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Mentoring approach improves evaluation capacity of ICTD researchers in Asia

June 9, 2016

An innovative IDRC initiative is improving evaluation capacities of researchers studying Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). Developing Evaluation Capacity in ICTD (DECI) provides researchers from five IDRC-funded projects in Asia ongoing mentorship to learn and apply the Utilization Focused Evaluation (UFE) approach to their projects. DECI demonstrates the value of mentoring as a training approach, where researchers are coached as they make ready to use the approach.

DECI illustrates that evaluation is an important element in improving project effectiveness.  In particular, it highlights several factors to help ensure a useful evaluation:

  • Seeing evaluation as an opportunity for learning rather than as an accountability exercise;
  • Defining the uses of evaluation, and making sure findings are utilized; and
  • Ensuring participation from all stakeholders in the evaluation process.

You can read the evaluation reports from the five projects:

Utilization Focused Evaluation: A Primer for Evaluators summarizes the lessons from these evaluation reports which can be applied to projects in other sectors. Co-authored by Ricardo Ramirez and Dal Brodhead with inputs from other DECI collaborators, the book is a valuable resource for project implementers and evaluators interested in UFE.

A second phase of DECI is now supporting ICTD researchers globally in UFE while also providing mentoring in Research Communication.