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Learning from Practice: Developmental Evaluation in Practice: Tips, Tools, and Templates

Developmental evaluation (DE) is an approach used to evaluate innovative programs that operate in complex environments and/or have untested theories of change. DE supports the continuous adaptation of a program and provides evaluative thinking and timely feedback to inform these adaptations. The Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activity (DEPA-MERL) consortium has documented early lessons learned from its experience in implementing DEs and is pleased to offer guidance for organizations, managers, and evaluators who seek to implement this approach.

The ‘Learning from Practice: Developmental Evaluation in Practice: Tips, Tools, and Templates’ guide provides lessons on how to start a DE on the right foot, how to identify potential developmental evaluators, budget for a DE and get developmental evaluators ready to launch a DE. The guide also gives examples of tangible products that developmental evaluators can generate such as options memos, network maps, learning debriefs, spider charts etc.

This guide 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 Search for Common Ground in collaboration with the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan and 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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