ADER – The Association for Development of Evaluation in Romania and SiES –Slovenian Evaluation Society have met in Bucharest on 9. X. 2013 with the aim to discuss preparation of a training program for evaluators in the Balkan region. The meeting has been financed by IOCE – International Organisation for Cooperation in Evaluation’s facility P2P. IOCE has published a call under its P2P initiative. It aims to encourage formation of mutually beneficial partnerships between evaluation communities. The P2P Program is an integral part of the EvalPartners Initiative. The P2P program offers an innovative approach to strengthening evaluation capabilities by taking advantage of and maximizing capacities and experiences within the global community. The program encourages two or more evaluation communities to form partnerships with each other to help each other to strengthen their capacities to strengthen institutional capacities, to strengthen enabling environments for evaluation, to strengthened evaluation capacities and adopt principles of equity-focused and gender-responsive evaluation.
SiES and ADER met in Bucharest to discus launching an educational program
ADER has made important steps in the promotion of the legal mechanism for accreditation and certification of evaluators in Romania. ADER members work toward achieving the qualification in evaluation through the academic professionalization of the area. It has developed a master program in the field of programs evaluation and public policy evaluation in Romania within the NSPA and work to create a new academic qualification: evaluator of programs and public policies and to make the registration of this new qualification on the National (Romanian) Framework of Qualifications in Higher Education. The already developed master program will soon be implemented in other two Romanian universities. Beside, ADER has the institutional support from one of the most important university from Romania – National School of Political Studies and Public Administration.
On the other side, SiES produces relevant content for evaluation training but itself does not provide training for evaluators in Slovenia. It is observed not only in Slovenia but the whole Balkan region a considerable lack of training of evaluators at the intermediate level which integrates theory and practice. So ADER and SiES have agreed to develop together a core program (training program) – possibly also including other regional partners (from Western Balkan Region, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia) – and will offer it, either on the market or as a part of undergoing summer school or as an open seminar.
The meeting itself has produced a lively but focused discussion. The first participants discussed about various possible modalities of the training program, either formal at the University level, or some other more flexible and pragmatic option of vocational training. Program could be implemented in Romania (ADER) or in Slovenia (SiES) – because ADER and SiES can offer adequate facilities (administrative support, human resources, conference hall etc) far below market price and if really necessary in the initial phase even entirely free of charge. It has been agreed that the newly prepared program should offer a competitive price.
The training program will be focused on development impact evaluation, in particular on European evaluation needs (evaluation for structural funds), and so based on the continental evaluation theory. The method of work will emphasise problem solving, assisted by case studies (good and bad practices). This will enable preparation towards user oriented training content (theory and practice), toward user generated content, which is closely reflecting local context and specific needs of evaluators. This kind of approach is innovative because it is horizontal, instead of vertical, top-down and ex-cathedra.
ADER and SiES also agreed for the needs assessment for evaluation training, and also assessment of potential lecturers in the region (beyond Romania, Slovenia).
ADER and SiES will meet again in Ljubljana, possibly end of January, beginning of February to review realisation of conclusions and decide the way forward. A professional meeting will be organized in Slovenia to present the initiative of tailoring a training program in evaluation and to discuss options for future cooperation in the filed. A networking event will be also organized at that occasion with local stakeholders in evaluation at the end of the workshop and meeting.