1st Edition

The Realpolitik of Evaluation Why Demand and Supply Rarely Intersect

Edited By Markus Palenberg, Arne Paulson Copyright 2021
    190 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Realpolitik of Evaluation shines a light on the divergent demands for evaluation. But what explains the "gap" between what those on the "demand" side expect in terms of evaluation results, and the "supply" of information provided by evaluators? Can anything be done to narrow this gap? What works and what does not work?

    Examining these questions from both the demand and the supply side, experts describe ten different global examples of the gap between demand and supply of evaluation information in different contexts. In an attempt to bridge that gap, they effectively reveal the biases behind supposedly sources of evaluation information and highlight the pros and cons of attempts to bridge the gap through the use of third parties, enhanced stakeholder involvement, and the incorporation of social science models to strengthen Theories of Change (ToC).

    The Realpolitik of Evaluation is an important book that poses questions at multiple levels of thinking. It will be of great interest to policymakers, program implementers, and project managers.

    1. Introduction

    Markus Palenberg and Arne Paulson

    2. The Results Paradox in Norwegian Development Assistance

    Ida Lindkvist and Per Øyvind Bastøe

    3. Behind the Scenes of the French Evidence-Based Policy Movement: Rise and Fall of an RCT-driven Model of Evidence

    Agathe Devaux-Spatarakis

    4. Influencing the Supply of and Demand for Results Information in Government. Can Outsiders Help? A Case Study from Ireland

    Richard Boyle

    5. Evaluation One Step Removed: The Government/Not for Profit Performance Nexus

    David Gilchrist and Peter Wilkins

    6. The Role of an Intermediary Organization in a Large Evaluation: the Case of the Norwegian Health Care Reform

    Olaf Rieper

    7. Evaluation Plans in the EU Cohesion Policy: Redefining the Relation Between the Demand for and the Supply of Evaluation

    Francesco Mazzeo Rinaldi

    8. Assessing the Contribution of Research to Improved Policy and Practice: An Evaluation of CIFOR’s Climate Change Research

    Brian Belcher, John Young and Daniel Suryadarma

    9. Mind the Gaps: Integrating Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals into Evaluation Practice

    Pearl Eliadis

    10. Mending the Theory Gap in Evaluation: Moving Toward Theory Knitting

    Sebastian Lemire, Christina Christie and Steffen Bohni Nielsen

    11. Realistic Commissioning of Impact Evaluations: Getting What You Ask For?

    John Mayne

    12. Realpolitik of Demand and Supply Regarding Results Information

    R. Pablo Guerrero


    Markus Palenberg is the Founder and Manager of the Institute for Development Strategy (IfDS) in Munich, Germany, where has works as researcher, evaluator, and advisor. Over the last 15 years, Markus has conducted more than 40 research and consulting assignments in the public and private sector, specializing in evaluation of global programmes and evaluating and advising on results-based Management. He regularly serves as peer reviewer of research publications and advisor during the design phases of global programs, has published works on evaluation methodology, and has served on boards, executive committees and advisory panels for development programs and institutions.

    Arne Paulson pursued a career in international development, working as an economist in a number of international organizations, including the World Bank, UNCTAD (Geneva), the International Energy Agency (Paris), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), from which he retired in 2007. At the IDB, he worked in all aspects of evaluation, including ex-ante economic evaluation, ongoing monitoring of projects in execution, and ex-post evaluation of completed projects financed by the IDB. At the corporate level, he reported on the overall development effectiveness of IDB operations to the bank’s board of directors and at international conferences.