In the past few decades the Royal government of Bhutan (RGOB) embarked upon strengthening the monitoring and evaluation system in the country since 2006 through establishing the national monitoring and evaluation system, however evaluation culture in the country still remain weak. A SWOT analysis of the Bhutan’s Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system undertaken during a training on evaluation in Bhutan in March 2013 conducted by the GHNC and UNICEF Bhutan found that evaluation system was weak, technical capacity to conduct/commission and manage evaluation was lacking and demand for evaluation was low. Since 2013, a small but a committed group of monitoring and evaluation enthusiasts in Bhutan had been working on making a strong foundation for the association. It was also noted that evaluations in Bhutan were also generally mostly donor-driven. These factors posed challenges towards strengthening the evaluation culture in Bhutan. It was also recommended that a non-profit association and network of evaluators be established to provide the much-needed platform to promote evaluation in Bhutan. This led to the establishment of the Evaluation Association of Bhutan (EAB). With this EAB started as an informal virtual stage in 2013 and gradually grew into a full-fledged Civil Society Organization in 2017 as an MBO.
The association was formed to provide a much-needed platform for promoting evaluation culture, developing evaluation capacity, and generating demand for evaluation in Bhutan. Evaluation of development activities is crucial for a wholesome progress, hence the need to promote the culture of evaluation and inculcating evaluative thinking. With the establishment of EAB in 2013, EAB joined the Community of Evaluators (CoE) as members, which contributed to more discourses on development evaluation and strengthening the evaluation culture in the country. In 2020 EAB has got an opportunity to extend the network by joining as a member with Asia-Pacific Evaluation Association (APEA) and International Organization for Cooperation of Evaluation (IOCE).
Moving forward, EAB is expected to play a critical role in sustainably promoting and increasing the demand for evaluations while the government bodies, parliamentarians, academia, international development partners, media and other stakeholders have a key role in building an enabling environment for evaluation.