Leave No One Behind: Evaluating the SDGs - NY March 2016

With the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ahead of us, the evaluation community has started thinking about what role evaluation will play to help achieve this commitment. How will we assess what works and what doesn’t? What tools do we need to develop right now to be prepared for evaluating policies geared towards achieving the SDGs?  How can we ensure that we are leaving no one behind when we evaluate progress against the SDGs? Under the leadership of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of UN Women, EvalGender+ and United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) together with EvalPartners, Global Parliamentarians Forum for Evaluation, International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Swiss Development Cooperation, CONEVAL Mexico, the Government of Sri Lanka and the Government of Tunisia, the evaluation community gathered from 15 to 17 March 2016  in New York to reflect on how to evaluate the SDGs with an equity-focused and gender-responsive lens.

The gathering consisted of a high-level event and a technical workshop.  The high-level event featured delegates from member states, international organizations and parliamentarians and addressed strategies for building an enabling environment to evaluate the SDGs with equity-focused and gender-responsive lens

The technical workshop looked into the relevance of the new metrics and agreed indicators, the complexity of SDGs and the power of partnerships, strategies to strengthen gender responsiveness of national evaluation systems, as well as the demand for and use of evaluation with an equity-focused and gender-responsive lens in policymaking.

Presentations and recording of the event available at http://mymande.org/evalgender/evaluating-sdgs-equity-focused-and-ge...

The key take away messages from the discussions include:

  • New metrics for assessing SDGs should include a transformative lens to make sure we include voices of women and the most vulnerable. Evaluation is a tool to grasp power relations and undercover gender norms. Data disaggregation is not enough if we want to ensure “no one is left behind”. There is a need for statistics departments to work jointly with evaluators. Responsibility relies on joint work among statisticians, evaluators, policymakers and parliamentarians.
  • The complexity of the SDGs showcases a new reality for evaluation. To address this complexity, evaluation will need to look into boundaries, perspectives and interactions. This includes devising new roles for evaluators as facilitators, expanding the evidence universe, and making sure the voices of the most vulnerable are heard.
  • Parliamentarians have a very important role to play as promoters of gender-responsive evaluation for the SDGs. They are able to build the demand for gender-responsive evaluation, and link policymakers to evaluations in order to strengthen accountability.

Attendees of the event made a commitment to moving forward in evaluating the SDGs with a more equity-focused and gender-responsive lens by increasing collaboration. Evaluators should drive the invitation to re-frame the SDG agenda for the next 15 years with an emphasis on transformative change. There is a need to focus on who is being left out and identify ways of bringing them in, rather than staying with aggregate measures to understand the realities. Evaluators should become activists and not just experts, and work together with policymakers to ensure evidence is brought back to the driver’s seat.

The event marked the culmination of the multi-stakeholders dialogue that included an on-line consultation launched in January 2016 that aimed at helping strengthen monitoring and evaluations systems to assess SDGs with an equity-focused and gender-responsive lens.

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Comment by ndeye fatou diop on April 20, 2016 at 22:12

thanks florencia for sharing tis relevant contribution. hope we'll continue our participative approach and monitor process and results of our involvement. 

Comment by Manas Bhattacharyya on April 20, 2016 at 18:39

Thank you very much Florencia for sharing the brief from the event and the presentations. I am sure the evaluation communities everywhere will now look forward to the next steps: how we can implement the discussions and decisions from the event to strengthen M & E systems

 

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