Episode 21

Evaluation Worldwide - Europe


March 30th, 2021

47 mins 47 secs

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About this Episode

After chatting with folks from EvalYouth about the Global Mentoring Program, they suggested a series of podcast episodes on what evaluation looks like around the world.

This episode is one in which I chat with evaluators from Europe about what evaluation looks like in their region. I chat with Tom Ling and Oto Potluka about European evaluation. They are both board members of the European Evaluation Society, the professional association for evaluators in Europe. We discuss a variety of topics, including the streams of evaluation happening in evaluation, the role of evaluators in program design, reflective practice, stakeholder involvement, impact evaluation, evaluation approaches like theory-driven evaluation, how the GDPR affects evaluation, and more.

Special thanks to Lauren Weiss, the EES Adminstration and Communications Manager, for helping coordinate this episode.

About the guests:

Oto Potluka: Oto Potluka (Ph.D.) is a senior researcher at the Center for Philanthropy Studies, University of Basel (Switzerland). He has studied at the University of Economics Prague, Faculty of Economics and Public Administration. Than, he obtained Ph.D. at the Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences in 2009. Since 2001, his main activities have concerned IREAS, a non-profit think tank in regional development. His responsibility was mainly evaluation work in the field of the regional and economic development, and civil society.

He has participated in dozens of Czech and international evaluation, research, and training projects in the field of economic development and the impact of public regulation and public expenditure programmes. He has experience with evaluations of public expenditure programmes in regional development, especially those co-financed by EU cohesion policy.

He has experience from several professional associations. He had been actively working in the board of directors of the Czech Evaluation Society for two terms between years 2012-2015. Among the other associations belong European Evaluation Society, American Evaluation Association, Czech Economic Association, and Regional Studies Association. As a member of these organisations, he has always actively participating in building of evaluation culture and evaluation capacities.

Tom Ling: Tom Ling has over 25 years of experience in designing, managing and delivering evaluations. He is a senior research leader at RAND Europe where he is head of evaluation. He leads evaluations and applied research focused on the key challenges facing organisations in health, well-being, and international development. Before re-joining RAND, Ling was head of Impact Innovation and Evidence at Save the Children where his responsibilities included ensuring that evaluations contribute to policy and change in the challenging environment of international development. Prior to Save the Children, Ling spent ten years at RAND Europe as director for Evaluation and Performance Audit following four years as senior research fellow at the National Audit Office in the UK. Before that he taught and researched in various universities.

He has over 20 years’ experience contributing to research projects with the European Commission, Save the Children, UK government departments, the National Audit Office, the Health Foundation in the UK and many others. He has published widely on evaluation, accountability, and related topics. He recently co-edited Performance Audit: Contributing to Accountability in Democratic Government (London: Edward Elgar), following his Performance Audit Handbook and The Evidence Book, a critical examination of the use of evidence in public policy and service delivery. He is a senior research associate with Cambridge University and a Professor (Emeritus) with Anglia Ruskin University.

In any spare time Tom is a keen musician playing the fiddle in both Scottish traditional and jazz bands with many recordings, compositions and performances to his name. He has a wife and two daughters and lives in Cambridge, England.

Music by Matt Ingelson, http://www.mattingelsonmusic.com/

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