This session discussed how evaluation functions within multilateral and bilateral agencies working in the field of international development have dealt with the operational challenges – and found innovations - in commissioning and conducting evaluations in times of COVID-19. More specifically, panelists discussed the following three questions:

  • How have evaluation functions adapted to the challenges of collecting and analyzing evaluative evidence in times of COVID-19?
  • What innovations have been developed or scaled up to mitigate these challenges?
  • What will the ‘new normal’ look like? In what ways will the pandemic have a lasting influence on evaluation design and implementation?

Representatives from three agencies participated in this panel discussion.

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Opening Remarks


Alison Evans
Director-General, IEG

Dr. Evans, a United Kingdom national, assumed her position as Director-General, Evaluation at the World Bank Group on January 3, 2019. Before her current role, Dr. Evans was the Chief Commissioner of the UK’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) based in London, England where she provided strong leadership and vision to the transformation of that organization's scrutiny mandate.

Dr. Evans brings more than 25 years of international development experience, spanning policy, research and evaluation across diverse geopolitical and multicultural environments.  more...

Chair of Session

Oscar Calvo-Gonzalez

Oscar Calvo-Gonzalez
Director, IEG

Oscar Calvo-Gonzalez is a Director in the World Bank's evaluation department. He has been with the World Bank since 2006, leading lending operations and analyses in multiple countries. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.   more...




Panelists (updated)

Estelle RaimondoEstelle Raimondo, PhD
Senior Evaluator, IEG

Estelle Raimondo leads evaluations and advises teams across IEG on methodological design and innovations. With ten+ years of experience in development evaluation, she is a faculty member of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) and serves on the board of the European Evaluation Society.  Her research has been published in several internationally peer-reviewed journals and manuscripts. She received her PhD in evaluation research from the George Washington University.


Sven Harten
Deputy Director, Head of Competence Centre for Evaluation Methodology, DEval

Sven Harten is Deputy Director at DEval and heads the Competence Centre for Evaluation Methodologies. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the LSE and has more than 20 years of experience in designing, implementing and managing more than 50 evaluations in the field of development cooperation. Previously, Sven worked at the World Bank (IFC), the European Commission as well as evaluation consultancy firms. He lived more than 10 years in developing countries (Africa and Latin America) and has travelled extensively on evaluation missions in these regions.


Allison Haselkorn
Acting Evaluation Team Lead | Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist, USAID Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning Office of Learning, Evaluation, and Research (PPL/LER)

Allison Haselkorn manages the agency's $655 million monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) services mechanism, EVAL-ME II IDIQ, which provides MEL services for all USAID Bureaus and Missions worldwide, across all international development and humanitarian programming sectors. She additionally oversees several agency-wide priority studies. Prior to joining USAID as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2014, Allison supported fledgling MEL units in several implementing and non-profit organizations. 


Sophia van der Bijl
Evaluation Specialist, USAID Bureau for Policy, Planning, and Learning Office of Learning, Evaluation, and Research (PPL/LER)

Sophia van der Bijl previously served as the Acting Director of the Global Development Lab's office of Evaluation and Impact Assessment (EIA), where she managed the EIA team's activities. Sophia coordinated all of the awards under the Lab's Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Innovations (MERLIN) program. Previously, Sophia worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Advisor in USAID's Bureau for Food Security, providing technical leadership and guidance on "Feed the Future" M&E system development, evaluation design and implementation, data collection, analysis, and reporting. Prior to joining USAID, she worked as a Director on M&E issues at the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Chemonics International.