Rome, 24 August 2023 – All the intricacies involved in applying neuroscience-based principles to the field of evaluation have been brought together and explained in one easy-to-access resource. Why brain science matters for evaluators, how it can be applied throughout the investigative process, and what difference it can make to the outcome of the evaluative work in practical terms are just some of the questions that a new publication issued by the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) addresses head on [here].
The intellectual footprints of IOE’s pioneering work on the synergies between brain science and evaluation have ricocheted across the evaluation world over the past twelve months. What started as a seminar presentation little over a year ago [here], has since escalated into a series of events [here], magazine articles [here], video series [here], brochures [here] and news items [here]. With the ‘familiar’ helping hand of world-renowned keynote speaker and Harvard trained psychiatrist, Dr Srini Pillay, IOE has now sought to bring together this remarkable constellation of resources, and package them into a succinct publication. The result of this latest effort is an annex to the 2022 IFAD Evaluation Manual, titled ‘Communicating Evaluation Findings’.
Dialogue among evaluators and evaluands is of paramount importance throughout the lifecycle of the evaluative process. Traditionally, a common-sense approach to interaction has guided this engagement. However, the literature suggests that limitations inherent to this approach may inhibit the potential value of the evaluative process. Integrating neuroscience-based principles into the modus operandi of evaluators may help illuminate or overcome these limitations. Drawing on these principles, the annex describes a series of practical actions geared toward increasing receptiveness to evaluation findings and uptake of evaluation recommendations, thus bolstering the transformative capacity of the evaluative process.
In just over ten pages, the publication successfully articulates the rationale for applying brain science to the field of evaluation. The main insights and perspectives of this complex subject matter are woven together through the use of simple language and intuitive arguments. With an eye on the practicality and applicability of the concepts discussed, the document offers concrete actions and implementation steps at the end of each short chapter.
Highlights of the publication include discussions on the impact of performance appraisal and feedback on the brain; on how stress inhibits change; what exactly it means to be compassionate from a ‘brain’ perspective; the many ways of delivering bad news; the importance of avoiding to tell the evaluand what not to do; how to motivate the evaluand to act on findings; how to help the evaluand manage their sense of being overwhelmed findings, and how to enhance evaluator leadership skills.
For further information, please contact Alexander Voccia [here]
- 2022 IFAD Evaluation Manual. Annex for communicating evaluation findings [here]
- The brain science revolution. Independent Magazine, issue 6 [here]
- Harnessing neuroscience to unlock the transformative potential of evaluation [here]
- Evaluation through the lens of brain science: Innovation talk live recording [here]
- Evaluation Pills [here]
- Mindset Strategies for Post-Evaluation Transformation [seminar - video]
- Mindset Strategies for Post-Evaluation Transformation [seminar - summary fact sheet]
- Performance appraisal and feedback myths debunked. Independent Magazine, issue 4 [here]