Asia Regional Evaluation Summit Addresses Inequalities, Local Capacity Building
USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA) and the United Nations Evaluation Development Group for Asia and the Pacific (UNEDAP) hosted the “Asia Regional Evaluation Summit” last week at the USAID Asia Regional Training Center in Bangkok. Nearly 100 development professionals, representing 15 countries, from NGOs, universities, regional organizations, USAID and the UN, attended the Summit.
The event focused on two themes which align with RDMA’s evolving strategy.
- Day 1 concerned Reducing Inequalities
- Day 2 focused on Building Local Capacity
Panelists and attendees had the opportunity to learn from one another about innovative approaches and to exchange best practices and lessons learned on research methodologies and tools.
The presentations generated a number of lively discussions on current issues in monitoring, evaluation and learning. For example, Suzanne Polak, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Advisor for RDMA, presented on the index of measures USAID has used to track poverty and inequality across countries—first used in Eastern Europe and now in East Asia. Participants discussed the need to balance the utility of these macro-level indicators for strategy and planning purposes with their tendency to mask the disparities that might be present within a country or region. During the second day on capacity building, participants discussed methods and tools for building the capacity of local governments and NGOs for M&E, as well as how to effectively monitor and evaluate capacity building activities.
This summit was the first of a series of learning events planned by RDMA. Upcoming events will focus on mobile technology, civil society strengthening, and other topics. For more information on the Evaluation Summit, see the Learning Lab page for the event. Screencasts from the event and additional materials will be posted in the next few weeks.