The Independent Evaluation Office of the United Nations Development Programme and the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS co-hosted with the Government of Turkey - the 2017 National Evaluation Capacities Conference in Istanbul from 16 to 20 October 2017.

The Conference's theme was People, Planet and Progress in the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Era, and the objectives were to:

  • Present and exchange lessons, innovations, experiences and perspectives in developing and adapting national evaluation capacities in light of the SDGs;
  • Explore the implications of the SDGs for principals, principles and practices of evaluation;
  • Develop partnerships to strengthen national evaluation systems.

Chitra Deshpande, IOE Senior Evaluation Officer, participated as a speaker in a discussion on the parallel session "From data to decisions: How is New Data Altering Evaluation, Policy and Programming in Real Time?" This session sought to look at some innovative practices in measurement in real time, and how these could be applied in the development sector for measuring the SDGs, especially Tier 3 indicators. It brought together development actors and governmental representatives to share some of the cutting edge experiences in using different sources of data (big data, crowd-sourcing, etc.) to understand the impact of the different interventions. The panel presentations brought together IFAD's experience in using new technologies for evaluation based on the ICT for evaluation  international conference hosted by IFAD in Rome on 6-7 June 2017, of UN Global Pulse (Paula Hildago) in using big data in Uganda, and MiLab (Dmitri Belan) in using big data regarding energy bills to track migratory patterns of the rural population in Moldova.

Ms Deshpande's presentation on "The role of ICTs in generating new data for evaluations" opened the session providing a chapeau for the topic by presenting overall advantages and concerns in using new technologies for new data collection, analysis and dissemination in the context of evaluation. The 70 participants in the session were interested in discussing the cost efficiencies and effectiveness of new technologies in developing contexts as well as challenges of generating news data in terms of working with departments of statistics and censures.

The role of ICTs in generating new data for evaluations, by Chitra Deshpande, IOE Senior Evaluation Officer

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