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Evaluating for People and the Planet

The Core of Evaluation

Several programs operate in the background but serve as the backbone of evaluation practice at the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG). IEG invests in the development of cutting-edge evaluation methods through its Methods Advisory Function, in ensuring robust Bank Group accountability through the Management Action Record, and in staff learning through the IEG Academy.

Methods Advisory Function

In fiscal year (FY)23, after several years leading experiments with methodologies and data science applications, the IEG methods team consolidated the knowledge gained. Using a two-pronged approach, the team began promoting a fit-for-purpose process to methodological innovation.

First, innovations that have been tested, replicated, and refined for fitness and efficiency are being mainstreamed across IEG’s evaluations. To support uptake by evaluation teams, IEG expanded its user-centered data platforms and developed job aids, clinics, formal trainings, and customized methods workshops. IEG also formalized the Data Science Community of Practice, which is led by the methods team and includes task team leaders and analysts from across IEG units.

Second, IEG continues to experiment with cutting-edge methods and data science applications. For example, in FY23, IEG experimented with various applications of natural language processes for a range of “text as data” and rigorous theory-based impact evaluation techniques, such as process tracing, to evaluate the World Bank’s knowledge work.

Four methods papers on innovative methodological applications in evaluation were published in FY23. Learn more about the series and read the papers on the Evaluation Methods Resources page.

Independent Evaluation Group Methods Papers Series


One of the goals of IEG’s Methods Advisory Function is to share its methodological research and other resources that promote evaluation knowledge. The IEG Methods and Evaluation Capacity Development Working Paper Series provides evaluation professionals with guidance on specific methodological practices and lessons learned from the application of novel or innovative evaluation methods. Four series papers were published in FY23, covering poverty mapping, structured literature reviews, case-based causal analysis, and machine learning.

Management Action Record

The purpose of the Management Action Record assessment system is to support accountability, learning, and adaptation for the Bank Group’s implementation of recommendations from IEG evaluations. In FY21, the Management Action Record underwent a reform to strengthen its outcome orientation, and in FY23, IEG and Bank Group management continued to optimize the platform. This year, management provided useful evidence for each evaluation that describes progress along a results chain for each of the 59 recommendations. With this change and through dialogue, IEG and management were generally better aligned on assessments of progress. IEG and management agreed on the level of progress in four out of five recommendations. Independent Evaluation Group Validation of the Management Action Record 2023 found that, overall, the Bank Group made steady progress in implementing IEG recommendations through delivering internal products and adapting processes; in some cases, it has achieved meaningful change in direction that shows that the outcomes of recommendations are being achieved.


IEG Academy

The IEG Academy focuses on building and reinforcing the staff skills needed to carry out IEG’s mandate successfully. The FY23 Learning Days delivered 17 live, interactive learning sessions; 5 virtual reality sessions for an immersive learning experience on diversity, equity, and inclusion topics; and 7 networking events. All were delivered over four dedicated days providing opportunities to 109 IEG staff and consultants to participate in virtual and in-person formats. Addressing select learning needs of staff in all roles, the program focused on three tracks:

  1. Your Work—Sharpening Your Technical Edge, with courses on evaluation design and productivity skills.
  2. Your Influence—Communicating for Impact, with courses on presentation and writing skills.
  3. Yourself and Others—Growing Together, with courses on inclusive environments.

In addition to the synchronous Learning Days, the IEG Academy delivered learning through the following offerings and modalities in FY23:

  • In-person and virtual synchronous courses, clinics, and brown-bag lunches (38)
  • Library of resources, including on-the-job tools, self-paced eLearning courses, and other recommended resources organized by role
  • Launch of learning bundles in FY23 (which include a curation of existing learning courses and resources per area of development and skills) with Operations Learning for Evaluators (Version 1); to be followed in FY24 with Writing for IEG Staff; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for IEG Staff; Operations Learning for Evaluators (version 2), among others
  • Peer mentoring program supporting two new learning circles on how to improve our responsible evaluation practices: ecological systems thinking and participatory approaches
  • Onboarding guidance, resources, and training to orient new hires.