Evaluating the Evaluators: Some Lessons from a Recent World Bank Self-Evaluation

Posted on 23 February, 2012 – 10:46 PM

February 21, 2012 blog posting by Johannes Linn, at Brookings
Found via @WorldBank_IEG tweet

“The World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) recently published a self-evaluation of its activities. Besides representing current thinking among evaluation experts at the World Bank, it also more broadly reflects some of the strengths and gaps in the approaches that evaluators use to assess and learn from the performance of the international institutions with which they work…. Johannes Linn served as an external peer reviewer of the self-evaluation and provides a bird’s-eye view on the lessons learned.

Key lessons as seen by Linn

  • An evaluation of evaluations should focus not only on process, but also on the substantive issues that the institution is grappling with.
  • An evaluation of the effectiveness of evaluations should include a professional assessment of the quality of evaluation products.
  • An evaluation of evaluations should assess:
    o How effectively impact evaluations are used;
    o How scaling up of successful interventions is treated;
    o How the experience of other comparable institutions is utilized;
    o Whether and how the internal policies, management practices and incentives of the institution are effectively assessed;
    o Whether and how the governance of the institution is evaluated; and
    o Whether and how internal coordination, cooperation and synergy among units within the organizations are assessed

Read the complete posting, with arguments behind each of the above points, here

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