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This declaration seeks to capture an emerging body of shared understanding on lessons and priorities for evaluation practice in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help guide joint action in future support of national evaluation capacity.
Ms. Michelle Gyles-McDonnough (Jamaica) is the Director, Sustainable Development Unit, Executive Office of the Secretary-General at the United Nations, New York. Throughout her career, Ms. Gyles-McDonnough has practiced privately as a lawyer; served as advisor to the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States and has deep development experience within UNDP, including as Chief of UNDP's sub-regional facility for the Caribbean, UN Resident Coordinator for Barbados and the OECS, Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam and was recently appointed as Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director Designate for Asia and the Pacific. She is currently Director of the Sustainable Development Unit in the Executive office of the Secretary-General. Ms. Gyles-McDonnough holds a law degree from Columbia University School of Law, with honours in international and foreign law, a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and also a Diploma in Executive Education from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania
Michael Woolcock is Lead Social Scientist in the World Bank's Development Research Group, where he was worked since 1998. For twelve years he has also been a (part-time) Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. His current research focuses on strategies for enhancing state capability for implementation, on crafting more effective interaction between informal and formal justice systems, and on using mixed methods to assess the effectiveness of 'complex' development interventions. In addition to more than 75 journal articles and book chapters, he is the co-author or co-editor of ten books, including Contesting Development: Participatory Projects and Local Conflict Dynamics in Indonesia (with Patrick Barron and Rachael Diprose; Yale University Press 2011), which was a co-recipient of the 2012 best book prize by the American Sociological Association's section on international development, and, most recently, Building State Capability: Evidence, Analysis, Action (with Matt Andrews and Lant Pritchett; Oxford University Press 2017). He has recently returned from 18 months in Malaysia, where he helped establish the World Bank’s first Global Knowledge and Research Hub. An Australian national, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland, and has an MA and PhD in sociology from Brown University.
Jos Vaessen (Ph.D. Maastricht University) is adviser on evaluation methods at the Independent Evaluation Group, World Bank Group. Since 1998 he has been involved in evaluation research activities, first as an academic and consultant to bilateral and multilateral development organizations and from 2011 to 2015 as an evaluation manager at UNESCO. Jos firmly believes in a strong link between research and practice. His ongoing involvement in some evaluation-related research and teaching activities as honorary lecturer at Maastricht University contributes to the necessary cross-fertilization between these two domains. Jos has been author of several internationally peer-reviewed publications, including three books. He regularly serves on reference groups of evaluations for different institutions and is a member of the Board of the European Evaluation Society.
Dr. Jyotsna Puri (Jo) is currently the Head of the Independent Evaluation Unit of the Green Climate Fund. She is also adjunct associate professor at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University, New York. Dr. Puri’s areas of work include policy impact analysis on poverty reduction, environment, agriculture, health and climate change, etc. She has more than 22 years of experience in policy research and development evaluation at several organizations including the World Bank, Columbia University and the UN. Also, she has led evaluation-related work for UNDP, UNICEF, GEF and the MacArthur Foundation. Dr. Puri also has extensive policy experience and provides advice on evidence-based climate change and environmental policy, evidence-based advocacy for behaviour change, community-based engagements for improving health, and methods for evaluating humanitarian action. Her expertise is using mixed methods that use rigorous quantitative methods informed by high quality qualitative approaches. Dr. Puri’s academic qualifications include a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Resource Economics and a Masters in Development Economics.
Indran Naidoo is the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a post he assumed in January 2012. The IEO is the largest evaluation office in the United Nations globally. It serves as the Secretariat of the UN Evaluation Group (UNEG). As an independent position, and in accordance with the evaluation policy and its principles he reports directly to the Executive Board (representing 170 countries and territories) on the performance of the organization. The substantive work of the office is overseen by the Independent Audit and Evaluation Advisory Committee and methodological oversight provided by the International Evaluation Advisory Panel. The IEO has produced during his tenure over 60 books, publications, corporate and country level evaluations that is the largest repository of development intervention evaluations in the UN. He has presented papers and participated in panels on evaluation and development platforms across the globe and serves as academic advisor.
Indran brought substantial professional and academic experience to the IEO, having held oversight leadership positions for 22 years, as South Africa`s 1st Director of M&E in the National Department of Land Affairs in 1995 which was meant to oversee the democratic imperative of the land reform program. In 2000 he was promoted to the country`s constitutional independent oversight body, the Public Service Commission (PSC) where he served for 12 years across the institutions accountability portfolio, in positions from Chief Director to Deputy Director General for both Leadership and Management Practices and Monitoring and Evaluation, until Acting Director General when he joined the UN. During this period he fostered a culture of M&E in the country and internationally through developing evaluation associations and networks, presenting evaluation as a normative benefit for good governance, accountability, transparency and democracy, and was known for leadership roles as founding board member of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association (SAMEA), conference co-chair for the 3rd African Evaluation Association and Board member of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). At the teaching level he designed and offered courses of the work of the PSC as instructor and guest speaker for 8 years at the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET).
At the IEO major advancements to the function have been made; the office has transitioned to a fully professionalized evaluation model delivered through 21 professionals in an office representing 25 nations with substantive, language and experience diversity. The work is presented globally through its independent website, the office has a dedicated and board approved budget, reports are customized for global and differentiated access, and all work is advised by the international evaluation advisory panel. Boundaries have been pushed and new fronts developed through thought leadership on evaluation and development, collaborative work undertake with the Office of Audit and Investigations and significantly the National Evaluation Capacity series since 2013 moved to become the most diverse and largest (by country participation) international evaluation conferences with government, partners and professionals to date. Indran holds academic graduate and post-degrees in English, Geography, Education Evaluation. He began as an educator, with a B. Paed (Arts), B.A. (Hons) in Geography degree from the University of KwaZulu Natal and Bachelor of Education (Curriculum Development) from the University of South Africa. He was awarded a Master’s degree in Geography from West Virginia University (USA) and completed a PhD in Evaluation from the University of Witwatersrand. He received several academic honours, awards and scholarships; key of which was his selection for the prestigious Abe Bailey Fellowship, participation in the Senior Executive management courses in educational management at Oxford University and Senior Executive Programme at the Harvard (USA) and Wits (SA) Business Schools, all of which were in-residence.
Fredrik is an international development finance, banking and evaluation professional with 45 years of experience gained in commercial banks, development finance corporations and multilateral development banks. His more than 20 years of evaluation experience has been gained since 1996 through leading the Evaluation Department of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. After retirement in January 2011 he did mainly private sector-related evaluation consultancy assignments for the UNDP, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Belgian Government, the Asian Development Bank, the Dutch Government and IFAD. In a volunteering capacity, he leads the thematic working group on private-sector evaluation of the European Evaluation Society. Fredrik holds a BA equivalent of business administration from Nijenrode University (former NOIB), Breukelen, The Netherlands, and a Master of Economics from the Erasmus University (former NEH) in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Caroline Heider is currently the Director General of the Independent Evaluation Group at the World Bank (IEG), a position she has held since 2011. Ms. Heider has dedicated the last 30 years of her career to evaluating the work of development and humanitarian organizations, transforming findings into lessons and promoting innovative ways for institutions to apply the knowledge derived from evaluations towards accelerating development effectiveness. As a senior leader, Ms. Heider has a proven track record in leading change, strengthening institutions, and building evaluation capacity through testing and trying new methods to get to better evidence and greater insights. She has first-hand experience evaluating policies and programs in over 30 countries around the world.
Ms. Heider is a leading voice in the international evaluation community. She is a life-time member of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS) and a member of the American Evaluation Association. She chaired the Global Evaluation Advisory Committee of UN Women for the first years of its existence. In the past, she has been a member of the Australasian Evaluation Society and served a 2-year term as vice-chair of the UN Evaluation Group.
Before IEG, Ms. Heider headed the Office of Evaluation at the World Food Program. She has also held leading positions in the evaluation offices of the Asian Development Bank and several UN agencies, including the International Fund for Agriculture Development, the UN Development Program, and UN Industrial Development Organization.
Susanne has some 30 years of work experience with seven different UN entities combining operational and management experience with hands-on evaluation, results-based management and strategic planning expertise. Following work in consulting and programme management during her earlier career, she has worked at senior leadership level in the evaluation functions of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF),1996 - 1999, the World Food Programme (WFP), 1999-2002 and the UN Office for Humanitarian Coordination (UNOCHA), 2002-2007. Between 2009 and 2014 she was the executive secretary of the Joint Inspection Unit, a subsidiary body to the United Nations General Assembly with system-wide mandate for evaluation, inspection and investigations.
In July 2014 Susanne took up her current position as the director of the internal oversight service of UNESCO in Paris. In this function she directs the internal audit, evaluation and investigations functions of UNESCO and is a member of UNESCO's Senior Management Team.
In 2011, Susanne was nominated by the Secretary-General to be a member of the Interim Coordination Mechanism for system-wide evaluation responsible for developing and negotiating a new UN policy on independent system-wide evaluation. She also served as an Advisory Board member of the mid-term review on the Hyogo Framework for Action (2011-12) and as a peer panelist or peer advisor on the evaluation functions/policies of FAO (2004, 2016), WFP (2007,2013/14), IFAD (2015), the UN Office for Internal Oversight Services (2012) and UNRWA (2015). Susanne holds a number of professional credentials such as memberships in the American and European Evaluation Associations (AEA, EEA), member of the UN Evaluation Group (UNEG) since 1996, serving on its then Executive Committee for two years, an Advisory Board member of the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEVAL) since 2013.. She is the holder of an M.Sc. in Geography from the University of South Carolina (USA), obtained in 1986 and two bachelor-level certificates in Geography (with minors in Political Science and Sociology) and American Studies obtained in 1983 and 1984 from the Justus-Liebig Universitaet, Giessen (Germany). Her Master's Thesis evaluated the social, economic and evironmental impact of mass tourism on CanCun, Mexico.