Use of impact evaluation results

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This is the fourth guidance note from InterAction's series on impact evaluation.  The guide, written by David Bonbright, outlines three key themes linked to the effective use of evaluation results.  

The first theme focuses on ensuring the use of results is planned for from the beginning of the process.  The second theme describes the systems and operations that are required in an organisation to ensure that results are used. Finally, the third theme argues that unless organisational culture is reformed results of impact evaluations will never be used well.



"This note, the last in the series, focuses on the use of impact evaluations. The core argument of this note is that the true gold standard of impact evaluation is not one or another methodology, but whether and how well an evaluation is used to enhance and accelerate development outcomes.18 It should be clear to the readers of this guidance note series that the notes’ authors do not view any one evaluation method as inherently superior. Rather, they have tried to provide the concepts and practical guidelines that will enable practitioners to design and conduct the impact evaluations best suited to their purposes. And whatever evaluation methodologies are employed, this final guidance note emphasizes that the most important question that you need to ask and answer with respect to evaluation is, “So what?”"


  • Impact Evaluation Use: Three Themes 2
    • Where are we now? 3
    • Recognizing the constraints 5
  • Theme One: Use is for Users 6
  • Theme Two: Joined Up Systems and Operations 10
  • Theme Three: Incentives and Rewards 14
    • A growing climate of accountability 14
    • Internet-powered change in the model of giving for international development 15
    • Cultivating a learning culture 15
    • Collective learning 16


Bonbright, D., (2012). Use Of Impact Evaluation Results, InterAction. Retrieved from:

'Use of impact evaluation results' is referenced in: