Localization and locally-led monitoring, evaluating, and learning (MEL) initiatives have existed as long as the international development and humanitarian aid industry but have regained momentum in recent years. The sector is grounded in colonial roots, and thus far, attempts to decolonize or localize by shifting autonomy from global north to global south actors have been met with a myriad of challenges to meaningfully implementing change.  

SI believes strongly in localization and is working to make it a reality. We are proud to contribute to and learn from this space by bringing together diverse voices which center the efforts of local actors. SI is actively engaging local advocates who are leading power-shifting efforts in locally-led MEL. SI will promote localization as a cross-cutting theme at AEA’s (Re) shaping Evaluation Together conference in November 2022 and is spearheading discussions and panels around this topic leading up to the conference. 

In preparation for the conference, and in collaboration with AEA, SI brought evaluators from a variety of backgrounds and organizations together for the AEA 365 blog series. Through this series, contributors shared experiences and tools to shift power across the evaluation cycle—from co-creation to examining the power dynamics of local MEL actors. SI also moderated a virtual Town Hall on Localization and the Future of Evaluation on August 4 (see previous blog for recording), during which we engaged five panelists, implementers, and donors to discuss the implications of how shifting to locally-led MEL will re-shape evaluation more broadly. 

SI is proud to be working with the blog contributors and webinar panelists to further these conversations.

All of these ongoing conversations will provide a foundation to further support discourse within the Presidential Strand of Equity, Social Justice, and Decolonization of Evaluations at the 2022 AEA Conference. We invite you to join us and continue the conversation!  


Photo by: Social Impact