Evaluations often make recommendations about how a program can be improved, how the risk of program failure can be reduced or whether a program should continue. However, not all evaluations include recommendations. It is important to clarify whether recommendations are expected when developing the evaluation brief, terms of reference or scope of work.
If recommendations are developed on the basis of the evaluation findings, processes which involve stakeholders in developing and/or reviewing them will contribute to the use of the evaluation findings. The individual or group who has control of the evaluation – a manager or evaluation steering committee – should be consulted when developing recommendations as their support will probably be very important in order to ensure that the evaluation findings are disseminated and used.
- Beneficiary exchange: discussing findings between beneficiaries in order to provide feedback
- Chat rooms: setting up online spaces where findings can be discussed
- Electronic democracy: using new and emergent forms of media in order to engage community members in seeking to influence the decision making process.
- External review: having external experts or anonymous reviewers provide feedback.
- Group critical reflection: facilitating a group stakeholder feedback session.
- Individual critical reflection: asking particular individual stakeholders for their independent feedback
- Participatory recommendation screening: testing recommendations with key stakeholders
- World Cafe: hosting a group dialogue which emphasizes the power of simple conversation when considering relevant questions and themes