The Evaluation Reference Group (ERG) will work with the Evaluation Function Lead, under the oversight of the Director, CAS Secretariat, to provide expert input to CAS Evaluation Function as it implements its approved 2022-24 workplan. Detailed group objectives and related responsibilities align with the workplan, and available to the public upon request. CAS will revise the reference group terms of reference periodically as necessary, in accordance with adaptive management principles.

ERG Members


Roberto La Rovere 

Roberto La RovereRoberto La Rovere is an independent evaluator. He previously worked at three CGIAR Centers in West and East Africa, Syria, and Mexico, being focal point for the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) and the Science Council until 2010. He has consulted extensively for the UN Rome-Based Agencies, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and for a decade was an evaluator at UNDP, and then at the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

His research and science track led him to author above a hundred publications including a chapter on Evaluation of Climate Change, Environment and NRM in the CGIAR  in the book titled Evaluating Environment in International Development. He holds a Ph.D. in natural resource management (NRM) economics, and degrees in development economics and agricultural sciences and systems as well as specializations in evaluation and climate change.     

Roberto has interests in evaluation in development and humanitarian contexts and his evaluation and working experience cuts across multiple and diverse cultures as he has been based in Latin America, the Middle East, Far East Asia, and in most regions of Africa. He strongly believes in the transformative power of evaluation for catalyzing organizational learning and change and for greater impact.

Zenda Ofir 

Zenda Ofir Zenda Ofir is a full-time South African evaluator and scientist. With a Ph.D. in (Ecological) Chemistry, she was a grants portfolio manager in a National Science Council and Director of Research at the University of Pretoria before turning to evaluation. Since 2000 she has worked across the world from local to global level, with a special focus on Africa and Asia.  

A former President of the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA), she has been visiting professor at Hiroshima University, Honorary Professor at Stellenbosch University, and for several years presented the Aid Effectiveness module at the United Nations University in Tokyo. She is a Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin, and interim Chair of the Council of the International Evaluation Academy (IEAc).

She has a special interest in the intersection of humanity and nature, the decolonization of development and of evaluation, and in how to accelerate progress towards urgently needed large-scale transformations.


Sonal Zaveri

Sonal ZaveriSonal Zaveri has over 30 years’ experience in strategic planning, program design, capacity building, mentoring, and evaluation. She has a Ph.D. in Social Work and was a Fleishman Fellow at Duke University, USA. She has worked in more than 25 countries in Asia, Asia-Pacific, and Central Asia, East and West Africa, Middle East, and Eastern Europe at grassroots, sub-national, national, regional, and international levels bringing a broad contextual experience.

She holds regional and global leadership positions - founder and board member of Community of Evaluators South Asia; coordinator of the Gender & Equity Network South Asia (GENSA); co-chair EvalGender+, member of the EvalPartners Coordination Committee, board member of the International Evaluation Academy (IEAc), and a core member of the South to South Evaluation (S2SE), which addresses asymmetries in global evaluation.

Sonal’s interests relate to how rights, participation, transformation, and gender are addressed through collaborative, culturally responsive, and learning-oriented evaluation approaches, and methodologies.


Guy Poppy

Guy PoppyProfessor Guy Poppy served as the UK’s Food Standards Agency’s (FSA’s) Chief Scientific Adviser from 2014 to 2020. He continues with his research in global food security at the University of Southampton, where he is Professor of ecology and directs interdisciplinary research as the Associate Vice President. He was appointed Companion of the Order of Bath (CB) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021.

He has significant research experience in food systems and food security and has advised governments around the world on these issues. He is currently a member of the Research Excellence Framework (REF2021) panel assessing the quality of agriculture, food, and veterinary science in the UK, having previously served on the REF2014 panel. He is a graduate of Imperial College and Oxford University, and previously worked at Rothamsted Research.

He focuses on connecting science to users and has pushed for scientists to be intelligent providers to intelligent customers of science.

Ola Ogunyinka

Ola OgunyinkaDr. Ogunyinka, a Resource Economist by training is a Senior Research Fellow and Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation Specialist at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom. He has had a long association with the CGIAR system dating back to early 1991 to 2006 while working with IITA, Ibadan Nigeria as the Head of the then Monitoring and Evaluation Unit.

With a Ph.D in program evaluation,  Dr. Ogunyinka’s 35 year’s evaluation experience cuts across sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia and includes a range of large-scale, multi-country program, process, performance, and impact evaluations. This covers impact assessment, agricultural value chain analysis, research, and capacity building covering the broad areas of rural livelihood improvement systems, food security, poverty alleviation, and natural resources management.

His main evaluation interests include methodological issues and learning.


Read more on the pilot phase