Learning from Evaluation: How can we Stay at the Top of the Game?


Why is there not more organizational learning from self-evaluation? We can list numerous proximate reasons – self-evaluations are done too late, their lessons are of the wrong type, the processes of assigning and validating ratings distract from real learning, they are based on sometimes weak evidence. But, we submit that the ultimate cause is that learning has taken a backseat to accountability.

IEG LIVE: [How] Does the World Bank Group Learn...from its Operations? Lessons from the Fifth Discipline

Have we (finally!) figured out how to be a learning organization?  For the first in the series on “[How] Does the Bank learn from its Operations?!”
IEG’s new evaluation - “Learning and Results II” – argues for a step-change in how the Bank creates, shares, and uses knowledge from its lending operations. Peter gave us the “outside” view and complement the evaluation’s insights: Do organizations learn?  Are the challenges we experience in the World Bank “normal”, or are they specific to us as an organization?

Institutionalizing Evaluation: What is the Theory of Change?


In some instances, commissioning one standalone evaluation is all that's needed. But increasingly organizations across the spectrum are following the long-standing practices of the multi-lateral development banks: they institutionalize evaluation functions. As institutions embark on establishing evaluation functions, they need to ask themselves what does success look like: what difference does the evaluation function make and how can they get the most value for the money spent on institutionalizing an evaluation function?

Facing off: Accountability and Learning - the Next Big Dichotomy in Evaluation?


It wouldn't be the first or second time that we take this route. In the 1990s we saw extensive and heated discussions about whether quantitative methods trumped qualitative ones, or the other way round. That phase was followed by a decade of debates on whether randomized control trials were the only "true" evaluation of results. A claim that was countered by evaluators committed to other evaluation methods that are more participatory and capture qualitative evidence.

Informed Solutions from the Solutions Bank - Getting more Bank for the Buck

This paper highlights the conundrum faced by World Bank in the way it uses learning and evidence to drive decision-making. It provides evidence for the existence of the conundrum, explores the reasons for its existence, points to specific instances where it has been overcome, and details possible directions for a wide-scale solution.