If indeed we are entering a post-fact world, it will be even more important for us to strengthen evaluation capacity and methods to deliver even higher quality evaluations and find ways to be heard among the maelstrom of misinformation

As 2016 draws to a close, I wanted to use the last blog of the year to thank the many readers that we have had over the past year(s). Many of you are returning and engaged readers. I am thankful that you not only read but contribute your views and experiences through our platform. And, as our blog readership has grown significantly over the year, we would like to welcome all the newcomers who we hope will stay on for another year of interesting blogs.

In our blogs, we try to balance those that share development insights from our evaluations. Our work focuses on what the World Bank Group delivers and achieves in partnership with its client countries. Evaluations over the past year covered the support that the World Bank Group provides to

Drawing on our evaluation work during the year, we used the blog to highlight the internal workings of the World Bank Group. For a period, we focused on improving the self-evaluation with the goal of supporting the Bank Group with insights to move towards a functioning system that generates timely signals when course corrections are needed. This is vital to the success and adaptability of any institution. The World Bank Group is no exception and even more so serves as an example to others.

In the same spirit, many of our blogs during the year were dedicated to advancing the evaluation practice. Our series on increasing the value-for-money from evaluations was particularly popular with many excellent comments from our readership on blogs like the role of evaluation in influencing change, or how such influence of evaluation functions can be institutionalized. Following on from this success, our new Methods Advisor Jos Vaessen started another blog series on program theory and intervention models as they apply to international development projects. Many of you responded positively to our blog on using evaluation to enhance the performance of development partnerships.

But, amidst of all of these positive signs of encouraging thoughtful exchanges, the year also draws to a close on a note that some have termed the “post-facts” era. The frenzy of fake news, opinions presented as facts, so-called facts conjured up from partial views without evidence base… all of this gave me pause to reflect deeply. As evaluators, we dedicate our professional lives to sifting through facts and figures, applying a mix of methods that help understand better whether a situation is better or worse, or a policy has worked and what it produced. If indeed we are entering a post-fact world, it will be even more important for us to strengthen evaluation capacity and methods to deliver even higher quality evaluations and find ways to be heard among the maelstrom of misinformation.

What would you like to see in 2017?

We will of course continue to bring you the highlights of our evaluation findings as we move ahead into the New Year, but there is room for a much wider and deeper discussion about the many facets of our work as evaluators.  Are you interested to learn more about the role of evaluation in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals?  Would you like to learn more about the specific tools and data-gathering methods we use here at IEG?  Are you interested in hearing from one of our experts on a specific topic?  Let us know in the comments section - we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Comments

Submitted by Abdul on Thu, 12/22/2016 - 03:14

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Hi Caroline, I am a regular visitor of your blog and appreciate the insights and information that I think would surely help in improvement of organizations through a robust and realistic evaluation. I would like to continue and receive the valuable insights in the future through this blog and keen to contribute in evaluation of WB Programs/projects. Yours truly, Abdul (M&E Consultant)

Submitted by Bill Sewell on Thu, 12/22/2016 - 05:14

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Two aspects of cost-effective, sustainable development on which we need to focus in 2017, include ;
- business & public sector management collaboration , towards shared vision and mission...
- effective municipal / local government mandates and competences, including community collaboration and accountabilities.

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