Evaluation 2019: Paths to the Future of Evaluation: Contribution, Leadership, and Renewal

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Evaluators as learning partners: How can monitoring, evaluation, and research best support program implementers to achieve impact?

Session Number: 2483
Track: Collaborative, Participatory & Empowerment Evaluation
Session Type: Think Tank
Session Facilitator: Erin Fletcher [Economist - R4D]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Luke Heinkel [Senior Program Officer - Results for Development]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Morgan Benson [Program Officer - Results for Development]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Daniel Plaut [Program Officer - Results for Development Institute]
Time: Nov 14, 2019 (08:00 AM - 09:00 AM)
Room: Hilton Marquette IV

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Often, evaluations are more about accountability than learning: evaluators are independent from implementers; evaluations focus on assessing whether programs worked, at the expense of other important questions; and results are available only after implementation is complete.

Nevertheless, a new paradigm is emerging: evaluators as learning partners. This shift involves rethinking the evaluator’s goal to focus on improving a program, and their role to working closely with a partner throughout implementation. This could involve helping to craft a theory of change or designing monitoring systems or implementation research to produce feedback that influences decisions real-time. There is now a growing group of evaluation practitioners who have put this paradigm in to practice, with important lessons learned. 

During facilitated break-out groups, participants will discuss emerging lessons on topics such as: defining the role of a learning partner; how to best put this role in to practice; and common learning questions and methods.



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