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Evaluating Evaluations: Assessing the Quality of Aid Agency Evaluations in Global Health - Working Paper 461

Julia Goldberg Raifman , Felix Lam , Janeen Madan Keller , Alexander Radunsky and William Savedoff
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Evaluations are key to learning and accountability yet the quality of those evaluations are critical to their usefulness. We assessed the methodological quality of global health program evaluations—both impact and performance evaluations—from five major funders between 2009 and 2014. We systematically assessed the quality of 37 randomly selected evaluations with two reviewers scoring each evaluation. We found that most evaluations did not meet social science methodological standards in terms of relevance, validity, and reliability. Nevertheless, good quality evaluations made it possible to identify ten recommendations for improving evaluations, including a robust finding that early planning is associated with better quality.