Exploring the perspectives of International Nongovernmental Organizations (INGOs) on the use of program evaluation and impact assessment in their work


  • Stan Yu University of Saskatchewan
  • Darrell McLaughlin St. Thomas More College (STM), University of Saskatchewan




International Nongovernmental Organizations, Program Evaluation, Impact Assessment, Qualitative Research


In the twenty-first century, the call for International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs) to demonstrate their effectiveness has become popularized. This has given rise to scholarly attention examining the roles of program evaluation and impact assessment in assisting INGOs in demonstrating their effectiveness. While previous studies suggest that INGOs actively conduct program evaluation and impact assessment, this article explores the perspectives of two Canadian INGOs on how they understand, use, and experience evaluation and assessment as it relates to their work. Our study uncovers three continuing challenges: evaluation and assessment are largely descriptive and lack more sophisticated analyses; efforts to conduct evaluation and assessment are consolidated within organizations’ head offices, while staff members and volunteers are largely excluded; and evaluation and assessment remain rooted in the paradigm of quantifiable results, which do not truly reflect the nature of work being conducted on the ground.

Au vingt-et-unième siècle, on veut de plus en plus que les organisations non gouvernementales internationales (ONGI) démontrent leur efficacité. Ce désir a motivé les chercheurs à se pencher sur les évaluations de programme et les études d’impact pour voir dans quelle mesure celles-ci peuvent aider les ONGI à montrer qu’elles sont efficaces. Des études antérieures suggèrent que les ONGI mènent de manière concertée des évaluations de programme et des études d’impact. Cet article explore comment aujourd’hui deux ONGI canadiens comprennent, utilisent et vivent l’évaluation et la mesure de leur travail. Notre étude relève trois défis actuels : l’évaluation et la mesure tendent à être descriptives sans offrir d’analyses plus poussées; ce sont les sièges sociaux des organismes qui gèrent l’évaluation et la mesure en excluant ainsi bon nombre de fonctionnaires et volontaires; l’évaluation et la mesure se limitent au paradigme des résultats mesurables et par conséquent elles ne reflètent pas nécessairement le véritable travail mené sur le terrain.


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Author Biographies

Stan Yu, University of Saskatchewan

Stan Yu (M.A.) is the Research and Program Evaluation Analyst for the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Darrell McLaughlin, St. Thomas More College (STM), University of Saskatchewan

Darrell McLaughlin (PhD) is an Associate Professor of Sociology at St. Thomas More College (STM), University of Saskatchewan, 1437 College Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, S7N 0W6


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