Embracing Evaluative Thinking

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Embracing Evaluative Thinking For Better Outcomes: Four NGO Case Studies

The Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA) and InterAction, have undertaken a study of international NGO evaluative thinking practices in sub-Saharan Africa (CRS Ethiopia, CARE Rwanda, Plan Uganda and Winrock International Kenya). Finding of the study are available here.

The cases show how different evaluative thinking processes are emerging across NGOs in Africa. The study proposes that evaluative thinking can be characterised as ongoing, systematic inquiry and learning about quality and perceptions of what is important. Evaluative thinking also informs decisions to improve performance and results through establishing processes that include: interrogating assumptions and values underpinning what counts as good or bad performance; thoughtful questioning; deep understanding through evidence gathering and reflection; gathering the views of those intended to benefit from an activity or intervention; considering unintended effects; transparent decision making; and action taking.

From the perspectives of InterAction and CLEAR-AA, two aspects require further special consideration:

1. the role of valuing within evaluative thinking; and

2. the question of whose values, with a particular focus on the inclusion of those whom interventions are intended to serve.

These strands will inform studies for future engagement between InterAction and CLEAR-AA.

 

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