Translating Project Achievements into Strategic Plans: A Case Study in Utilization-Focused Evaluation

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Ricardo Ramirez
Galin Kora
Dal Brodhead


Background: Utilization-focused evaluation (UFE) is a decision-making framework intended to design and implement evaluations that get utilized. In this case study, the UFE approach was applied to the evaluation of a youth training and employment program in Kenya.

Purpose: Analyze a case study based on empirical experience with the lens of evaluation use and influence.

Setting: Nairobi and other urban and peri-urban settings, Kenya.

Intervention: The evaluation of a youth training and employment program that provided direct training for marginalized youth as well as capacity building for employment and adapted a Basic Employability Skills Training (BEST) model from India.

Research design: Analysis of a case study to describe: how the evaluation approach provided enabling factors for funders and grantees to turn evaluation into a learning intervention; the benefit of clarifying a project’s theory of change; and learning how to combine summative and developmental evaluation.

Data collection and analysis: A case study based on an evaluation consultancy. The evaluation included site visits, extensive documentation review, qualitative and quantitative data collection.

Findings: The ‘facilitation of use’ (a step in UFE) provided a bridge between a summative and a developmental evaluation. The evaluators and program partners developed a learning relationship wherein the evidence influenced the subsequent project design and strategy.

Keywords: Evaluation as learning, utilization-focused evaluation, theory of change, summative and developmental evaluation, technical vocational education and training – TVET, Kenya, youth livelihoods


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How to Cite
Ramirez, R., Kora, G., & Brodhead, D. (2016). Translating Project Achievements into Strategic Plans: A Case Study in Utilization-Focused Evaluation. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 13(28), 1–23. Retrieved from
Author Biographies

Ricardo Ramirez, Independent researcher & consultant Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph

Ricardo Ramírez, PhD is an independent researcher and consultant based in Guelph, Ontario. His consulting and research work includes utilization-focused and developmental evaluation, communication planning, and capacity development. He is co-author of Utilization-focused evaluation: A Primer for evaluators (Southbound, Penang, 2013) and co-author of Communication for another development: Listening before telling (Zed Books, London 2009).  He is co-Principal Investigator of a DECI-2, a capacity development applied-research project in evaluation and research communication. 

Galin Kora, Independent evaluator

Galin Kora is a consultant based in Ottawa, Canada.  He brings experience in evaluation in rural and remote settings, including northern Canada, SE Asia, Africa and South America.  He has a graduate degree in Rural Planning and Development and extensive experience in data management.  Galin is a Credentialed Evaluator and a Certified Management Consultant.

Dal Brodhead, CEO of New Economy Development Group, an Ottawa-based consulting firm.

Dal Brodhead is the Director of the New Economy Development Group, a value-based consulting firm based in Ottawa.  Dal brings a strong background in community development, project management and applied research in Canada and internationally.  Dal led one of CIDA’s largest micro-finance and human development projects in Bangladesh (1991-2002).  He is co-Principal Investigator of the DECI-2 project.  He has also been a workshop designer and facilitator with a Metis Youth engagement process in the past year in Canada and during his early working life was the CEO of a national youth program.