Our Strategic Directions

The Academy embraces evaluation transformation towards (i) respect and care for the community of life; (ii) ecological integrity; (iii) social and economic justice; and (iv) democracy, non-violence, and peace. It is a ‘big tent’ under which initiatives are elicited and implemented. All Academy partnerships, and interventions (policies, programs, projects, events, publications, etc.) will fall within the scope of Board approved strategies that emphasize the following priorities: 

  • Transforming: in pursuit of systemic social transformation, work to change mind sets, promote interdisciplinarity, broker knowledge exchanges, empower the civil society, and improve the ways practitioners identify, conceptualize, plan, and carry out evaluations to address the complex challenges of socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable development, especially in fragile and conflict prone contexts 
  • Influencing: expand the reach and activate the voice of evaluation through principled evaluation advocacy; increase evaluation engagement across borders, generations, and sectors (public, private, and civil society); promote improved evaluation governance norms; etc. 
  • Professionalizing: contribute to methodological advances at the frontiers of social research and evaluation; provide professional development support, especially to young and emerging evaluators; lay the foundations for international agreement on what being a good evaluator means and how to reach for evaluation excellence in the public interest

In pursuit, of these policy directions, as a Science Academy, IEAc will work to strengthen the scientifically significant, credible, validated, culturally responsive, and  trans-disciplinary body of evaluation-based knowledge about intervention processes, effectiveness, impacts, and consequences, systemically and systematically,  and bring science-based evaluative thinking into community, societal, and policy deliberations about evidence, results, choices, and decisions affecting the future of people and the planet. 

Involvement of Fellows

Fellows are encouraged to contribute ideas and to propose activities supportive of the Academy mission:

  • Transforming evaluation: changing the way we do evaluations to address the complex challenges of socially and environmentally sustainable development
  • Growing evaluation: activating the voice of evaluation across borders, generations, and sectors (public, private, and civil society)
  • Professionalizing evaluation: providing enhanced support for young and emerging evaluators; and initiatives on what being an evaluator means and how to reach for evaluation excellence

Wide Range of Approaches

The Academy embraces a wide range of evaluation approaches, models, and methods. It respects the subsidiarity principle in all its work; mobilises the energies and skills of volunteers at the local, national, regional, and global level; organizes knowledge communities of Fellows (‘hubs’) to address diverse thematic, regional and local priorities; and reaches out to partners across borders, disciplinary boundaries, and all sectors of society – public, private, and civil society.

Business Model

The Academy is action-oriented, pragmatic, flexible, inclusive, and volunteer driven. It acts globally as well as locally. It respects the subsidiarity principle in all its work. It collaborates and partners with all evaluation associations and networks. It reaches out to all knowledge disciplines. It encourages initiative, innovation, and commensurate self-control. No Fellowship fee is charged. Fellows’ voluntary contributions, crowd funding and foundation support puts the Academy on a sustainable growth path. Evaluators admitted to the Academy are entitled to include the IEAc Fellow designation on their business cards. 

Collaborative work areas/programmes

The Academy relies on Friends/Evaluation Scientists to exercise creativity and initiative; and to identify, design, and implement activities that will help in transforming, increasing influence, and professionalizing evaluation.

Thus, under Board oversight Friends/Evaluation Scientists initiate, design, implement or participate in collaborative areas of work, and projects that fall within or cut across approved clusters of activities

Clusters of Activities

Academy activities are varied, reflecting the diversity of its membership. Following are illustrative clusters of work areas.

  • Evaluation research: research on evaluation methods, governance, management, models, and practices; science-based evaluation initiatives (e.g., complexity, systems thinking, mapping, etc.)
  • Evaluation advocacy: promotion of sound evaluation policies; engagement with civil society groups; encouragement of corporate social responsibility-oriented evaluation; etc.
  • Evaluation education: promotion of high-quality tertiary evaluation education in universities worldwide, especially in the Global South
  • Evaluation capacity development: provide guidance, training, and other capacity development initiatives to promote innovative evaluation approaches, such as complex systems analysis,  indigenous evaluation frameworks, or the use of data science and artificial intelligence. Capacity development initiatives are typically identified in partnership with other evaluation and social research organizations, and are aligned with the Academys transformational aspirations.

  • Evaluation professionalisation: mutual recognition of guiding principles; professional ethics; competency frameworks; mentoring and professional development; support to young and emerging evaluators’ initiatives; prizes and awards, etc. 
  • Transformational evaluation: promotion of evaluations that ask hard questions geared to transformational change, socially and environmentally sustainable development, Blue Marble evaluations, etc.
  • Evaluators without borders: promotion of international evaluation exchanges; contributions to effective communications across evaluation cultures; amplification of indigenous evaluation voices; etc.
  • Expert evaluation services: set up of independent commissions, workshops, roundtables, and expert meetings tasked with evaluation of critically important public policies and programs; Academy-directed transformational evaluations; provision of independent, objective evaluation advice to improve the validity, quality, and social utility of evaluations in the public, private, and voluntary sector¹.

¹ These activities will be subject to strict Board oversight and conflict of interest rules.


Proposals for initiatives are approved by a Program Operations’ concept review subcommittee following submission and review of a Concept Note form. This is to ensure proposed initiatives are relevant to the Academy’s strategic directions and comply with its values, standards, principles, and quality assessment criteria. Progress towards results is reported to the Board on a quarterly basis. All Academy collaborative work areas have a number of discrete interventions (projects, events, publications, etc.).

Project Funding

Academy activities are volunteer driven but once established can become funded initiatives. Operational expenses may have to be defrayed in some instances. To ensure that this does not preclude the implementation of priority interventions, especially those preparatory to (or included in) programmes already approved or under consideration or gestation, the Academy may provide small grants to initiatives, members in good standing to support the design, incubation, and/or implementation of activities that support Academy goals and priorities. Grant applicants undertake to behave ethically, to report on results, and to draw lessons at project completion. Due diligence processes aligned with the Academy bylaws are put in place before an intervention is formally launched. Board members cannot benefit directly from small grants.

For major activities the Academy seeks funding from partners and this may include paid time for Friends/Scientists working on these activities, as well as other operational costs.


The Academy reaches out to the global evaluation community, potential partners and sponsors, as well as to users of evaluations and to stakeholders, through its website and its publications, as well as public appearances and presentations in events and conferences, whether virtual or in person. Board and Friends are expected to be ambassadors for the Academy and for global transformational evaluation.


Where possible and useful, the Academy will join advocacy campaigns and aim to add value to them through promotion of sound evaluation policies; engagement with government as well as civil society groups; encouragement of corporate social responsibility-oriented evaluation; environmentally responsible evaluation; etc.