Seeking feedback on how to increase membership of a young VOPE

Dear All,

We founded a new VOPE (Voluntary Organisation for Professional Evaluation) called Evaluation Community of India (ECOI) in India in 2015. The VOPE is open to Evaluators, development practitioners, development scholars, members of development agencies -  both government and non-government, members of civil societies, M&E and programme personnel of organisations and people interested in evaluation. Presently, around 60 members are members of this VOPE. However, we feel, 70 is too small a number for a vast country like India. We've been facing the challenge of extending our membership to a larger number of people and organisations. In a recent meeting with core group members, we decided to prioritise this agenda of including more people and strengthen our membership base. We would like to receive your opinions, feedback and experiences on how to increase membership of a young VOPE. Your feedback and opinions would be extremely valuable for us.

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Hello Rajib, I am taking the initiative to share some ideas and insights because I consider your request a great opportunity to think and reflect.

Given the five priorities of the VOPEs (listed below), I would engage new members through offering some incentives, such as:

  1. Partnerships: spread the voice that VOPEs are networks which help connect the best brains to strengthen regional and national capacities and open up opportunities for new businesses and initiatives around evaluation and the SDGs. The greatest ideas are built together
  2. Institutional capacity toolkit: engage all members asking them for introducing the VOPE to two other professionals and send out monthly emails gathering one input by member on how to create the capacity toolkit and what it should include
  3. Operation knowledge: reward members who share knowledge and information through mentioning them in meetings, workshops, publications, and so on. Also, support the best contributors financially and/or invite them to conferences and events (if possible)
  4. Advocacy strategies: generate the key messages around evaluation and the SDGs, and find the best messengers; bring on board cool testimonials (from various industries); use social media to promote your VOPE; organize writing sessions where a member can co-author a piece with an experienced evaluator; and encourage creativity with arts
  5. Equity-focused and gender-responsive evaluation: pay special attention to all those who promote the three core values of VOPEs – equity, social justice, and gender equity. And make them become your champions showcasing their reports, papers, articles, and/or ideas. Be inclusive of women and young women and market some of their stories and photos.

The list is very long :-) as ideas are many but I hope this helps.

Thank you for engaging all of us.

Namaste, Laura Gagliardone

Hi Rajib,

I can tell you from how I would make a choice. I think I would be a part of an organisation if I feel connected to it. Communication, content, approach, etc. Being able to connect to the cause, objective and people involved would be the key for me. 


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