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Realising the SDGs by reflecting on the way(s) we reason, plan and act: the importance of evaluative thinking

Systematically evaluating policies, programmes and strategies is an essential feature of ongoing follow-up and review processes for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. But although it may be shocking to say, evaluation on its own is not enough. If follow-up and review frameworks and mechanisms are to address challenges, gaps and successes, they must be grounded in evaluative thinking. Evaluative thinking includes both a set of skills and a particular outlook or viewpoint. Building capacity in evaluative thinking is not the same as building capacity to do evaluations. This briefing defines evaluative thinking, describes what it requires to thrive and what stifles or inhibits it, and explains how it is intimately connected to adaptive management.

It is the fourth in a collection of briefings discussing the role of evaluation in achieving the SDGs.

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