundtable presenters should bring targeted questions to pose to others at the table in order to learn from and with those attending.

· Think tanks will focus on a single issue or question. A chairperson first orients attendees to the issue/question, attendees then break into small groups to explore the issue/question and finally reconvene for a facilitated discussion with the chairperson.

Building Evaluation Capacity. Proposals for workshops under the “Building Evaluation Capacity” track may range in length from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. We ask that you specify in your proposal the preferred length. Topics to be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following:

· Planning for an Evaluation

· Identifying Your Strategic Research Questions

· Preparing a Statement of Work

· Effective Methods in Evaluating Diplomacy

· Evaluation for Program Managers

· Monitoring & Evaluation: Two Sides of the Same Coin

· Integrating Evaluation into Strategic Planning

· Using Evaluation Information

What to Include: Proposal abstracts should not exceed two pages in length. They should include a brief description of the proposed presentation; the names, titles, affiliations, and a brief bio of presenters; an idea of the presentation format (if known); email and telephone contact information; and any audio-visual requirements.

Deadline. The Call for Presentations for the Department of State’s Fourth Annual Conference on Program Evaluation will close on Friday, February 18, 2011. Everyone who submits during this process will be notified on the status of their proposals by Friday, March 11, 2011. If you have any questions please contact Stephanie Cabell via e-mail at or call 202-647-2557.

Proposal Submission. PROPOSALS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED ELECTRONICALLY. Send proposals for presentations via email attachment in either MSWord or .pdf format to:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Donors Aim for More Efficiency, Coherence in 2011

Article published by Devex - website here. Register with Devex for project and job announcements.

Aid effectiveness appears to top the priorities of several donors this 2011, with the new year ushering in the operationalization of Germany’s new aid agency, as well as the formal launch of a new directorate within the European Union.

Germany’s Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, or GIZ, which began work Jan. 1, is the merger of three development agencies: the German Technical Cooperation, or GTZ, German Development Service, or DED, and Inwent. GIZ is the result of one of the most sweeping, and swift, reforms seen in German development cooperation in recent years.

GIZ is placed under the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, or BMZ, giving the federal government complete control over German development aid operations once again. The creation of GIZ is likely to make German aid more efficient, but, as some critics note, not necessarily more effective.

Foremost among critics’ concerns is the vaguenesss of its organizational structure, which the German government has yet to unveil. Questions also abound on how the merger will affect staffing and procurement. While the German government gave assurances that there will be no layoffs following the merger of the three agencies, fears over staff shifts are still rife.

Meanwhile, the new Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation – EuropeAid, or DG DEVCO, became operational Jan. 3. The European Commission merged DG EuropeAid and DG Development following an announcement in October 2010. The goal of the merger, according to the commission, is to create a single voice for the EU on development and cooperation. Fokion Fotiadis will head the directorate. Its new structure is expected to be fully in place by April 2011.

The merger of the two directorates is part of the transitional measures on development that the EU is undertaking. Some former staff members of DG Development were among the 1,643 permanent officials from the European Commission and Council of Ministers who were transferred to the newly created European External Action Service on Jan. 1.

This year, more changes to national and international aid structures can be expected. The U.K. will release the findings of its sweeping multilateral and bilateral aid review in February and March 2011, while the U.S. is set to implement reforms outlined in the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review.

The development community is waiting to see whether or not these new and expected reforms will make aid more effective and efficient.

Read more development news.