The conference: an overview

The International Development Evaluation Association – IDEAS – and the Independent Evaluation Office of the Global Environment Facility (GEF/IEO) and the Earth-Eval Community of Practice proudly invite you to participate in the exciting and challenging event organized in partnership with the Czech Evaluation Society, under the auspices of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. The conference will be held in Prague at the Hotel Duo Prague, from 30 September to 4 October 2019.

The overall theme of the Conference is Evaluation for Transformative Change: Bringing experiences of the Global South to the Global North.

Agenda 2030, adopted by the member states of the United Nations in September 2015, calls for new partnerships to work towards a sustainable and equitable future for humanity on our planet. It radically redefines development and asks for transformative changes of our societies, our economies and of the way we interact with nature and our habitat. While this is most strongly emphasised in the Paris Climate Agreement and its follow-up meetings, transformative changeis a cross-cutting issue throughout the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each country needs to identify its own transformation priorities.

In the Global South, the SDGs have been taken up by many countries, ranging from Benin, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, South Africa to Mexico. In contrast, many countries of the Global North tend to be relatively complacent concerning the SDGs, and leave reporting on progress to National Bureaus of Statistics. Little effort to integrate evaluation into reporting is found in the North, comparing to what we can find in several countries in the Global South. Countries with economies in transition have their unique experiences to take into account, given the transformative processes they went through. It is time the Global North becomes inspired by what is happening in the Global South and in countries in transition.

IDEAS, as the only global professional association for development evaluators, has in recent years mobilised evaluation thinkers and practitioners throughout the world on evaluation of sustainable development (in the 2015 Global Assembly in Bangkok) and on evaluation for Agenda 2030 (in the 2017 Global Assembly in Guanajuato, Mexico). It has convened its Global Assemblies in the Global South since its inception in 2002, in Beijing. Conferences were held in Delhi, Johannesburg, Amman, Barbados, Bangkok and Guanajuato, Mexico.

It is time IDEAS brings the richness of experiences and visions on evaluating and implementing the transformative vision of the SDGs from the Global South to the Global North and extend the South to South Exchange mechanism to the North and to and from countries in transition, which it is uniquely placed to do as global professional association. The global exploration of experiences includes an exchange with Central and Eastern European countries, as a special stream of work on developing and supporting their capacity as well using the experience and expertise from these countries for influencing the agenda on evaluation for transformative change.

The Third International Conference on Evaluating Environment and Development provides a unique contribution to this effort to focus on transformation and to bring Southern perspectives to the North. It follows on two renowned international conferences in 2008 and 2014 that focused on climate change and development. The Third Conference has broadened its coverage to sustainable development from the perspective of coupled natural and human systems, evaluating the social and economic benefits and trade-offs associated with environmental interventions.

The Third Conference will bring to the Prague Assembly leading practitioners and thinkers on environmental evaluation from the international and national public organizations in the North and the South, the academic community, environmental organizations and thinktanks, civil society and the private sector. The participants will be encouraged to share their concrete experiences with environmental interventions and their evaluations on various environmental topics, including natural resources management, biodiversity conservation, land degradation, sustainable forestry, water management, as well as climate change mitigation, adaptation and carbon sequestration interventions.

Focus and outcomes​
The focus of the exchange of experiences proposed by IDEAS and by GEF-IEO and Earth-Eval as the main drive of the 2019 Global Assembly is on the challenges and solutions for evaluation as a profession to contribute to our understanding of transformative change. Do we have the right evaluation approaches? Does the skill set and competencies that IDEAS has identified for evaluation professionals in 2014 need to be adapted? Is the IDEAS Code of Ethics fit for purpose for the Sustainable Development Goals? Have we contributed to the development of relevant capacities in evaluation that are needed to evaluate transformative change?