The last thing that any of us want is a dull evaluation report that sits on a shelf gathering dust. What a complete waste of time and resources that is!
To ensure that doesn’t happen make sure that you build in this one thing into your terms of reference: actionable recommendations – or rather, an action plan to implement the recommendations.
What does that mean?
The whole point of an evaluation is to identify things that need to be enhanced, changed, improved, built on, do more of. While many evaluators are really good at setting out useful recommendations, few will work with a client to build an action plan with practical steps to implement the recommendations so that the evaluation results become part of the way that the organisation works.
I recently had an opportunity to do just that with a client. It was interesting as they hadn’t done something like this before and the participatory nature of the process threw up some useful insights into the organisational culture that needed addressing before the action plan could be implemented. The process led to a whole redevelopment of how the organisation did their business planning across all its sites globally and increased efficiencies at the head office, so I guess the short term pain was worth it in the end!
Just like the mid-term review recommendations I made to a consortium of organisations and when I came back to do the final evaluation I was delighted to see that they had followed the recommendations and produced a significant piece of work that they were justifiably proud of.
How practical are the evaluations that you’ve had done? Have you been able to implement the recommendations?