Identifying the Intended User(s) and Use(s) of an Evaluation

This guideline from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) highlights the importance of identifying the primary intended user(s) and the intended use(s) of an evaluation and outlines a variety of methods that can be used to achieve this in the initial planning stage.

The guideline, based on Michael Quinn Patton's Utilization-focused evaluation, provides examples of facilitation questions that can be used to identify and involve users in the evaluation and a further set of questions that may be used to determine its use.  It also provides examples of some of the intended uses of an evaluation based on either formative, developmental or summative evaluations. Finally, the guide lists 11 questions that need to be asked of intended users in order to establish an evaluation's intended influence on decisions about the project or program being evaluated.


  • Who is an evaluation user?
  • Why is it important to identify the intended user(s) of an evaluation?
  • Promoting evaluative thinking among the primary intended user(s)
  • Why is it important to identify the intended use(s) of the evaluation?
  • How to determine the intended use(s) of the evaluation?
  • What are possible intended use(s) of evaluation?
  • The importance of timing


International Development Research Centre (IDRC), (2012). Identifying the intended user(s) and use(s) of an evaluation. Retrieved from IDRC website:

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David Towers's picture
David Towers

Could you upload the PDF. The link appears to be broken

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