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Hall of Fame for TT evaluator

News day / This is the third award Baptiste has received from the university where she earned a PhD in Evaluation and Measurement in 2010. While still a student at Kent State, Baptiste won the 2010 Michael Scriven Dissertation Award and was also the first winner of the Don Brenner Outstanding Paper Award from the International Society for the Study of Subjectivity.

This latest accolade, is bitter- sweet for Baptiste, however.

During an interview via Google Hangouts, Baptiste – who’s currently in Ohio where she received the award on October 21 – shared that her elderly mother had recently been hospitalised.

Baptiste’s parents were planning on attending the ceremony, but could no longer do so. Although Baptiste expressed gratitude and joy at being an awardee, she was visibly upset by her parents absence and mother’s illness. She described the trip as “a particularly emotional time right now.” Searching for Caribbean expertise According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Handbook on Monitoring and Evaluating for Results, the “overall purpose of monitoring and evaluation is the measurement and assessment of performance in order to more effectively manage the outcomes and outputs known as development results.” It is a process used to appraise programmes relying on donor funding from international organisations like the UNDP and World Bank, but also governments and NGOs.

Baptiste is a worthy recipient of the Alumni Award as she has excelled in the field working with numerous international organisations including the World Bank as well as the Caribbean Development Fund, European Union and Inter-American Development Bank. Since completing her PhD, Baptiste has gone on to manage her own firm, Anever Ltd, where she operates as an independent consultant; she was also a founding member of Caribbean Evaluators International (CEI) – a non-profit professional and educational organisation.

Part of Baptiste’s mission with her various portfolios is to dispel certain myths about evaluation in general and evaluation in the region specifically. “The big secret is: evaluation has been in the region for as long as you’ve had donor money. But the preference has been always to bring in international expertise into the region primarily because people felt that persons coming in would be more objective,” said Baptiste.

She added that in the past decade there has been a specific focus on obtaining regional expertise, however.

Putting emphasis on regional experts is one of the reasons Baptiste became involved with the CEI. “We’re about advocating for the use of evaluation, first, and, second, for the use of regional evaluators. Regional evaluators suffer on two levels: there’s a perception that there is no one in the region to do the work and when people do find evaluators in the region to do the work, they start at lower payment rates than those coming from outside (of the region),” Baptiste said. There’s also a perception that regional evaluators hold an inherent, patriotic bias, she added.

Baptiste believes though that people from the region are best suited to do work that often includes contextualising culture.

Her passion for the Caribbean informs this opinion and Baptiste sees her work as contributing to meaningful change. “The work of Anever Ltd must illuminate the value of the work that has to be done, that we really have to use evaluation expertise to increase our learning about what we do well, what we could do better and just what we need to do to improve,” she said.

When asked about her plans for the future, Baptiste said that she will continue to work on projects and is hoping to mentor in the field if possible. She also said that it is her dream to make the CEI the go-to organisation for M&E in the Caribbean.

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