Evaluation of development programmes

Evaluation Insights


‌“Evaluation Insights” are informal working papers, designed to highlight emerging findings and relevant policy messages from evaluation. This series is part of the Network's ongoing effort to actively support the use of evaluative evidence in development policy making and debate. 

Read our note on Evaluation Insights serie guidelines.

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 Forests and Sustainable Forest Management‌‌

April 2016


Evaluation Insights # 11: Forests and Sustainable Forest Management


Deforestation and forest degradation are the second leading human cause of CO2 emissions contributing to global warming according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Given the importance of the sector, it is surprising that there have been relatively few attempts to synthesise evidence from evaluations to learn lessons about the use of development assistance to combat deforestation. This paper aims to attract attention to the existing evidence base and to highlight areas that merit further analysis.

 ‌thumbnail of the insights note

February 2015


Evaluation Insights #10: Evaluating the Impact of Budget Support


This note presents a summary of the results of seven evaluations of general and sector budget support undertaken in Mali, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Tunisia, South Africa and Morocco over 2010 – 2014. These represent the full set of evaluations completed by the end of 2014, following the revised methodological approach for evaluation of budget support, adopted by the OECD DAC Network on Development Evaluation in 2012.


 Jobs Insights May 2014 - EI page

May 2014


Evaluation Insights #9: Creating Jobs in Small Businesses


Creating new jobs and in particular “good jobs”, meaning jobs in high productivity sectors and offering decent working conditions, is one of the major challenges low and middle income countries face. According to the 2013 World Development Report, 600 million jobs are needed worldwide over the next 15 years to keep employment rates at their current level. Governments, non-governmental organisations and donors spend large amounts of money for targeted programmes and broader policies to enhance employment and the creation of new firms. 


Version française: Créer des emplois dans les petites entreprises





September 2013


Evaluation Insights # 8: Support to Civil Society


The role of civil society in development cooperation has featured prominently in development discourse in recent years. Governments of developed and developing countries at the High Level Fora on Aid Effectiveness in Accra (2008) and Busan (2011) have agreed to support civil society organisations (CSOs) to exercise their roles as independent development actors with a particular focus on the need to create an enabling environment for CSOs to fully contribute to the development process. 


November 2012

Evaluation Insights #7: Preventing HIV

Spending on the international response to HIV rose dramatically from $300 million in 1996 to more than $15 billion in 2009 (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2010). But, in its 2011 World AIDS Day report, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) raised concerns that the current economic crisis and dwindling international resources had reduced financing available for the AIDS response. UNAIDS argued that it was of critical importance to ensure resources are invested wisely to maximise return and achieve value for money. To do this, evidence is needed regarding effective and efficient ways to spend funds available to HIV responses.

       Version française: Prévention du VIH



Thumbnail of the cover page

July 2012

Evaluation Insights #6: Rural Water and Sanitation

Global efforts in the water sector have had mixed results. Some efforts in rural water and sanitation have lacked a clear focus on learning and results – including understanding what works and why, in what contexts, and how the best impacts can be achieved with resources invested. To remedy this, dozens of evaluations have been carried out. To add to this evidence base, the Dutch government, working with its development partners, evaluated the impact of programmes in five countries. This note summarises the main findings of the evaluations and describes emerging lessons.

Version française: L'eau et l'assainissement en milieu rural

January 2012

Evaluation Insights #5: Improving Food Security


The renewed interest in food security has translated to an urgent need to understand what interventions are most effective in supporting food security. To support this process, a systematic review was commissioned, focusing on the impacts of programmes aimed at increasing food production, developing value chains for food products, reforming markets and improving land security.This note summarises the key findings from the systematic review.

December 2011

Evaluation Insights #4: Effective institutions and good governance for development

This brief synthesises the progress made in governance and institutional reform based on four major international studies, covering a total of 22 countries. The following areas have been selected for current relevance to policymakers: improving accountability and transparency; efforts to tackle corruption; centre of government and public financial management reforms; and results management in governance. What progress has there been so far and what still needs to be done?




November 2011

Evaluation Insights #3: Mainstreaming gender equality

Over the years, many commitments have been made to put gender equality at the core of development work. And yet, a recent review of experiences shows that gender equality is not yet integrated into the operations and organisational cultures of development organisations. Meeting this challenge will require a significant cultural change – change that can only be achieved with more sustained action. 



October 2011

Evaluation Insights #2: Assessing the impacts of budget support

This Evaluation Insights note provides an overview of the main findings and conclusions from three recent joint evaluations in Mali, Tunisia and Zambia, testing a jointly developed methodology for evaluating budget support. 


June 2011


Evaluation Insights #1: Haiti Earthquake Response

This quick guide distils key findings and emerging lessons from a selection of available evaluations of the response to Haiti’s earthquake in January 2010.


The views expressed in these paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or positions of the OECD DAC or its members.


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