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Embedding evaluation in national plans and policies to foster transformative development

Voluntary national reviews (VNRs) are an important tool, rolled out globally, for demonstrating how far countries are progressing toward realising the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); but VNRs represent just one approach to evaluation in the 2030 Agenda. Countries can look beyond evaluation in the context of global reporting through VNRs, to embedding evaluation at the national and local level. In this way, evaluation can be a strong entry point for countries to achieve truly transformative development, reflecting the Agenda’s ambition. This briefing examines the idea of ‘transformation’ as promoted in the 2030 Agenda and looks at how it can be applied to evaluation. We argue that when embedded in national planning, evaluation assumes additional roles and functions that go far beyond technical target measurement and can even assess political processes and activities.

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