The AfDB and partners produce Arabic Version of Quality Standards for Development Evaluation

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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and its partners today released a trilingual version of the Quality Standards for Development Evaluation. It was released in Arabic, English and French under the aegis of a broad partnership bringing together the United Arab Emirates’ Office for Coordination of Foreign Aid, the network of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), the Islamic Development Bank and AfDB.

The initiative was taken during an evaluation symposium organised by the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The Quality Standards for Development Evaluation – part of the OECD DAC Guidelines and Reference Series – outlines core, internationally-agreed principles for evaluating development policies and programmes. The standards are a key reference for governments and development agencies around the world.

The Arabic version was developed through the collaborative efforts of the evaluation departments of the United Arab Emirates’ Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid, the OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation, the Islamic Development Bank and AfDB. The four institutions identified a need for evaluation resources in Arabic to strengthen evaluation practices in Arabic-speaking countries that are active in promoting development and poverty reduction.

Built through international consensus and extensive field testing, the standards provide valuable guidance to strengthen accountability for development results and contribute to learning processes. The publication outlines key dimensions of quality in the different phases of the evaluation process: objective setting, planning, design, implementation, reporting, learning, and using evaluation results. By improving the quality of evaluations, the standards seek ultimately to reinforce the contribution of evaluation to improving development outcomes.

Sultan Mohamed Al Shamsi, executive director of UAE’s Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid said: “Making this reference document available in Arabic is expected to be of great value to those who have an interest in development issues in this region, and more specifically to those carrying out evaluations of developmental projects. The standards enhance the importance of the Arabic language on the international humanitarian level especially that the UAE is one of the main donors in the region. It is our role as organizations working in the development and humanitarian fields to work together in providing specialized resources, and transfer the international expertise to those interested in the Arabic world.”

Mohameden Sidiya, the Islamic Development Bank’s group director for operations evaluation, commented: “The cooperation between OECD DAC, AfDB, the Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid and the Islamic Development Bank enabled the production of the Arabic version of the DAC Quality Standards. This makes the standards available for the first time in Arabic with the aim to support evaluation capacities of development institutions and governments and encourage evaluation by development actors working in Arabic-speaking countries. We at the Islamic Development Bank are very proud of this fruitful collaboration and look forward to new joint initiatives with our partners to strengthen the development effectiveness agenda.”  

Nick York, chair of the OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation said, “We are pleased at the outcome of this work and look forward to continued collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank, AfDB, the United Arab Emirates and other regional partners. We have found that the DAC Quality Standards are a useful tool for promoting accountability and learning, and hope this new trilingual version will also facilitate collaboration among development partners working in Arabic, English and French.”

Megan Kennedy-Chouane of the OECD Development Co-operation Directorate said:  “Evaluation is an important tool for holding donors and governments to account for the results of their programs and also for learning about how development works and how we can work together to achieve better outcomes. We hope this new translation of the Quality Standards will be used by both OECD members and our regional partners to practically support work on development and poverty reduction in Arabic-speaking countries.”

And Mohamed Manai, division manager in the African Development Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department, stressed the importance of the trilingual evaluation quality standards as a platform for joint evaluation work among the multilateral and bilateral development agencies working in the Arab world. He said: “This work, which has followed the Arabic glossary, will be disseminated in all Arab development agencies with the collaboration of the Islamic Development Bank as the Coordinator of the Arab Funds and UAE’s Office for the Coordination of Foreign Aid as well as the OECD. Such collaboration will also be sustained thanks to continued joint work on Arabic evaluation guidelines and best practices which will involve Arab evaluators and researchers in economic and social development, making it an ‘Evaluation Spring’ in the Arab world.”

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