Rigorous governance evaluation poses three key challenges:
• Governance outcomes are difficult to quantify.
• Rigorous impact evaluation can capture no more than narrow aspects of complex, ‘system-wide’governance support and short-term impacts.
• A lack of incentive, since evaluation results may constrain political choices.
Past evaluations provide valuable recommendations to tackle these challenges. In quantifying governance outcomes, use context-specific information or conduct behavioural games. In dealing with complex ‘system-wide’ interventions, identify components of the programme that is viable for rigorous analysis. In improving incentives, persuade politicians to implement rigorous evaluations by studying the impact of their priority interventions
and by setting appropriate expectations.
Rigorous impact evaluation in governance is difficult but feasible. As donors face increasing pressure to demonstrate results, rigorous impact evaluations should work with, not against, achieving improved governance support and development outcomes.
From: Garcia, Maria Melody (2011)
Improving donor support for governance: the case for more rigorous impact evaluation
Bonn: Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik / German Development Institute
(Briefing Paper 11/2011)