The 16th Event of the Vienna Evaluation Network took place on Thursday, 26 November 2020, 4-5.30pm

Topic: Methodological and practical insights into the participatory development of a MEL system: A case study on tracking social outcomes in Ferrero’s hazelnut value chain
by guest speaker Alice Schmidt (Global Health & Sustainability Expert)

View the video recording (soon to be added)

View or download the slides (PDF)

Ferrero, the chocolate producer and confectionary company, and GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) entered into a Strategic Alliance to promote sustainable sourcing in Turkey, where 70% of the world’s hazelnuts originate. Ferrero has set up an extensive support system to improve the social and agricultural practices of farmers under its Ferrero Farming Values Hazelnut (FFVh) programme. As part of this collaboration with GIZ, Ferrero sought to improve its system for monitoring & evaluation, and to maximise learning about the effects of its social activities in the hazelnut sector.

In her presentation, Alice Schmidt will describe the process of developing a sustainable MEL system for Ferrero’s social activities in Turkey. She will introduce the tools her team developed, tested and applied, highlighting both challenges and opportunities for creating a sustainable MEL system. Besides methodological insights she will discuss broader lessons that may be applicable to MEL system development in the context of public-private cooperation.

Alice Schmidt is a policy advisor, business consultant and lecturer on global health and sustainability. She has worked at the intersection of social, environmental and economic issues for 20+ years in 30 countries with 60+ organisations. Her clients include a range of public and private institutions, from UN agencies and the World Bank to various NGOs as well as large corporates in various industries. Alice currently works as a Global Health Adviser for the European Commission and advises the Extinction Rebellion movement on impact measurement. She regularly teaches BA and MBA students at European universities about sustainable business and management for the future.

Alice recently supported the development of a MEL system for hospital management solutions in low-income contexts (Kenya and Sri Lanka). Previously, she led the development of a MEL system to track social impact of Ferrero’s activities in the hazelnut value chain in Turkey as well as engaging in several research rounds of the ihp+ Results monitoring exercise. Earlier, she designed a partnership evaluation for collaboration between Save the Children, Plan International and a health and hygiene company in India, Nigeria and Pakistan, as well as facilitating the development of a MEL system for a social business in the energy sector in Madagascar.

WHEN: Thursday, November 26, 2020, 4-5.30pm

WHERE: The venue took place ONLINE.

This event is organised with the support of the European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.

The event starts with a presentation by the guest speaker. During the presentation, participants can pose questions and comments in the chat function. After the presentation, participants can also ask questions.

SAVE THE DATE for future VEN events!

Potential guest speakers who are interested in presenting in Spring 2021 (dates yet to be defined) may approach us with a short outline of the topic at


15th VEN Event
Oct 1, 2020, 4-5.30pm
Sustaining All of our Hard Work: Plan, implement, monitor and evaluate for a sustainable exit from the start
by guest speaker Jindra Cekan/ova (valuing voices)
View the video recording here
View or download the slides (PDF): VEN_2020_Jindra_Cekan_SustainingOurHardWork

14th VEN Event
May 20, 2020, 4-5.30pm
Attributing development impact: lessons from action research with the Qualitative Impact Protocol
by guest speaker James Copestake (Bath University, UK)
View or download the slides (PDF): Copestake_QuIP_presentation_VEN_7May2020

13th VEN Event
February 20, 2020, 4-5.30pm
Meta-Evaluation: What is it, what is it good for, and how can it be done?
by guest speaker Thomas Vogel (HORIZONT3000)
View or download foto protocoll (PDF): VEN_MetaEvaluation_Vogel_FotoProtokoll

12th VEN Event
November 21, 2019 at 4-5.30pm.

Researching children: Implications of a special population
by guest speakers Susanne Vogl (University of Vienna)
View or download the slides (PDF): Vogl Researching children_VENSlides_2019

11th VEN Event
October 3, 2019 at 4-5.30pm.

Evaluation culture: What is needed? What is possible?
by guest speakers Katharina Warta & Klaus Schuch (fteval)
View or download the slides (PDF): Schuch&Warta_FTEVAL_VENSlides_3Oct2019 & FTEVAL_Standards_VENSlides_3Oct2019

10th VEN Event
June 17, 2019 at 4-5.30pm.
Social impact evaluation: Measuring the social impact of alternative child care and family strengthening services
by guest speaker Rosalind Willi (SOS Children’s Villages)

View or download the slides (PDF): Willi_SocialImpactEvaluation_VENSlides_17Jun2019

9th VEN Event
April 11, 2019 at 4-5.30pm.
Mixed Methods in Evaluation
by guest speaker Kate Winter (Kate Winter Evaluation)

View or download the slides (PDF): Winter_MixedMethods_VENSlides_11April2019

8th VEN Event
January 23, 2019 at 4-5.30pm.
Gender Mainstreaming in Evaluation
by guest speaker Angela Wroblewski (Institute for Advanced Studies)
View or download the slides (PDF): Wroblewski_VENSlides_23Jan2019

7th VEN Event
November 14, 2018, 4-5.30pm
Learning from Evaluations?
by guest speaker Astrid Ganterer (Austrian Development Agency)
View or download the moderation cards

6th VEN Event
October 22, 2018, 4-5.30pm
Transferring evaluation results for evidence-based decision making in other contexts
by guest speaker Christian Boehler
View or download the slides (PDF): Boehler_VENSlides_22Oct2018

5th VEN Event
September 25, 2018, 4-5.30pm
Mainstreaming “Value For Money” in Development and Humanitarian Programming
by guest speaker Darko Petrovic
View or download the slides (PDF): Petrovic_VENSlides_25Sep2018

4th VEN Event
June 13, 2018, 3-4.30pm
The Role of Programme Theories in Evaluation
By guest speakers Karin Kohlweg and Lisa Ringhofer
View or download the slides (PDF): Kohlweg_Ringhofer_Slides_13June2018

3rd VEN Event
May 9, 2018, 3-4.30pm
Evaluating Advocacy and Communication: Challenges and Solutions
by guest speaker Glenn O’Neil
View or download the slides (PDF): ONeil_Slides_9May2018

2nd VEN Event
April 12, 2018, 3-4.30pm
What is “Evaluation”? Discussing the Fundamentals
by guest speaker Alfred Uhl

Inaugural VEN Event
January 16, 2018, 2-3.30pm
Evaluating effectiveness of complex interventions: Challenges in using RCTs
by guest speaker Ludwig Grillich