Thank you all for your confidence in me: I am looking forward very much to contributing to IDEAS.
My professional life has been in service of efforts to bridge the gap between knowledge and action, between research and policy and between evaluation and implementation. I have seen evaluation emerge as a new profession that brings hard facts to often harder heads, which knocks on doors and often is invited in, but also sometimes is kept out in the cold, waiting for better times. Where possible I have supported capacity building and empowerment, and have promoted methodology development. My years at the Global Environment Facility have taught me the importance of integrated and synthetic approaches to better understand the longer term problems humanity is facing on our planet. I have also seen the importance of team work and of partnership to tackle common problems.
It is my firm belief that three areas will demand our attention in the coming years. First, the development agenda is shifting from the Millennium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals that should be adopted in 2015. There will be a shift towards more integrated approaches, recognizing that the problems that we face are often closely connected and cannot be solved in isolation. Evaluations will become more complex and need more integrated approaches.
More complex evaluations will need to use a greater diversity of methods, which is the second area. Especially on impact too much emphasis is put on one specific evaluation method. This will not be sufficient to tackle multi-dimensional, multi-actor and multi-focal interventions. The evaluation community will need to adopt many more rigorous methods, and IDEAS should play a role in supporting diversity in methods.
Third, ownership of development will become even more important and should lead to ownership of evaluation. IDEAS should continue to highlight and support development of evaluation systems in partner countries. And donor organizations need to put their money where their mouth is, and commission evaluators in partner countries.
Lastly, I believe that IDEAS must be an eminently practical organization. It is in the value of the services to its members that its future lies, and it must continue to grow in the direction of communities of practice, use of social media, joint products and thought-provoking meetings and conferences and publications. We need to do so with a range of partners and reach out to the global evaluation community.
I look forward to contribute on these issues and work with the Board and members to ensure that IDEAS fulfills its promise. It is a great honor to serve IDEAS as President.