Actionable Evaluation

Actionable evaluation emphasizes sound reasoning about the significance of valid reliable evidence for answering keystone evaluation questions about how well something was done against various sets of standards, what practical difference outcomes made in the lives of people the program intended to reach, would another approach have been more effective, etc. It is not a new method; it is a perspective that focuses on answering the critical value questions more than organizing a mass of relatively trivial information.

 Actionable Evaluator E. Jane Davidson challenges common views on stakeholder engagement, common misplaced emphasis on measurable indicators, and the need for a long list of specific recommendations in a report. As I understand it, in actionable evaluation the most important task is to provide sound big-picture information about the degree to which the evaluand makes positive or negative differences in practical important areas of living; information that can be acted on to improve the situation addressed by the evaluand.

 I believe every evaluator of transformational development will benefit from learning about actionable evaluation. I will be posting implications as I learn more. Start with these resources:

 Actionable Evaluation Basics, (2013), E. Jane Davidson, available at

 Genuine Evaluation blog at

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