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‘Right-Sizing’ Your Evaluation

‘Right-sizing’ your evaluation means selecting an evaluation approach that fits the task at hand. Considerations include what evidence needs to be generated, for what purpose, at which stage of the programming cycle, and with what available resources. For example, although there is value in conducting impact evaluations of violence prevention programmes (including randomised controlled trials), these can be costly and require extensive technical expertise. Impact evaluations may not always be the right fit for a programme; they may not be the right tool at the right time, feasible, or worth it.

When right-sizing an evaluation approach, programmes should focus on collecting data that is useful and actionable. This requires understanding how evaluation data will help programme decision making, adaptation, and improvement, as well as building organisational commitment to using data regardless of the results. Evaluation data should not be collected if there is insufficient commitment or resources to use them.

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