State of evaluation globally

12 Feb 2016

Evaluation is a modern term for a practice that dates back to antiquity. It has an international, transnational and global dimension. The elasticity of evaluation implies that evaluation is carried out by governments in different countries covering a wide range of activities. The diversity of evaluands, approaches, influences and practices hold important lessons for countries contemplating to adopt the evaluation technique. This article sketches the state of evaluation in 21 countries across four continents, tabulating various characteristics for comparison purposes. It locates each within a decade called first-, second- and third-wave, referring to when evaluation was first adopted in that country. Some key features are discussed, including globalisation of evaluation; factors that influenced its adoption; location of evaluation jurisdiction - push-pull mechanisms; education, training, professionalisation and supply of expertise; approaches to adoption; utilisation; and prospects. The role of the African Evaluation Association and factors militating against establishing more effective evaluation systems in developing countries, particularly in Africa, are briefly examined.