Hasna Ziraoui is an international project management expert who is based in Morocco. She currently works as Mission Head at the President’s Office of Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Benguerir and previously served as a facilitator of organizational change for one of the world’s largest phosphate suppliers, OCP Group.

On February 27 and 28, 2023, Ziraoui attended a workshop in Rome, Italy about the learning from the workshop organized by the CGIAR’s Independent Advisory and Evaluation Service (IAES) on the new guidelines. These build on the CGIAR Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC)’s Quality of Research for Development (QoR4D) Frame of Reference, and provide the framing, criteria, dimensions, and methods for assessing QoR4D – both within CGIAR, and in other like-minded organizations. The hybrid online and in-person event was designed to help practitioners across and beyond the CGIAR system to understand and apply the new guidelines in their own evaluative contexts.


We spoke to Ziraoui to find out more about her experience of the workshop and her aspirations going forward. These were heavily grounded in the IAES technical note on bibliometrics.

Q: How familiar were you with the CGIAR, the ISDC and the Evaluation Function prior to the workshop?

A: I was not familiar with it at all.

Q: How much experience did you already have on the topic of evaluating quality of science and QoR4D?

A: None.

Q: Were your expectations from the workshop met? Did you have any unanticipated learnings?

A: Yes, my expectations were met. I was eager to understand the framework for evaluation, and attending the workshop inspired me to implement changes towards developing our own framework at Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco.  

Q: What did you find the most exciting (eg. sessions, people, case studies)”

A: I found that the case studies were the best sessions, because we had to put the learnings into practice, so we remembered and integrated them better. It was also the best format for getting to know other people. I would have liked to have had more sessions like this in order to work with a wider range of people.

Q: What will you take forward into your work? Where/how?

A: After the workshop, I was eager to contribute towards establishing this kind of culture, collective understanding, and rigor in evaluating research projects and programs in my home context. This will also help us design our calls for applications accordingly, being mindful of:

  • the relevance of the research programs/projects
  • coherence between the various research programs, and between projects within each program
  • impact: ensuring we have the theory of change embedded in the call for applications.

Q: Is there a particular way in which you would like to continue engaging with IAES/Evaluation and CGIAR on this topic, and around the Guidelines? If so, what?

A: Yes, I would love to keep learning, and to better understand how the framework is implemented.