Embracing Evaluative Thinking for Better Outcomes: Four NGO Case Studies

InterAction, the largest association of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to humanitarian response and development, and the Centre for Learning on Evaluation and Results for Anglophone Africa (CLEAR-AA) have undertaken a study of international NGO evaluative thinking practices in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, four international NGOs - Catholic Relief Services Ethiopia, CARE Rwanda, Plan International Uganda, and Winrock International Kenya - present their experiences using evaluative thinking at the organizational, program, and project levels. These NGOs, InterAction, and CLEAR-AA hope that these case studies can offer guidance to other organizations interested in evaluative thinking, as well as serve as examples to donors of the sorts of learning processes international NGOs are using to improve their effectiveness.

In the first chapter, we define evaluative thinking, describe why it is important for organizational effectiveness, and explain how an organization might embed evaluative thinking in its practices. We reference the experiences of the contributing international NGOs as examples, with further information captured in the case studies that follow.