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Triangulating: Can evaluation add value to market-oriented development?

Riitta Oksanen is the President of EES. She works as a senior advisor at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Development Evaluation Unit. In this post Riitta triangulates with Fredrik Korfker former Chief Evaluator of the EBRD and now active as development finance consultant focusing on the private sector and Marvin Taylor-Dormond, current Director of Independent Evaluation for Financial, Private Sector and Sustainable Development at the World Bank Group.

Key points:

  1. Market-oriented development initiatives, often supported by public funds, are an essential part of efforts to achieve the global development commitments. Evaluation in this field is ongoing – but is the service industry involved in the evaluation of social impact investments willing to work together with the development evaluation community?
  2. Evaluating market-oriented development implies finding a balance between the rapid efficiency of the industry, and thinking through the systematic application of evaluation standards in this context. It is essential that evaluation approaches be aligned and responsive to the private sector/market-base nature of operations, instead of lazily adapting public sector practices. 
  3. Bringing together the stakeholders for dialogue is the best way forward, and urgently needed.

Shaking evaluation conferences with un-conference events.

Evaluation conferences are a great way of learning and networking. I really think so, anyway. And yet, I believe they could and should be even better. I’m not sure exactly how, but I’m quite convinced that by adopting some of the so-called “open spaces technologies” or facilitation styles, traditional conferences would improve. I’m actually starting to think that this is the only way to prevent them from eventually disappearing as a strategic place to learn and do networking.

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