1. 5 Register as a legal entity


This post will help you think through some of the initial steps that you need to take if you want to found a VOPE. You will find some valuable advice and resources here.

For an overview of other information relevant to VOPEs in the founding stages, see


Once you have decided to formalize your organization, you may need to register it as a separate legal entity. Depending on the country or state or province you choose to register your VOPE, there might be different organization types from which to choose – each organization type is usually associated with specific legal, accounting and taxation requirements. Structures that allow the greatest flexibility whilst also allowing sufficient legal status to operate a separate bank account and put potential donors’ and members’ minds at ease about the governance of the resources, should be considered.

It would be wise to consult with a relevant professional with legal and/or financial accounting expertise when deciding on an appropriate legal form. In some cases, you might be able to get the services of such a person at a reduced rate if you draw on the networks at the disposal of your volunteers, and potential donor organizations.

If your VOPE is just starting out, it may make sense to include the active members of your initial task team as the first accountability officers / directors. You would then run an election process to vote for replacement members once a certain period of time has elapsed. An election should be conducted within the first two years.

To read more you may consult these references:

* 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



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.

The Asia Pacific 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/



Some advice from other evaluation associations:

* TOP RESOURCE: An IOCE e-book with case studies on how VOPEs were founded in Africa America, Asia, Australasia and Europe. Segone, M. & Ocampo, A. (eds).  (2006). CREATING AND DEVELOPING EVALUATION ORGANIZATIONS. Lessons learned from Africa, Americas, Asia, Australasia, and Europe. Accessed online 04/02/2014 from: http://www.ioce.net/en/PDFs/VOPEStudies/IOCE_EvalOrgPack_Jan2007.pdf

* TOP RESOURCE:  An IOCE e-book with case studies from across the world. Rugh, J. and Segone, M. (eds). (2013). Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation (VOPEs) Learning from Africa, Americas, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Middle East. http://www.mymande.org/voluntary_organizations_for_professional_evaluation





Ceci est une illustration de ce que sont le processus juridique de la formalisation d’une ONG:

Manuel de procédures pour la création d’ONG et les conseils régionaux d’ONG

Création d’une organisation à but non lucratif


Invitation to give Feedback

Have you used any of the resources recommended in this post? Tell others what you thought about it by leaving a comment below.

Acknowledgements, Licensing, Attributions

Full details about the acknowledgements, licensing and attributions of this content here.


Note that depending on the size, development phase and purpose of your VOPE, the material presented in this post may need to be contextualized for your specific purposes. Also take note of the full toolkit disclaimer here.




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