An Evaluator’s Guide to COVID-19: Using Evaluative Thinking to Learn and Adapt Programs

An Evaluator’s Guide to COVID-19: Using Evaluative Thinking to Learn and Adapt Programs

As our global programming pivot continues in response to COVID-19, An Evaluator’s Guide to COVID-19: Using Evaluative Thinking to Learn and Adapt Programs describes important ways evaluation can (and should) support learning and adaptation during three phases of the pandemic (acute, chronic, and longer term).

Each phase includes different levels of intensity and calls for different evaluative approaches to gather and analyze data about the programming pivots. An Evaluator’s Guide to COVID-19 recommends actions for rapid learning in the acute phase, learning from structural changes in the context of an ongoing (chronic) situation, and post-pandemic (longer-term) strategic and programmatic adaption and decision making. To support programs in selecting approaches, the guide offers two hypothetical program examples and recommends methodologies for each phase. The aim is to capture the right data to assess the effects of the pivot on strategies and programs, learn from the data, make course corrections, and adapt future activities.

An Evaluator’s Guide to COVID-19 is designed for use by teams who have had to adapt their programs in response to the current pandemic. Funders, evaluators, and development practitioners in general will also benefit from the discussion of evaluative approaches. The recommendations are not sector specific, nor are they limited to ongoing programs or specific geographies.

This guide may be considered a companion piece to EnCompass’ brief on The Virtues of Virtual MEL.