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How can the development sector improve its practice around the publication and use of evaluation evidence?

Making Evaluations Work Harder for International Development

Bond

Michael Cooke

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NGOs invest significantly in monitoring, learning and evaluation, but their outputs rarely make it into the public domain where they could more easily be used to improve the international development programmes of the future.

This study aims to explore, through semi-structured qualitative interviews, why some organisations publish their evaluations and others do not, and identify key enablers of and barriers to publication.

According to study participants, the main reasons for not publishing evaluations included:

  • Simply not having considered the issue
  • Concerns about the quality of work undertaken by evaluation consultants
  • Under-resourcing of evaluations (driven, in part, by NGOs’ own desire to maximise spending on service delivery)
  • Practical challenges around getting evaluations published on their websites
  • Scepticism about whether evaluations published on their websites would be read and used

On the other hand, NGO evaluations were more likely to be published if there was:

  • An organisational ethos of openness, learning and transparency
  • A desire to build organisational reputation
  • A funder requirement to publish

The report makes a number of suggestions for how the sector could improve its practice around the publication and use of evaluation evidence.

Resource type: report
Making Evaluations Work Harder cover

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