Evaluations that Make a Difference: Stories from Around the World

Evaluations that Make a Difference:  Stories from Around the World , supported by EvalPartners, the African Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, is one of the first pieces of systematic research looking at factors that contribute to high quality evaluations that are used by stakeholders to improve programs and improve people’s lives.  This initiative collected stories about evaluations that made a difference, not only from the perspective of the evaluators but also from the commissioners and users.  The stories in this collection tell powerful stories about the findings in the evaluations and the ways the evaluations contributed to the impact of the programs.

The report can be accessed at:  


Some outstanding news:  this research supports what many of the wiser evaluators already knew.  Evaluations can make a difference if evaluations:

  • ·         Focus on making an impact
  • ·         Give voice to the voiceless
  • ·         Provide credible evidence
  • ·         Use a positive approach
  • ·         Ensure users and intended beneficiaries are actively engaged
  • ·         Embed evaluation within the programme
  • ·         Are recognized as important
  • ·         Have a champion within program

This is just the beginning.  Evaluators need to take a systematic approach to collecting, analyzing and using information to learn more about whether evaluations are making a difference and what factors are the most important.  Yes, we need to evaluate our own work more often. 

Hopefully, this will inspire others to think more critically about evaluation design and implementation and to do more research into what works.  We encourage you to share this link with others. 

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