Knowledge Sharing

Developmental Evaluation: Where Evaluation Meets Program Design

The increased interest and use of Developmental Evaluation (DE) holds great promise for the fields of international development and evaluation alike. However, the dearth of DEs that have been conducted in development means there is little awareness and evidence of DE and its potential benefits for program design and effectiveness. Through the Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activity (DEPA-MERL), WDI and our partners Social Impact and Search for Common Ground are introducing and testing the feasibility of DE at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

This presentation, which was given at the American Evaluation Association’s annual conference held in Atlanta, Georgia in October 2016, shared lessons learned about how to design and operationalize DE based on the DEPA-MERL consortium’s experience in the first year of this innovative project. This discussion offered practical guidance and considerations for attendees interested in using DEs to enhance program design and implementation at USAID and beyond.

This article is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of WDI and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. This article was produced by the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in collaboration with Social Impact under the Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activity (DEPA-MERL), Contract Order Number AID-LAB-C-15-00002, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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