The Challenge

International development and cooperation investments rely heavily on evaluation as a critical tool for assessing the effectiveness of interventions and determining future investments. As such, they hold significant power in decision making around programming designed to reduce inequality. And yet, the field of evaluation has too often reflected back all the forms of power imbalance and cultural biases that continue to exist in Global North and South dynamics. Who conducts those evaluations, what questions they ask, and the methodologies they use are all determined by the interests of those with greater power. As a result, evaluation can further compound and exacerbate the inequality that many international funders aim to combat.

What’s in the Report

The Ford Foundation commissioned the Global Change Center, Praxis UK, and the Praxis Institute for Participatory Practices to conduct an analysis that examined the status of evaluation in international development and cooperation, identifying ways to ensure more equitable practices. This report outlines a number of tactics that are increasingly associated with centering equity in evaluation, mitigating North/South power dynamics while changing how evaluation is conducted.