Consulting on the “Big 5” Evaluation Criteria - What got us here?

Last year, we published our Rethinking Evaluation blog series, which generated a lot of reader interest. Over the past 18 months, people have asked me why I wrote the Rethinking Blog Series. In particular, did I have in mind that it would evolve into the global consultation process recently commissioned by the DAC Network on Development Evaluation

Rethinking Evaluation- Tracing the Origins of the DAC Evaluation Criteria

I had – mistakenly – assumed that the rationale for the “Big 5” evaluation criteria was well understood. After so many years of use, it became almost second nature to use these criteria, as opposed to other options, in our evaluations. [Recent] discussions revealed that while the DAC evaluation criteria were indeed well known, the underlying rationale for using them was not.

Conversations: the Future of Development Evaluation

The growing interest in strengthening development outcomes has stirred increasing debate about evaluation effectiveness. Today, many development institutions subscribe to what has come to be known as the DAC evaluation criteria. Specifically, these are five criteria – relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability; in short R/E/E/I/S – that underpin most evaluations in international development.