Evaluation Systems in Development Co-operation

2016 Review

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Evaluation is widely recognised as an important component for learning and improving development effectiveness. Evaluation responds to public and taxpayer demands for credible information and independent assessment of development co-operation activities. The Development Assistance Committee’s Network on Development Evaluation supports members in their efforts to strengthen and continuously improve evaluation systems.

The 2016 review of evaluation systems in development co-operation looks at the changes and trends in evaluation systems over the last five years. The report describes the role and management of evaluation in development agencies, ministries and multilateral banks. It provides information about the specific institutional settings, resources, policies and practices of DAC Evaluation Network members, and includes specific profiles on each member’s evaluation system. The study identifies major trends and current challenges in development evaluation. It covers issues such as human and financial resources, institutional setups and policies, independence of the evaluation function, reporting and use of evaluation findings, joint evaluation, and the involvement of partner countries in evaluation work.

This report is part of the DAC Network on Development Evaluation’s ongoing efforts to increase the effectiveness of development co-operation policies and programmes by promoting high-quality, independent evaluation.



Foreword and Acknowledgements

Evaluation of development co-operation helps to meet public demands for accountability, and supports transparency by providing evidence about the effectiveness and impact of development policies and programmes. Evaluation also contributes to institutional learning and global knowledge, bringing to light key success factors and obstacles to effective development. High quality evaluation processes and products are important, but strong evaluation systems are needed to encourage the use of findings, ensure the integrity of the evaluation function, and make evaluative evidence readily available for learning. Changes in evaluation systems in recent years reflect evolutions in the development cooperation landscape, including the merger of ministries of international development, foreign affairs, and trade; and the establishment of new evaluation and development oversight bodies. Demand for evaluative evidence is likely to increase with the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals; in this context growing attention must be given to supporting evaluation capacity development in line with SDG follow-up and review processes.


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