Every three years, The Evaluation Society of Kenya thorough it’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) holds Board elections. It is a time to identify new ideas, welcome new board members, populate new committees, and embrace new challenges. I felt incredibly fortunate to have accepted the Chair’s mandate for 2020 -2022 at our AGM dated 6th December 2019. In line with the common practice the world over, an elected incoming office bearer, institutes a manifesto of what they envisage for their institution during his or her term. I want to take this opportunity to share with you my priorities for the coming years during my tenure; Innovation, Participation, Accountability, Learning and Re¬gional Representation.
A new face a new look
First and foremost, I am ec¬static to announce that we have revamped and changed our website domain from esk.co.ke to this new website (where you are). Not only is it interactive, its a a one-stop shop for members of of the Society. This is something many of us have wished for. Therein, the new membership registration and renewal process is streamlined and simplified. Next, I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Florence Nyambura to our board as the Assistant Secretary as mandated by the Society by-laws. Consequently, our Board meets the one third gender rule and comprises of very strong women including founder and former chair Jennifer Mutua, Wanjiku Kariuki and Florence Nyambura. With the changing face of our member¬ship becoming younger, Wanjiku who is our Young and Emerging Evaluators (YEE’s) representative will be bringing a crucial perspective to our con¬versations, and we are so grateful that she has agreed to serve this dynamic group and agendas thereof.
My second significant announcement is that we have finalized our five year (2020-2024) Strategic Plan. I want to take this moment to commend our Treasurer Dr.Moses Oyagi for taking lead on this. This plan entails the Society’s vision and roadmap for the next four years, part of which has already started being realized. In addition to our existing partners like the World Bank (WB), African Development Bank (AfDB) and The African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) to name a few, we are looking at partnering with various institutions. I am happy to announce that our partnership with UNICEF is advancing and has seen us listed as part of UN service providers under the UN partners portal. We have also teamed up with Daystar University and subsequently our offices have moved from Barclay Plaza in CBD to the University’s Nairobi Valley Road campus. With the guidance of our CSO Rep John Gatimu, I look forward to broadening our horizons and creating more networks for the Society.
Leading Across Borders
More visible to the outside world, I am pleased to inform you that our very own Secretary Benjamin Masila is an EvalYouth(EY) Task Force 1(TF1) Co-Chair. EvalYouth was formed based on the Eval2020 Agenda which was established during the Global Evaluation Week held in November 2015 in Kathmandu, Nepal on the International Year of Evaluation. The EY TF 1,2,3& 4 meet often to deliberate and discuss matters evaluation among YEE’s globally and a good number of the ESK YEEs(EvalVijana) are active members. Our EvalVijana led by Wanjiku and the Vice-Chair Leonard Yosi recently hosted a Webinar titled Covid-19 Response : An Evaluator's Perspective which was attended by local, regional and international participants.
Get Equipped and get More
The Society is looking to ensure and harmonize the M&E profession nationally. On our new website which we pride of, we have integrated a learning platform “Tathmini Institute” where we shall offer various M&E courses to our members run by our qualified Society members and other interested parties to satisfy our peer2peer and capacity building initiatives. We are also looking for collaborations with institutions of higher learning for the various courses that can be offered online and working with corporates more so NGO’s to understand their training needs for M&E staff that the Society will be happy to fill the gap. This thrilling new effort is being led by our Vice-Chair Leonard.
I mentioned at the beginning of this conversation that every elected office bearer has his or her priorities when they assume any office. I am exhilarated that my five priorities; Innovation, Participation, Accountability, Learning and Re¬gional Representation are reflected in the above announcements I have just shared with you, and promise they will be embedded in everything we do in the next three years. It makes it feel almost serendipitous that my tenure in office coincides with these crucial initiatives and historical changes.
Let me close by urging you all — Members and “future Members” alike — to be a part of this milestone and engage with us, fulsomely and often.
I humbly request that you walk with us as we strive to raise our game yet again, to serve you better, improve and grow our Society. I ask that you partner with us and challenge us when you see areas of improvement. On the flip side, celebrate with us once we have reached these milestones that a few short years ago seemed unattainable and out of reach for credible discussion. I strongly believe collectively we will make the difference that we want in our Society.
I would like to thank you for your votes which saw my election(with my crew) as the new chair, your unconditional support to the Society over the past years and for being such an important part of this journey going forward.