Chapter 18: Policy evaluation and international organizations
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Owing to their nature as information brokers with a comparative perspective, IOs offer a natural venue to better understand which policy interventions work and how. In recent years specific procedures and ad hoc units to advance the practice and culture of evaluation in IOs have rapidly grown. The chapter conceives IOs as autonomous policy actors that employ evaluation as a strategic governing tool and takes stock of existing literature to analyze how they do so. IOs strive to shield the politically sensitive evaluation process from undue political influences by establishing autonomous units. They build policy evaluation capacity by decentralizing the evaluation practices in the countries, typically in the guise of a local partnership with national institutions and professionals. They establish global evaluation networks that operate as epistemic communities. IOs also set evaluation criteria, they benchmark countries and other stakeholders against those criteria and disseminate the results. Such purportedly neutral techniques are de facto charged with policy purposes and represent crucial instruments of governance.

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