Local Ownership in Evaluation: Moving from Participant Inclusion to Ownership in Evaluation Decision Making

As international assistance shifts to emphasize the importance of local ownership in ensuring relevance, effectiveness and sustainability, the ways that practice is evaluated must also shift. To date, conversations about local ownership have primarily focused on policies or program design and implementation. This briefing paper provides practitioners – particularly international NGOs and donors – with a rationale and framework for promoting local ownership in evaluation. A companion "how to" guide offers practical steps for advancing it, drawing on the examples of donors and international NGOs that have embraced it in their practices. Together, these resources are meant to provide practitioners and evaluators with the tools they need to extend local ownership to evaluation. As such, they build on InterAction’s ongoing work on the issue of country ownership.

This briefing paper:

  • Describes how international assistance is shifting and the related shift that is needed in evaluation;
  • Provides a rationale for promoting local ownership in evaluation;
  • Outlines a local ownership approach to evaluation, including determining who should be involved in an evaluation and how and when they should be involved; and
  • Presents conditions necessary for promoting local ownership in evaluation.