Photo: Cornelis Gollhardt/laif

27.03.2018

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With the aspect of impact gaining importance in development co-operation, there is a growing demand for evaluations. This article’s authors maintain that a more systematic integration of evaluation methods is needed to reflect the complexity of the real world and to make results more meaningful.

In times of scarce resources and mounting public interest in questions around global development, there is a growing demand for impact evaluations as a means of measuring whether public resources are spent effectively and efficiently. Policy-makers, development partners and implementing agencies want and need to show that they make decisions based on evidence and that they learn from what works and what does not. Stakeholders, including funders, beneficiaries and the general public, increasingly ask for information whether spending was meaningful and effective. Besides this issue of aid effectiveness, accountability and transparency are central to development co-operation. Comprehensive global development agendas, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, emphasise the role of impact evaluations in assessing the achievement of highly aggregated development targets. The past decade has also seen the advent of new actors in international co-operation, such as philanthropic organisations, private sector companies or new forms of social investment funds.

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