3. Carrying out VOPE work

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Section 3 contains information about the activities that VOPEs typically carry out – These are activities that make VOPEs uniquely different from other organizations, and centres around the value added by VOPEs. Click the topic header to access additional information and a rich set of resources.   

The topics covered in this section include:

It is quite common for VOPEs to have a capacity building or advocacy focus in their mission, which would require that they occasionally host evaluation events such as conferences, workshops and seminars. The advent of online webinar facilities, have made it possible to host some of the capacity building events in an online space, but a good old fashioned face-to-face get together is often extremely valuable for building the credibility of your VOPE. Conferences, workshops and seminars are often also a useful way for an association to build their financial resources – evaluation professionals often do not mind paying for professional development opportunities of high quality.

One strategy for evaluation capacity building that some VOPEs pursue is making information resources about evaluation available to their membership. Owing to the distributed nature of a VOPE’s membership, it is usually done through compiling an online repository of evaluation material.

This section introduces the EvalPartners Advocacy toolkit that VOPEs could use to create support for evaluation in their context.

A VOPE can communicate with members, share knowledge and increase the credibility of the VOPE using publications and a newsletter. Particular examples of VOPE newsletters and journals are described in more detail.

This section suggests a process for developing Evaluation guidelines and standards, and links to a variety of examples created by other VOPEs.

Evaluation associations can influence their members to conduct good quality work by recognizing good work through awards. Awards may be awarded to individuals; teams; promising students; emerging evaluators; seasoned evaluators, or to recognize a good evaluation publication. In fact, a VOPE may choose to implement an award to promote any aspect of its vision and mission.

Even if a VOPE operates in only one country or sub-region of a country, it is still important that it connects regionally and internationally with other VOPEs because this provides opportunities for shared learning, mobilization of resources and more effective use of resources. The International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) publishes information on international, national and regional VOPEs which could help a VOPE to find other evaluation associations in its area.

VOPEs should look for opportunities to contribute to the public debate about issues affecting evaluation, through making statements on issues of importance. Some examples are provided in the resource section.

This Professionalization of Evaluators section of the Toolkit offers resources to VOPEs to foster a discussion on professionalizing evaluators that enables the selection of a country-appropriate path.

The first ingredient is a clear definition of what professionalization means for your VOPE. Professionalization is defined differently by different people. The first step of discussing professionalising is to consider how your VOPE will define that term.

Clear reason(s) to describe why the VOPE aims to have a professionalization process.

The concrete mechanisms that aim to build capacity and continually enhance or maintain the capacity of individuals, and where relevant, institutions, and supporting systems.

A clear strategy that addresses the reasons identified above and identifies the most relevant set of mechanisms adapted to a given context; this most likely includes a holistic strategy that aims to strengthen individuals, institutions, and systems toward these aims.

All four discussions require engagement with key stakeholder groups, and perhaps those who are somewhat hidden. Once identified, an organized reflective process should be present on Steps 1-4. The process be likely iterative. VOPE's should deliberately provide oppertunities for engagement on the strategy. It is of utmost importance to involve multiple stakeholders multiple times, in multiple ways.

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