Recommendations in Evaluation

This presentation, given by Lori Wingate for the Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University, takes a look at the 'why, what and how' of making recommendations in an evaluation. The presentation outlines the reasons for giving recommendations and provides a range of tips and advice for making them more effective. 


  • Continuum of Evaluative Information
  • WHY (or WHY NOT) should evaluators make recommendations?
  • WHAT types of recommendations should evaluators make?
  • HOW should evaluators make recommendations?
    • Base recommendations on evaluation findings and conclusions and other credible sources.
    • Organize recommendations, such as by type, focus, timing, audience, and/or priority.
    • At the design stage, determine the nature of recommendations needed or expected.
    • Generate possible recommendations throughout the evaluation, not just at the end.
    • Engage key stakeholders in developing or reviewing recommendations prior to finalization
    • Focus recommendations on actions within control of intenders users.
    • Provide multiple options for achieving desired results
    • Clearly distinguish between findings and recommendations
    • Write recommendations using clear and specific language.
    • Specify the justification/ information sources for each recommendation.
    • Explain the potential costs, benefits, and challenges associated with implementing recommendation
    • Exercise interpersonal and political sensitivity in the focus and wording of recommendations
    • Meet with stakeholders to review and discuss recommendations in their final form. 
    • Provide tools to facilitate decision making and action planning around recommendations


Lori Wingate (2014), Recommendations in Evaluation, Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University. Retrieved from:

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