When a group of evaluators decide to start a VOPE, it is natural to think about both form and function. The form of a VOPE should be decided upon once the goals of the VOPE have been determined, in other words when the function of the VOPE has been defined. This means that before a VOPE becomes too concerned about who will be the president and who will be allowed as members, its champions need to identify opportunities and priority areas for making an impact. This process defines the vision, mission and key objectives.
The AEA Local Affiliates Council (2006) provides a useful description of vision and mission statements for VOPEs:
“The purpose, mission, or vision for the group – call it what you will – is an important early step. These broad statements help clarify why the group effort is being undertaken… Keeping that vision in mind can help sustain the group in the tasks ahead.”
The AEA Local Affiliates Council provides a list of common objectives for evaluation associations:
- improve evaluation practice
- increase evaluation use
- promote evaluation as a profession
- support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory & knowledge about effective human action
- share resources
- enhance networking among area evaluators
- build a professional community
- enhance professional competence
- increase awareness of the evaluation profession
- link evaluators with those seeking evaluation expertise
- increase diversity of the evaluation profession
- provide service to the community
They caution however:
“As you develop your mission, vision, or goals, you will, of course, want to select ones that are in tune with the context, resources, and interests on your [development] “stage.” However you approach it, mission and goal statements map future steps.”
To read more:
* TOP RESOURCE: Here is an example of how local affiliates of AEA are advised to go about their founding. Very useful resource for VOPEs. The Local Affiliates Council. (2006). Starter Kit for AEA Affiliates. American Evaluation Association. Accessed online 02/02/2014 from: http://www.lacaea.org/Documents/NewAffiliatesToolKit.doc
Most VOPEs list their vision, mission and objectives quite prominently on the websites. Here are some examples of Mission and Vision Statements:
* SAMEA created a founding document which outlined more than just the vision and mission, and eventually were used to incorporate the organization. South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association. (2005). Founding Document. Accessed online 02/02/2014 from: http://www.samea.org.za/documents/SAMEA%20founding%20document.dochttp://www.samea.org.za/documents/SAMEA%20founding%20document.doc
* The Asia Pacific Evaluation Association is a relatively new VOPE and captured their vision mission and objectives on their website. Asia-Pacific Evaluation Association (2013). Mission, Vision and Objectives. Accessed online 02/02/2014 from: http://www.mes.org.my/apea/
Un exemple de la mission et les objectifs de la VOPE albanais: Mission et objectifs
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Note that depending on the size, development phase and purpose of your VOPE, the material presented in this post may need to be contextualised for your specific purposes. Also take note of the full toolkit disclaimer here.