Influence through Evaluations- a Year in Review
Against the context of increased expectations, limited resources, and competing demands, fiscal year (FY) 17 was a great year for IEG.
Evaluators must produce and present our findings in ways that provide meaningful real-time feedback for course corrections.
Evaluators need to make sense of inter-connections across themes, countries, and sectors.
Evaluators ...must produce and present our findings in ways that provide meaningful real-time feedback for course corrections. In an increasingly complex environment, we must also be able to apply our evaluative tools to make sense of the inter-connections across themes, countries, and sectors.
This week, we published our annual report for the year ending June 2017.
For me, these annual reviews are always a good opportunity to step back and reflect not just on our accomplishments, but more importantly on how changes in the development landscape impact our work and our role us as evaluators.
So, what is my take on the last year?
Growing inequality, recent political shifts, continuing instability in different parts of the world, and natural disasters have all contributed to a new authorizing environment. Institutions such as the World Bank Group are now having to operate in an increasingly complex world. Faced with new challenges, they must also grapple with the implications of increased expectations, limited resources, and competing demands.
For evaluators, this means we have to be more nimble in order to bring our evaluative insights to bear on the emerging priorities our clients face. Yes, we must continue to do the bread-and-butter evaluations that help our clients learn from the past. But we must produce and present our findings in ways that provide meaningful real-time feedback for course corrections. In an increasingly complex environment, we must also be able to apply our evaluative tools to make sense of the inter-connections across themes, countries, and sectors.
Against this context, fiscal year (FY) 17 was a great year for IEG.
We delivered a number of timely, highly relevant evaluations that informed discussions inside and outside the World Bank Group. For example, our evaluations of the World Bank Group’s new country engagement model and of the relatively new Program-for-Results lending instrument informed course corrections for the World Bank Group. At the same time, by looking at important sectors like higher education, water supply and sanitation, and urban transport, we were able to bring our evaluative insights to bear on areas important to the World Bank Group’s ability to achieve its goals and contribute to the sustainable development goals.
In terms of outreach, we are doing a better job at communicating and sharing our insights with our stakeholders. In fact, in FY17, we saw significant increases in the number of people who accessed our evaluations and bite-sized evidence. We also stimulated many conversations, most notably around the need to rethink evaluation. Our blog series, “Rethinking Evaluation” was one of our most successful online conversations we have had.
On the learning front, we launched a new pilot – the Learning Engagement Fund- to encourage World Bank Group operations teams to draw on, dive deeper, and learn more from IEG evaluations. Our first-year results were positive – and we are continuing the pilot for a second year.
For more on what we accomplished, please read the annual report.
Looking ahead, there is a lot to be excited about in the new year. We’ve made good progress on implementing the recommendations of the external review of IEG, which was completed in 2015. Among some of the big initiatives underway is work on revising IEG’s mandate and developing a new World Bank Group-wide evaluation framework.
Following extensive consultations with the Board, Management and other stakeholders, we have agreed on a work program that will see us undertake important evaluations to advance the World Bank Group’s understanding of what works and why. We will be covering major themes such as forced displacement, carbon finance, essential health services, resilience among others.
I am excited about the new year and look forward to sharing our results over the coming months.