IDEV provides a range of evaluation products and activities that are responsive and relevant to the need for evaluative knowledge. They include:
- Individual project validations and evaluations
- Project cluster evaluations
- Country Strategy Evaluations and Regional Integration Strategy Evaluations
- Thematic and sector evaluations
- Corporate and process evaluations
- Impact evaluations
- Evaluation syntheses and systematic reviews
- An annual evaluation report
- Evaluation Activities
- Knowledge management and dissemination
- Evaluation capacity development and training
- International collaboration.
Individual project validations and evaluations
Independent evaluation is crucial for accountability. However, independent evaluation of every Bank project is neither practical nor affordable. A more cost-effective option, which IDEV follows, is to validate self-evaluations by Bank staff (Project Completion Reports), which also supports the development of a culture of evaluation in the Bank. IDEV raises the quality of Project Completion Reports and Extended Supervision Reports through the validation process, feedback, and overall reporting.
Project cluster evaluations
Cluster evaluations, which look at a group of similar or related interventions, provide the potential to extract broader lessons across a number of projects. Cluster evaluations are designed and timed to contribute to broader thematic or sector evaluations. They address specific questions by examining a group of individual but similar projects.
Country Strategy Evaluations and Regional Integration Strategy Evaluations
IDEV conducts these evaluations efficiently and robustly, carefully timing the results to inform the design of new Country Strategy Papers. IDEV also undertakes selective evaluations of Regional Integration Strategy Papers.
Thematic and sector evaluations
Demand for evaluations of major development themes and key sectors is very strong. These products are a central feature of IDEV’s product mix, providing oversight and evidence for decision-making as well as the sharing of experience.
Corporate and process evaluations
Improving organizational effectiveness is crucial for development effectiveness. IDEV has conducted useful, influential corporate evaluations, for example looking at the decentralization process and at project supervision.
The aim of impact evaluations is to demonstrate that development interventions lead to development results, making the link between cause and effect. IDEV ’s impact evaluations are conducted in close collaboration with relevant operations teams and regional member countries and seek both to have a demonstration effect and to promote an evaluation culture.
African Development Bank Operations Evaluation Department Director Rakesh Nangia discuss the usefulness of impact evaluations in development and evaluation, and together with IEG Director-General Caroline Heider explore how and where independent evaluation can add value and create efficiencies in this area.
Evaluation syntheses and systematic reviews
New evaluations are not always necessary or most appropriate – evaluation syntheses and systematic reviews can draw together key lessons, presenting existing knowledge from a variety of sources in a useful way and playing a central role in learning. IDEV applies robust techniques for evaluation synthesis to ensure that lessons extracted are based on strong evidence.
An annual evaluation report
IDEV aims to report on its activities, what it has learned, and what it has achieved. By producing an annual report this holds IDEV accountable and monitors its progress against the strategic objectives.
Knowledge management and dissemination
IDEV approaches knowledge management in a dynamic, proactive, and integrated manner in order to extract the most out of the knowledge it generates and collates. IDEV builds in knowledge management thinking from the early stages of each evaluation and includes a dissemination strategy in each approach paper for all individual evaluations that identifies key target audiences. The tools and technologies IDEV uses to disseminate evaluative knowledge include:
- Evaluation reports designed to get key messages across clearly and simply, supplemented by evaluation briefs and ad hoc short notes for the Board and senior management that identify important issues
- Our quarterly knowledge publication “Evaluation Matters”
- IDEV’s user-friendly website which quickly points users to the knowledge products they are searching for.
- A database of lessons – accessible via the website – which allows evaluative knowledge to be searched and collated under themes or countries
- Face-to-face interaction including an Evaluation Community of Practice and other learning events reaching a range of different audiences
- Outreach to regional member countries through workshops and videoconferences to disseminate and discuss knowledge.
Evaluation Capacity Development
IDEV is committed to the development of an evaluation culture in regional member countries by focusing on support to a select number of countries’ evaluation systems, ensuring that evaluations make a difference to policy and practice. Typical activities may include helping policymakers and planners in regional member countries to develop their evaluation systems, the drawing up of clear roadmaps on how to develop a sound evaluation function in government, and advising and supporting implementation.
IDEV is an active member of the Evaluation Cooperation Group (ECG), which comprises the evaluation departments of the multilateral development banks (MDBs). The ECG provides a forum for sharing evaluation experiences and methods, coordinating activities, and developing good practice standards and guidance. IDEV also coordinates evaluation activities with a range of international development agencies through the evaluation network of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC).