|(New Delhi, 23 January) The UN Women India Multi Country Office kicked off the International Year of Evaluation by organising a seminar on ‘Equity Focused and Gender Responsive Evaluations’ in New Delhi. Part of Evaluation Week (19-23 January), the seminar was co-organised by National Institute for Labour, Economics Research and Development (NILERD) under NITI AAYOG, the Government of India’s policy think-tank.UN Women believes that equity focused and gender responsive evaluations provide evidence in advancing gender equality and women’s rights in the planning and implementation of existing and new schemes. 2015 has been declared as the International Year of Evaluation – the aim is to advocate and promote evaluation and evidence-based policy making at the international, regional, national and local levels.
The Evaluation Week and the seminar were attended by NITI AAYOG officials, representatives from UN agencies, donor organisations, experts, academicians and civil society. The inaugural session began with the handing over of the ‘Evaluation Torch’ – symbolising increasing awareness and knowledge of evaluation – by Marco Segone, Director of the Independent Evaluations Office, UN Women, to the Minister of State for Planning, Rao Inderjit Singh.
Mr. Segone’s keynote address focussed on evaluations in sustainable development. “The move towards the Sustainable Development Goals makes 2015 an important year for the global development community,” he said. “India’s new government provides the evaluation community a great opportunity for moving towards effective and efficient monitoring and evaluating.”
Mr. Segone also emphasised the importance of mainstreaming gender and social equity in evaluations. “We are looking at an evaluation process which not only looks at eliminating structural bottlenecks but also contributes to the empowerment process. Evaluation can be an agent of change for the world we want.”
The seminar included interactive discussions on evaluating the Joint Review Mission of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, school based evaluations, gender integrated health interventions, evaluating the World Food Programme’s ‘Food for Work’ Programme, and challenges and methodologies. The seminar ended on a constructive note with an all-inclusive group discussion.
For more information on the International Year of Evaluation, visit http://mymande.org/evalyear/