A Professional Grounding and History of the Development and Formal Use of Evaluator Competencies

This article provides background for the special issue. The authors first review the history of competency development in general and then in evaluation specifically. To date, the Canadian Evaluation Society and the Japanese Evaluation Society are the only professional organizations that have launched credentialing systems. However, increasing numbers of evaluation organizations and associations worldwide have developed lists of evaluator competencies, moving the field one step closer to professionalization. Although there are many viewpoints on the value of developing sets of evaluator competencies, there is currently a lack of empirical studies linking them to useful or sound evaluations.

Evaluator Competencies: The Canadian Experience

This article examines the development and adoption of competencies1 in Canada, created as a key foundation of the Credentialed Evaluator designation under the auspices of the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES). Following a brief description of the Canadian evaluation context and issues that led to the competencies' development, this article reviews the development process. The approved Competencies for Canadian Evaluation Practice are presented with concluding comments on the future of competencies in Canada.

Evaluator Competencies: The Aotearoa New Zealand Experience

Why would you place valuing, culture, and cultural values at the centre of an evaluation competencies framework? What would it look like if you did? This new set of evaluator competencies from the Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association (ANZEA) is distinct from other competency and credentialing frameworks developed around the world. Why do we believe this approach is key to promoting high quality, culturally sound, responsive, and ethical evaluation practice in Aotearoa New Zealand? This article outlines the process for developing the competencies as well as the reasoning and powerful exchange of ideas underpinning their development and subsequently infused in the competencies.

Evaluator Competencies: The South African Government Experience

This article describes the South African government's process in developing evaluator competencies. It first briefly describes the more general historical context in which the need for "competent" program evaluators and evaluation skills emerged in government, and then focuses on the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the South African Presidency, its evolution as a new government institution responsible for M&E in government, and its process to develop and institutionalize evaluator competencies.

The Emerging Field of Evaluation and the Growth of the Evaluation Profession: The Russian Experience

Evaluation is an emerging field in Russia, and the authors have been intensively involved in it for over a decade. This article explores the evolution of evaluation capacity and describes the growth of evaluator competencies in Russia. It focuses on areas with extensive development: (a) the institutionalization of regulatory impact assessment in the public sector, (b) evaluation's development in nongovernmental organizations, (c) the growth of monitoring and evaluation capacity in private foundations, and (d) the emergence of local independent evaluation consulting. Although no common definition of evaluator competencies exists in Russia, the role may be included in a professional registry currently under development.

M&E Competencies in Support of the Aids Response: A Sector-Specific Example

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) led a consultative process to develop a self-assessment tool for HIV monitoring and evaluation (M&E) leadership competencies. The tool seemed fit-for-purpose in M&E staff recruitment and professional development. The willingness to use the self-assessment was related to the pragmatic and reality-based nature of the tool. A competency-based approach to M&E training was well accepted by professionals working at national and servicedelivery levels. However, there is a need to update the HIV M&E competencies to adapt to specific M&E challenges in the broader context of aid effectiveness and to reflect a maturing evaluation profession.

A Good Start, But We Can Do Better

This special issue of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation provides a valuable overview of competencies and introduces some of the evaluation competency efforts around the globe. Competency efforts and this issue are unquestionably good things. This brief comment reflects on how future efforts could be improved by articulating the program logic and mechanisms of how the use of credentials will contribute to improved evaluation, thus ensuring that national variation in evaluation is integrated into competencies, that the reach of competencies is expanded to anticipate emerging opportunities and needs, and that important traits and characteristics beyond what can be gained from training and experience are included in competencies.

Evaluator Competencies and Professionalizing the Field: Where Are We Now?

This article addresses the question "What is happening around the globe in terms of evaluator competencies, and in what ways has this influenced the professionalization of evaluation?" Using a Development Evaluation framework to address this question, the article examines the five case narratives provided in this issue. Several common themes are identified and the arguments for and against evaluator competency lists are discussed. The article then grapples with the next steps related to identifying core competencies and conducting related research, and suggests a potential way forward.

Editor's Remarks / Un mot du rédacteur en chef + Introduction to Professionalizing Evaluation: A Global Perspective on Evaluator Competencies / Introduction à la professionnalisation de l’évaluation : perspective globale sur les compétences des...