Evaluating development activities: 12 lessons from the OECD DAC

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Having a well-established evaluation system is one of the conditions of becoming a member of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, and systems are assessed by the Network on Development Evaluation. This resource draws on the experience of the Network to outline 12 high level lessons on evaluation.


The strategic framework for learning and accountability

  • Lesson 1: Base development decisions on evidence
  • Lesson 2: Make learning part of culture of development cooperation
  • Lesson 3: Define a clear role for evaluation

Delivering development evaluations effectively

  • Lesson 4: Match ambitions with adequate resources
  • Lesson 5: Strengthen programme design and management systems
  • Lesson 6: Ask the right questions and be realistic about expected results
  • Lesson 7: Choose the right evaluation tools
  • Lesson 8: Work together
  • Lesson 9: Help strengthen partner country capacities and use them

Strengthening the culture of learning

  • Lesson 10: Act on evaluation findings
  • Lesson 11: Communicate evaluation results effectively
  • Lesson 12: Evaluate the evaluators


Kennedy-Chouane, M. with Lundgren, H. (2013) Evaluating Development Activities: Twelve Lessons from the OECD DAC