Evaluation – to answer important questions about which policies and programs work well and which don’t, and why – is finally getting the attention it deserves. But challenges remain. Evaluation studies don’t automatically change what policymakers and implementers do on the ground: special skills and hard work are needed to speed up the uptake of new research evidence.
R4D brings together strengths both in doing evaluation work and in facilitating uptake. R4D is stepping up its evaluation efforts, urged by comments received that there is a gap that it is well placed to fill and few others are.
Researchers often stop short of the tough business of working with country decision makers on uptake, and people who are adept on uptake don’t have a good feel for the art and science of evaluation. R4D bridges that divide, with people on its team spanning the full range of relevant backgrounds, from technical expertise to experience running policies and programs. There is huge demand for that combination as today’s renewed appreciation for evaluation work moves toward a new phase focused on getting from evidence to action.