Evaluation for Sustainable Development
Managers and decision-makers need to continuously evaluate and learn in order to be able to steer development work appropriately. Steering requires knowledge about goals, requirements, processes, outcomes, results and effects. The difficulties of steering complex development projects, despite clear goals and a predetermined plan, are well-known. The alternative, however, is not to do away with steering, but make it more flexible and relate it to learning from continuously generated experience (Engwall 2002). Participants and those responsible need to learn from past experiences and mistakes to be able to subsequently make corrections and know that they are on the right path. This provides motivation, data for further work and knowledge about what different activities and measures might lead to. Financiers need to continuously learn from projects and programmes, both during and between programming periods, so that new calls and decisions can be based on experience gained from earlier projects. The focus in this chapter is on learning through ongoing evaluation, where the aim is to make development work sustainable, that is, generate long-term effects.