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.

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.