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Rethinking Evaluation

Rethinking Evaluation

Many development institutions subscribe to what has come to be known as the DAC evaluation criteria. Specifically, there are five criteria – relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability; in short R/E/E/I/S – that underpin most evaluation systems in international development.

Evaluation questions get framed around these criteria, and reports get written up using this language. But, many an evaluation struggles to implement these criteria in sincerity. Others are accused of using too much jargon as they report faithfully on these criteria. And often, the evaluations tend to leave readers with unanswered questions.

After nearly 15 years of adhering to the DAC evaluation criteria, is it time for a rethink? The Rethinking Evaluation series is dedicated to unpacking and debating evaluation criteria by which we judge success and failure, and whether they are fit for the future.

Rethinking Evaluation- Tracing the Origins of the DAC Evaluation Criteria

Tracing the Origins of the DAC Evaluation Criteria

Understanding the underlying rationale for the "Big 5" DAC evaluation criteria helps us to determine how they might be adapted for the current development context.

Caroline Heider

Rethinking Evaluation - Where to Next?

Rethinking Evaluation

A summary of the ongoing conversations in the evaluation community about updating the DAC Evaluation Criteria.

Caroline Heider

Rethinking Evaluation - Sustaining a Focus on Sustainability

Rethinking Evaluation - Sustaining a Focus on Sustainability

Looking back on years of using the sustainability evaluation criterion, one has to ask - how well have we done?

Caroline Heider

Rethinking Evaluation - Impact: The Reason to Exist

 Rethinking Evaluation - Impact: The Reason to Exist

Complexity theory and enhanced modeling capacities provide opportunities to rethink evaluation methods.

Caroline Heider

Rethinking Evaluation - Assessing Design Quality

Rethinking Evaluation - Assessing Design Quality

Will asking if an intervention's "intentions were right" be enough as we look toward the future?

Caroline Heider

Rethinking Evaluation - What is Wrong with Development Effectiveness?

What’s Wrong with Development Effectiveness?

The way we look at development effectiveness needs a facelift.

Caroline Heider