Embracing Evaluative Thinking for Better Outcomes: Four NGO Case Studies

Griñó, L. et al.
Date published
04 Jun 2014
Research, reports and studies
Accountability and Participation, Evaluation-related, NGOs, Organisational, Organisational Learning and Change
Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda
CLEAR-AA - Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Anglophone Africa

At any given time, how do we know how effective our strategies, operations, or programmes are? In other words, how do we assess the quality and value of our work? How do we know how well we are meeting the needs of those for whom we work? How will we know if our efforts are having any unintended effects, positive or negative, and for whom?

Evaluative thinking is ongoing, systematic inquiry and learning about quality and perceptions of what is important. It is aimed at informing decisions to improve performance and results.

InterAction and the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA) have undertaken a study of international NGO evaluative thinking practices in sub-Saharan Africa. This study defines evaluative thinking, describes why it is important for organisational effectiveness, explains how an organisation might embed evaluative thinking in its practices, and presents the experiences of four international NGOs using evaluative thinking at the organisational, programme, and project levels.

These NGOs, InterAction, and CLEAR-AA hope that the four case studies can offer guidance to other organisations interested in evaluative thinking, as well as serve as examples to donors of the sorts of learning processes international NGOs are using to improve their effectiveness.