In recent years, evaluation activities have seen an uptick in the Global South; however, the evaluation discourse is largely dominated by discussions and actions around narrower dimensions such as monitoring and auditing, often driven by donor /funder requirements. Many countries are also limited in their capacity to conduct evaluations on their own and are often sites for large experimental and quasi-experimental studies that do not take into account the socio-cultural and political contexts in these settings. Additionally, the emphasis on assessing “impact” leaves program implementers with little information to improve program performance or understand the underlying mechanisms for why their programs work (or not). This paper discusses the gaps and challenges around evaluation in the Global South and presents recommendations for adopting recent evaluation approaches that value the complexity of context specificity of international development sectors. It also recommends intentionality on the part of researchers, policymakers, and practitioners around building local capacity to design and conduct evaluations.
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