Definitions of "finding" "conclusion" and "recommendation"?

I work for USAID. I'm reviewing an evaluation. I need clear definitions for what is a "finding," "conclusion," and "recommendation?" Thanks.


Great question! This isn't USAID official guidance, but this is generally what you should look for in each section: 
  • Findings Section: This section focuses on what the data says/ means. If the report is focusing on a malaria prevention intervention in Kenya, one of the findings could be: "Malaria rates in Kenya decreased by 10 percent  relative to the comparison group"
  • Conclusions Section: This section summarizes key takeaways from the findings and also highlights any overarching themes or considerations for the stakeholders. Following from the previous example, a conclusion could be: "While the intervention caused a reduction in malaria, evidence suggests that if all of beneficiaries had used their bed nets properly, the decrease in rates could have been significantly greater."
  • Recommendations Section: Traditionally, this is where the evaluation team suggests what needs to be done differently next time around. A recommendation could be: "Intervention stakeholders should consider implementing more behavior change efforts to ensure proper usage of bed nets."  Some missions like USAID/ Jordan, however, have recognized that recommendations are more likely to be used by implementers when they are co-created. Rather than having the evaluation team draft the recommendations, the end-users develop recommendations based on the findings. 
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