Lessons and Reflections from 84 Sida Decentralised Evaluations 2013 – a Synthesis Review

The objective of the review is to analyse general conclusions from 84 evaluation reports, focusing on findings related to application of theories of change, poverty reduction and efficiency analysis.

The report reflects findings that have been recognised many times in the past. As such, a meta conclusion is that we have yet to overcome institutional hurdles and develop sufficient mechanisms to learn from experience in general and evaluations in particular. A majority of interventions appear to lack an overall logic in their design and implementation. This often stems from a focus on activities. When poverty is discussed, very little rigorous evidence is presented and poverty is mostly assessed in relation to the relevance. There is little consensus about what is meant by ‘efficiency'.

Three factors that evaluations point out as having contributed to the success are identified in the review; 

  1. a coherent and unified Swedish approach to development goals, 
  2. selection of strategic partners, and 
  3. strong and committed leadership of cooperation partners including Sida.

Authors: Ian Christoplos, Anna Liljelund Hedqvist, Jessica Rothman
Sida Studies in Evaluation 2014:1
Commissioned by Sida
Copyright: Sida and the authors