Making evaluations matter: A practical guide for evaluators.
Kusters, C.S.L. et al. 2011
Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University & Research centre, The Netherlands
Available online PDF [120p.] at: http://bit.ly/zt3quw
“……Evaluations do matter, they can contribute to the general understanding of complex environments in which many of our development initiatives take place and help us to be innovative in the way we adapt our programmes to address the needs of intended primary users and to improve the welfare of primary stakeholders…..”
“……….The guide draws heavily on Michael Quinn Patton’s Utilization- Focused Evaluation approach (2008). The importance of good evaluative practice and the need to embed evaluations into existing learning processes within organisations are emphasised.
Chapter 1 presents four core principles underpinning evaluations that matter. These are:
- utilization -focused and influence- and consequence aware; focusing on stakes,
- stakeholder engagement and learning;
situational responsiveness; and
- multiple evaluator and evaluation roles.
Chapter 2 gives an overview of suggested steps for designing and facilitating evaluations that matter, with a particular focus on utilization and being aware of the possible influences and consequences of evaluations.
It stresses the importance of including primary intended users and other key stakeholders in the evaluation so as to enhance understanding of the development intervention. The key steps of the evaluation process – establishing ability and readiness; focusing; implementing and evaluating the evaluation – are covered. In
Chapter 3, the role of stakeholders is highlighted in terms of their stakes, participation, consequences of choosing who to involve and who not to involve in the process.
The need to balance content and people processes is also discussed. Core concepts and ideas centred on making evaluations learning experiences are presented in Chapter 4. Barriers to learning and ways of enhancing learning among stakeholders are also explored.
Chapter 5 brings the possible influences of evaluation on change processes to the surface and explains how you can go about managing change.
Central to this is Kotter’s (2002) suggested steps to facilitate change. You will find in the Annexes an example of learning purposes, evaluation questions, uses and users of an evaluation for a food security programme, a table comparing traditional programme evaluation with developmental evaluation (Patton, 2011), as well as a list…”
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