November 20 and 21, 2019, were marked by the 14th #EvalNet meeting. During the event, delegates discussed how critical can evaluation be in the age of fake news, political propaganda, and social media manipulation. In this blog post, I describe 10 lessons I learned from #EvalNet14 members on how to engage parliamentarians and the wider public on the use of evaluation results:
How to Engage Parliamentarians and the Wider Public on the Use of Evaluation Results
(1) Be transparent about what works and to be fact-based.
(2) Be accessible to the general public, dealing with technical language, while raising awareness on the complexity of development cooperation.
(3) Prepare policymakers in advance and help them think through recommendations, ensuring there are no big surprises — “You manage your mistakes or your mistakes will manage you”
(4) Share evidence with all sites of the political spectrum.
(5) Be concrete and specific when communicating results.
(6) Disclose all evaluation information, do not cherry-pick the most attractive and convenient data.
(7) Listening is part of the communication effort, do not only speaking.
(8) There are different communication needs. We must use different communication tools tailored to the audience.
(9) Invest in education, building the M&E capacity of government officials, parliamentarians, and the general public.
(10) Evaluate evidence communication.
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