The value of an evaluation is in its use. Evaluations should inform decision-making, contribute to learning, and help improve the quality of development programs. At minimum, USAID Program Offices should lead Missions and Washington Operating Units through the process of:
- Reviewing findings, conclusions, and recommendations of evaluations that relate to their activities, projects, and DOs;
- Identifying any management or program actions needed; and
- Assigning responsibility and timelines for completion for each set of actions.
While learning and utilization are most often considered at the conclusion of the evaluation process, learning and utilization can happen at various phases in the evaluation process and stages of the Program Cycle. Evaluation use and learning may occur before or during the evaluation, shortly after it is completed, or long after the findings have been presented. It may occur during the development of a CDCS, the design of a project or activity, or portfolio review. Utilization and learning should be planned for and actively facilitated whenever evaluation use occurs.