The history of the development of Voluntary Organizations for Professional Evaluation (VOPEs) demonstrates that the profession of evaluation follows the path mapped by Flexner. VOPEs are established by evaluation practitioners, that is, people who make their living by doing or commissioning evaluations, who self-organize to discuss and share professional experiences and challenges and to jointly advance the profession and develop professional standards. VOPE events, e.g. conferences, workshops and seminars, and publications provide a platform for professional exchange. This exchange advances the professional capacity of more experienced evaluators and the learning of those who are new to the profession. Initially VOPEs contribute to the development of national evaluation capacities by building capacities of individual evaluators. At this stage VOPEs may also indirectly influence national and organizational evaluation policies if VOPE members get involved in the development of these policies as individuals.
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