chapter  5
Embracing Evaluation in Turbulent Economic and Fiscal Times
ByLinda Morra Imas
Pages 16

This chapter explores that economic and fiscal crises can sometimes be an impetus for evaluation, but there are other factors that come into play. It examines the demand for performance monitoring systems that can be linked to budgets. The chapter discusses the effective response to crises requiring sound data from integrated systems of monitoring and evaluation (M&E); Integrated M&E systems must take into account incentives to use the data. It also examines a decade of lessons learned on promoting evaluation use points to need for new strategies. The American Recovery and Investment Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in response to the crisis, might well be considered a full employment act for evaluators—at least for GAO evaluators. The economy was suffering from slow growth, high inflation, rising unemployment, and unprecedented interest rates. The states were in fiscal crisis and experiencing serious budget shortfalls and slashing budgets.