The Holy Grail of Utilization-Focused Evaluation? Early Lessons from Piloting Developmental Evaluation in the USAID Context

Session Number: 2607
Track: Use and Influence of Evaluation
Session Type: Panel
Session Facilitator: Gabrielle Plotkin [Program Manager - Social Impact]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Rebecca Herrington [Developmental Evaluator - Social Impact]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Shannon Griswold [Sr. Scaling Advisor, Office of Evaluation and Impact Assessment, US Global Development Lab - US Agency for International Development]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Haley Dillan [DM&E Coordinator, Institutional Learning Team - Search for Common Ground]
Fourth Author or Discussion Group Leader: Danielle C. de Garcia, MPA, CPT [Program Director, Performance Evaluation, Innovation, and Learning - Social Impact, Inc.]
Time: Nov 11, 2017 (09:15 AM - 10:00 AM)
Room: Washington 1

Audience Level: Intermediate

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Developmental Evaluation (DE) aspires to be the holy grail of utilization-focused evaluation. By embedding a skilled evaluator into a program or organization, DEs generate ongoing, practical, context sensitive information that informs timely decision-making. However, in a bureaucratic context such as USAID, where the DEPA-MERL project is piloting DE, there are different incentives and constraints to adaptive management. This panel will not only interrogate the prospects that DE has for utilization-focused evaluation at USAID, but it will also shed light on practical tools (e.g. reporting and facilitation techniques) and lessons learned that current and future evaluators might use in their own work to boost utilization in bureaucratic or other less agile institutions.