Guidance Note #4: Use of Impact Evaluation Results

This is the fourth guidance note in a four-part series of notes related to impact evaluation developed by InterAction with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation.This fourth guidance note, Use of Impact Evaluation Results, highlights three themes crucial for effective utilization of evaluation results. Theme one states that use does not happen by accident. Impact evaluations are more likely to be used when uses have been anticipated and planned from the earliest stages of the evaluation and, even better, from the planning stages of the work that is being  evaluated. Theme two concerns the operations and systems required in an organization to use impact evaluations well. Theme three builds from the premise that the first two themes are necessary but insufficient conditions for the effective and widespread use of impact evaluations. The findings from impact evaluations – and indeed any evaluative activities – will not be used well unless and until we tackle and reform organizational culture. The most challenging suggestions in this note speak to the task of eliminating disincentives and creating incentives for adopting evaluation findings. Theme three sets out directions and principles for this incentive system rethink, with some guiding illustrations from current practice.