Community representatives in Nepal (Thakur Thapa) answering people’s questions during a Public Audit.
Photo: HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation

27.03.2018

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Evaluations have many aspirations, not only to account for results. Evaluations are tools for reflection and learning, for decision-making and team-building, for ownership creation and empowerment, and for advocacy. The current – and no doubt indispensable – debate on providing robust evidence on the impact of development interventions tends to lose sight of the valuable multifunctionality of evaluations.

The discussions around rigorous evidence on the impact of development programmes and the use of accurate scientific methods tend to veil the subjectivity of impact evaluations; the moment, the research subject, the methods, the “deliverables” and the participants, both evaluators and evaluated, are the result of intentional multistakeholder decision-making. There is a purpose behind each evaluation, which needs to be outlined in the description of the process and methodology applied of an evaluation. Since impact evaluations are costly investments, donors certainly play a crucial role regarding the type and quality of such exercises.

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