The Third Biannual Conference of Evaluators in the Western Balkans entitled Evaluation – Public Need and/or Political Accountability was organized in Belgrade on November 8-9th 2019. Conference was organised under the umbrella of the Western Balkan Evaluation Network (WBEN) with a support of local partnering institutions – NeMES/INES, SeConS Development Initiative, the Institute of Economic Sciences and Vesta Capital. More than 60 participants, representatives of international organisations (EES, UN, USAID, OSCE, EBRD, etc.), evaluators, evaluation commissioners and researchers from the region and beyond took participation in this event.
The conference was opened by the Coordinator of WBEN, Ms. Marijana Sumpor from the Croatian Evaluation Network, Ms. Bojan Radej, member of the WBEN Programme Committee, Ms. Olivera Vuković, Director of SeConS, and Mr. Jovan Zubović, director of the Institute of Economic Sciences. During the two conference days, 29 presentations had been delivered, divided in 6 sessions. Conference topics included evaluation practice in the international development organisations, evaluation experiences from the region including both evaluations at the national and local level, use of evaluation results for policy making and linkages between research and evaluation.
The conference concluded that the promotion of evaluation culture and greater use of the evaluation results in the policy making processes could have significant contribution to development of the Western Balkan countries in the following period. In that context, one of the main issues and most important challenges for the future period will be improvement of the relatively weak regional evaluation capacities. Comprehensive concept aiming to develop and promote evaluation practice should include all three important stakeholders – researchers, policy makers and civil society.