About this Blog

Zenda OfirI am a South African scientist and full-time international evaluator, at present based near Geneva in Switzerland. I work across the world, from local to global level, and on the intersection of evaluation, science, sustainable development and transformative development.

I care deeply about the value of evaluation for two important aspects of life. One, accelerating the transformative development of the Global South and indigenous societies worldwide, all the while fully aware of our global interdependence. Two, accelerating the transformations needed to enable humanity and Nature to be in balance and in harmony with one another, and develop within planetary boundaries.

This blog explores some of these issues in six topics; see the sidebar for the details. My posts capture my observations as I continue my work across four continents – standing sometimes in desperation, but mostly in awe at the wonder of our world, and at the challenges and opportunities before us.

About Evaluation

Evaluation is a systematic process to determine the merit, worth, value or significance of something – which can be a project, a programme, a portfolio, a policy, an institution, a set of systems, and more. In the midst of entangled crises, challenges and opportunities, evaluative practice can take many forms for different purposes. It can be self-evaluation or independent, at certain moments or ongoing, at micro or macro scale. Good evaluation is deeply rooted in understanding dynamic trajectories, in thick and warm data (and increasingly in big data), in systems thinking, in complexity science and in transformation science.

Evaluation can be seen as a sophisticated GPS for navigating difficult terrain: It provides credible, immediate, context-sensitive direction. It lowers risk and informs decisions about the best course of action. It shows preferred as well as less appropriate options based on analysis of evidence and experience. Despite some in-built biases and occasional lack of precision, it is today essential get to desired destinations.

Today, more than ever, evaluation has to be a powerful instrument towards the world we want.

Latest Posts 

<i>Guest post:</i>  Evidence use in Africa

Guest post: Evidence use in Africa

**5 min read** This post introduces a book of great relevance in the fields of evaluation, governance and evidence use. Mine Pabari from Kenya and I met more than 15 years ago when ...
<i>Guest Post:</i> The evaluation governance implications of transformative evaluation.

Guest Post: The evaluation governance implications of transformative evaluation.

**5min read** I hope you will appreciate this interesting and pertinent blog post. I was in Beijing in 2003 at the inaugural meeting of IDEAS. Still quite new to evaluation, I was told ...
The extraordinary benefits of COVID-19

The extraordinary benefits of COVID-19

**7 min read** A dispassionate observer of Planet Earth from far away could well be pleased with this global crisis faced by all of humanity. The suffering of those hardest hit, in particular ...
<i>Guest Post:</i> Getting Ready for Transformational Projects

Guest Post: Getting Ready for Transformational Projects

**8 min read** I connected with Daniel in 2019 when I was given access to a draft of the GIZ paper he discusses here. I found it more insightful than most – and ...