Impact evaluation: How to institutionalize evaluation

This paper from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) examines how institutionalised impact evaluation for social programs has led to better-informed policy.

Using case studies of countries that have implemented mandatory impact evaluation for social programs the paper focuses on the steps needed to ensure it takes place. 


"Mexico was the first country to introduce mandatory impact evaluation for all its social programs. This was in part a result of the lessons learnt from the first evaluation of the Government flagship program Progresa/ Oportunidades, which provides cash transfers conditional upon regular school attendance, health clinic visits and nutritional support to children. By rigorously demonstrating the program’s success in reducing children’s malnutrition rates and child labor, as well as increasing boys and girls’ enrolment in secondary school through independent evaluations, the program survived the change of government and was scaled up." (3ie, 2009)


  • Seven key measures for an effective evaluation framework
  • What can help champion and institutionalize impact evaluation?
  • Strong political will
  • A relevant and sustainable Monitoring and Evaluation system
  • In-house technical capacity and legal support
  • Milestones in the production and use of impact evaluation


The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). (2009). Impact Evaluation 01: How to institutionalize evaluation. Retrieved from: