An important aspect of the work of international development organisations is to independently and systematically evaluate their projects, programs and policies.

This is done to make sure they are providing effective services and value to their member state clients and the millions of people who benefit from development work.

But what is the best way to do that? Experts from across the world, at the recent 2019 Asian Evaluation Week, held in Kunming, in the People's Republic of China, had a lively discussion on this topic.

At the center of the debate was the argument that although quality evaluations hold development organizations accountable for the results they promise to deliver, the expectation that the quality of evaluations alone will help countries achieve development effectiveness is a bit farfetched.

For quality evaluations to lead to better results, they need to be influential. Evaluation influence is about ensuring evaluation knowledge is valued and utilized to bring about positive change.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 18, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.