July 21, 2003
An international launch for the IOCE
The IOCE, which aims to promote cooperation between national and regional evaluation societies, associations or networks, was launched at an Inaugural Assembly in Lima, Peru at the end of March. Representatives from 24 evaluation 'groupings' from Latin America, Africa, Australasia, North America, Asia, Europe and the ex Soviet Union attended the Assembly. Observers were also present from various sponsor organisations. Support for the Assembly had been received from W.K. Kellogg Foundation, UNICEF, the World Bank, UK Department for International Development, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Global Greengrants Fund as well as from the American Evaluation Association and other national and regional groups who sent their representatives. The Assembly was an opportunity both to agree on the broad outlines of how the IOCE would operate and to encourage professional development' among participants based on exchanges of experience.
How the IOCE will work
The Assembly identified priority activities, discussed and approved in principle the proposed constitution and elected an interim Board of Trustees to take the IOCE forward during its initial period. An initial period of between 18 months and two years has been allowed for setting up the IOCE, with a set of plans and responsibilities agreed at the Assembly for completion within this time frame. It was also agreed that many of the activities of IOCE would be 'virtual' using web based resources as far as possible. In addition to periodic General Meetings open to all IOCE members, it was anticipated that some regional and specialist face-to-face events would be necessary.
An opportunity to learn from each other
Those present had an opportunity to discuss different ways of organising evaluation societies and networks, experience with evaluation ethics and standards internationally, how linguistic and cultural diversity was handled by evaluators and the importance of civil society involvement and capacity building in the work of evaluation. Post Assembly workshops were organised on the role of logic models, participation in evaluation and focus group interviewing.
What the Board and the Executive will be doing
Following the Assembly the Board of Trustees met and selected an Executive intended to express the principle of broad geographical coverage. The members of the Executive for the interim period of the IOCE are: President, Elliot Stern (Europe); Vice Presidents, Zenda Ofir (Africa), Marco Segone (Latin America); Treasurer, Nancy Porteous (North America) and Secretary, Penny Hawkins (Australasia). Other Board members are: Jean Louis Dethier, Girmay Haile, Donna Mertens, Barbara Rosenstein, Nino Saakashvili, Carlos Salazar. The Board has set up four working groups to implement its plans. These variously cover: The Constitution and Incorporation of the IOCE; General Activities and Programmes; Communications and Publicity and Finance and Fundraising.
Thanks to the organising committee - and to PREVAL
Much of the success of the Inaugural Assembly was due to the work of an organising committee facilitated by Arnold Love and Craig Russon and chaired by Murray Saunders. This group had developed support for the IOCE proposal, located potential participants, planned the Assembly agenda and raised funds to allow representatives of associations and networks from developing countries to travel to Lima. The actual organisation of the Assembly was managed by Ada Ocampo and her team from PREVAL, a Latin American evaluation network active in rural development programmes throughout the continent.
via editor: Nancy Porteous