RE: Reporting and supporting evaluation use and influence | Eval Forward


I practice humility by asking myself a different question:

If people who have been working on an issue for a long time, with a much better understanding of the context did not find a good solution... how could I, an external evaluator, do so?

As an evaluator I cannot certainly find solutions but i can - with a facilitative and not an expert approach:

* help to find "missing pieces" of the puzzle, by bringing, in the same place, the views and ideas of different actors.

* help articulating and systematizing reality better, so that people can have a better map on which to find solutions

* capture ideas, lessons that too often are implicit and that - if shared - can help changing the way of working

* share some ideas about things that I had seen working elsewhere (but, watchout, I would always do this in the evidence gathering phase, as a way to get feedback on these "conversation starters". and people often find quickly a lot of things to be checked and improved)

* create spaces, within the process, for people to be exposed and react to evidence, as it is shared

* identify what seem to be the priority concerns to address - linking them to challenges, opportunities, possibilities surfaced.

This is not research. And these are not solutions.

There is a whole world of things amongst "problems" and "solutions"... it includes learnings, possibilities, systematized evidence.

And I see people really interesting and willing to engage with these... Much more than when I used to preach some simple solutions to them. :-)


Also, an evaluation does not always highlight "problems". There are often so many solutions that are just left hidden.

And evaluations have also a role in finding these and to help valuing the work done, and the many challenges solved, which should never just be given for granted.