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Webinar on Common Flaws in Evaluations



Common Flaws in Evaluations

MARCH 6, 2024 | 12:00-13:15 GMT | ONLINE


The Global Development Network (GDN) and the UK Evaluation Society (UKES) jointly organized a webinar on the topic ‘Common Flaws in Evaluations’Howard White, Director of Evaluation and Evidence Synthesis at GDN presented his perspective on the common flaws he comes across and how they can be avoided. Howard’s co-host was Kirstine Szifris, the new President of the UKES.

Evaluations have two key functions - lesson learning and accountability.  How well they can fill these tasks depends on the suitability of the evaluation design to address the evaluation questions of interest, and the quality of those evaluations. Unfortunately, many evaluations suffer from flaws which reduce the confidence we can have in their findings, and their usefulness for both lesson learning and accountability.

The webinar drew on Howard’s extensive experience of reviewing, synthesising and analysing evaluations to highlight the most common flaws that he comes across. There are many excellent evaluations which avoid these common pitfalls. But they are still sufficiently common to deserve drawing attention to. After all, better evaluations can mean better lives for all.



Howard White

Howard White is Director of Evaluation and Evidence Synthesis at the Global Development Network. Previously, he was CEO of The Campbell Collaboration, where he led innovations in governance, publishing, staffing, evidence synthesis products and tools to support evidence use in decision-making. He was also the founding Executive Director of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and led the impact evaluation program of the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group. He has been given awards for services to evaluation by the governments of Benin and Uganda.  He was Managing Editor of the Journal of Development Studies (2002-2013) and founding Managing Editor of the Journal of Development Effectiveness. His research areas include aid and development effectiveness, anti-poverty interventions, macroecomomic modelling and policy, evaluation and evidence synthesis methods, and mixed methods approaches in research and evaluation.  Howard started his career as an academic researcher at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, and the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK.


Session chaired and co-hosted by Kirstine Szifris, President of the UK Evaluation Society

Kirstine has 10 years’ experience in research and evaluation, with a background in the field of criminology. She currently works as the Research and Evaluation Lead at SHiFT, a Youth Justice charity and previously worked as a senior research associate at the Policy Evaluation and Research Unit, Manchester Metropolitan University.  She has both teaching and training experience and published journal articles. Prior to this, she completed her PhD at Cambridge University focusing on philosophy education in prison which has been published as a monograph, Philosophy behind bars: Growth and development in prison.


View the webinar recording here