The new scalar politics of evaluation: An emerging governance role for evaluation

David Rutkowski, Jason Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we analyze how roles for evaluation are described and argued for in key texts produced and/or promoted by three influential international networks: the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness; the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Assistance Committee’s Network on Development Evaluation; and the Network of Networks for Impact Evaluation. We contend that these complex multilateral networks are working supranationally through soft power to promote: common standards of evaluation practice; a dominant model of evaluation (impact evaluation); and new evaluation roles, relationships and practices for the field of development. Moreover, we argue that this emerging complex multilateral agenda for evaluation may position evaluation and evaluators within a global governance strategy allowing greater influence to international development organizations. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of the analysis for evaluators working in the field of international development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-508
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 12 2014


  • complex multilateralism
  • evaluation standards
  • global governance
  • impact evaluation
  • international development
  • soft power

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

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