Ten steps to making evaluation matter
This paper proposes ten steps to make evaluations matter. The ten steps are a combination of the usual recommended practice such as developing program theory and implementing rigorous evaluation designs with a stronger focus on more unconventional steps including developing learning frameworks, exploring pathways of evaluation influence, and assessing spread and sustainability. Consideration of these steps can lead to a focused dialogue between program planners and evaluators and can result in more rigorously planned programs. The ten steps can also help in developing and implementing evaluation designs that have greater potential for policy and programmatic influence. The paper argues that there is a need to go beyond a formulaic approach to program evaluation design that often does not address the complexity of the programs. The complexity of the program will need to inform the design of the evaluation. The ten steps that are described in this paper are heavily informed by a Realist approach to evaluation. The Realist approach attempts to understand what is it about a program that makes it work.
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