I'm off to Cameroon on Sunday for a week of networking, learning and sharing at the 2014 AfrEA conference in Yaondé. I love seeing bits of my continent. If internet access is available I'll try to tweet from @benitaW.
I am facilitating a workshop on Tuesday together with the wise Jim Rugh and the efficient Marie Gervais to share a bit about a VOPE toolkit EvalPartners is developing. ( A VOPE is an evaluation association or society... voluntary organization for professional evaluation)
Workshop title:Establishing and strengthening VOPEs: testing and applying the EvalPartners Institutional Capacity Toolkit
Abstract: One of the EvalPartners initiatives, responding to requests received from leaders of many VOPEs (Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation), is to develop a toolkit which provides guidance to those who wish to form even informal VOPEs, and leaders of existing VOPEs who seek guidance on strengthening their organization’s capacities. During this workshop participants will be introduced to the many subjects addressed in the VOPE Institutional Capacity Toolkit, and asked to test the tools as they determine how they could help them apply such resources in strengthening their own VOPEs.
The workshop will be very interactive with lots of exploring, engaging, and evaluating of the toolkit resources. Participants should not come to this workshop expecting that they will sit still for more than 30 minutes at a time. We'll use a combination of learning stations and fishbowls as the workshop methodology. I'm really looking forward to it!
Eventually the toolkit will be made available online. Follow @vopetoolkit on twitter for more news about developments.
I served on the boards of both AfrEA and SAMEA so I hope that the resources that the Toolkit task force and their marvellous team of collaborators put together in the toolkit will be of use to colleagues across the continent who are still founding or strengthening their VOPEs. It is hard and sometimes thankless work to serve on a VOPE board, and if this toolkit can make someone's life a little easier with examples, tools and advice, I would count this as a worthy effort.
I expect that the workshop will be a good opportunity to get some Feedback to guide us in the completion of the work.