The VEPR Initiative
The Voluntary Evaluator Peer Review (VEPR) initiative is designed to promote evaluators’ capabilities and professional accountability. For more please read the concept note below.
Evaluation excellence depends on improved access to quality education and training, dissemination of good practices, adoption of ethical guidelines and delineation of the capabilities required for evaluation. But as for other professions it also requires a legitimate collective process that recognizes the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to carry out work to an adequate standard of quality. Voluntary evaluator peer review is one such process.
The VEPR concept was developed by the EES Professionalization Thematic Group as a follow up to the adoption of an Evaluator Capabilities Framework that had previously been approved by the EES board. The peer review qualification approach has been found to be effective in professions that also require a strong focus on ethical practice. The rationale for a capabilities approach is outlined in the first document listed in the Attachments section below.
The VEPR Initiative is aligned with the values and objectives of the European Evaluation Society as confirmed by the evaluation capabilities surveys conducted by the Society. VEPR would be entirely voluntary and reliant on peer encouragement. It would not seek to meet rigid prerequisites of practice. Instead it would facilitate regular and personalised professional development and it would help to identify capacity and capability gaps across the profession at large.
The EES VEPR project was crafted in parallel with a similar scheme sponsored by the UK Evaluation Society. Working together UKES and EES organized a workshop funded by Eval-Partners that took place in London on April 8 2014. The upshot was a decision to pilot VEPR in both Societies and to set up a Coordinating Committee chaired by Ian Davies to facilitate cooperation among VEPR pilots.
The VEPR concept was presented at the 11th EES Biennial Conference held in Dublin in October 2014. It evinced considerable interest among Conference delegates. The consensus was that VEPR design should be adapted to diverse regional and national contexts and at the same time that coherence across societies interested in joining the VEPR Initiative would be encouraged based on a charter of common principles. The draft charter and other documents about the genesis and progress of the VEPR Initiative are available for downloading below.