Week 20: Is English the dominant language for evaluation?

an globe, surrounded by flags of nations where Portuguese is an official language

Unfortunately I believe so. Last year I met a group of Brazilian evaluators in a conference, and learned from them the growing demand for good evaluation studies in Brazil, but also the need for more capacity building initiatives in this area, besides the need for practical and relevant  information in Portuguese, with a local context.

It was then that I decided to investigate what this passionate group of Brazilian evaluators was working on. Evaluators not only in Brazil but in other Portuguese-speaking countries.

By the way, we are 10 countries with Portuguese as the official language (Brazil, Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, Macau and Guinea) with a population of approximately 259 million people. Using Google.com, I searched for reports, blogs, pamphlets, and articles in Portuguese, with a local context. While I found some good documents produced mainly by Brazil and Portugal, I have not found much from other countries. What I found were some reports of evaluations done in Portuguese-speaking countries, not necessarily by local evaluators, written in English and addressed to international donors.

Do not get me wrong, I think it is positive to have a common language, English, to facilitate information exchange and communication between professionals, but I also think it is important to develop and disseminate information in the original language, and develop the capacity of local evaluators with local examples. I believe we have a civic responsibility to the people of our countries, to produce information that can be accessible to all.

It was with this in mind that I decided to create a page in BetterEvaluation in Portuguese. In this page I list the names of seven associations or networks of evaluators in Portuguese, but there may be others. We hope to collaborate with these organisations somehow.

In order to encourage sharing of information, resources in Portuguese were added to BetterEvaluation, such as:

Case study: external evaluation of a program (a series of booklets developed by Fonte Institute, Brazil)

How to develop a Logic Model: guideline for program formulation and evaluation management (a guide developed by MDA and IPEA, Brazil).

For those who know the 'Rainbow Framework ' of BetterEvaluation, its compact version is also available in Portuguese.

To search for other resources, use the 'search ' field on the right corner of the BetterEvaluation page. Type 'Portuguese ' and other resources will be displayed. The amount of information in Portuguese is still modest, but it is something we want to encourage in the next months, especially with the coming evaluation events happening in Brazil.

In addition, I learned that there are courses for evaluators offered by Brazilian institutions, such as:

Are there other professional courses for evaluators being offered in Portuguese?

In closing, I invite all the evaluators to participate in this initiative, and share their practical knowledge on the uses of methods and evaluation procedures, using local examples. Let's make the BetterEvaluation platform a space also for the Portuguese speaking community.

For more information, contact Cristina Sette (c.sette@cgiar.org), a member of the BetterEvaluation team.

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Welcome to BetterEvaluation in Portuguese.