February 10, 2017

Tens of Thousands: Rockefeller Grant’s Global Impact

Woman holding up hand while speaking
Evaluation training session at The Evaluators' Institute at Claremont Graduate University.

Tens of thousands of professionals from around the world are training to assist organizations improve performance outcomes thanks to an ongoing grant awarded to Stewart I. Donaldson, dean of Claremont Graduate University’s School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation. Awarded by The Rockefeller Foundation, the $350,000 grant funded a global initiative that provides top-quality monitoring and evaluation (M&E) training.

Led by Claremont Graduate University, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE), and in partnership with UNWomen, the highly successful e-Learning initiative focuses on development evaluation. Programming in the EvalPartners Initiative is free and open to all, and participants may attend virtually from anywhere in the world.

In its first round, almost 13,000 participants from 172 countries did so, and with an impressive satisfaction rate of 72 percent. In its more recent second round, those numbers jumped to more than 17,000 people from 172 countries (as of December 2016).

“We were surprised and pleased that so many students and professionals from countries in the north and global south participated in our online training programs,” said Donaldson, a Professor of Psychology.

All EvalPartners courses include online lectures, reading lists, and multiple-choice tests. Participants may also engage in online discussion forums. Popular recent course offerings include Equity-Focused & Gender-Responsive Evaluations, Introduction to Evaluating Humanitarian Action, Emerging Practices in Development Evaluations, and National Evaluation Capacity Development for Country-Led M&E Systems.

Some of the most important global thought-leaders and practitioners of monitoring and evaluation provided highly engaging online courses. The interactive knowledge-sharing platform has tapped internationally recognized specialists in the field, including Hans Lundgren, Indran Naidoo, Finbar O’ Brien, Saraswathi Menon, and Marco Segone; senior managers responsible for country-led M&E systems, including Velayuthan Sivagnanasothy and Diego Dorado; and international evaluation experts, including Michael Quinn Patton, Ray Rist, Jody Zall Kusek, Michael Bamberger, Hallie Preskill, Alexey Kuzmin and Stewart Donaldson.

While the initiative has thrived thanks to support from The Rockefeller Foundation and CGU’s relationships with UNICEF and IOCE, Donaldson also cites critical partnerships with the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC), the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), ReLAC, the International Positive Education Network (IPEN), and EvalMENA.

“We reached our goal of teaching students and professionals all across the globe about the latest concepts and methods relevant for providing high-quality monitoring and evaluation services,” said Donaldson, who directs the Claremont Evaluation Center (CEC) at Claremont Graduate University and is also dean of the School of Community & Global Health.”

The internationally renowned Claremont Evaluation Center helps guide Claremont Graduate University’s wide range of professional evaluation services, professional development training, and certificate, master’s, and doctoral programs in Evaluation and Applied Research Methods.

Founded in 1913, The Rockefeller Foundation works to promote the well-being of humanity by creating changes in social and economic systems and catalyzing transformative innovations.