The combination of mentoring in UFE and ResCom enables projects to become adaptive managers

We combine utilization-focused evaluation and research communication because:

  • They share common planning steps (situational analysis, stakeholder analysis) that may allow for complementary preparatory efforts.
  • Making explicit what to evaluate focuses on the essentials of a research project, and this in turn clarifies communication objectives.
  • Both approaches call for researchers to “listen” to what partners need, what is relevant to them.
  • The emphasis on “use” in UFE is comparable with the emphasis on targeted messages in communication planning. (See Ramírez, R.  2011. Why “utilization focused communication” is not an oxymoron).
  • The emphasis on “facilitating use” in UFE, where the evaluators ensure the evaluation findings and process get utilized (as opposed to being left to chance) reminds us that communication activities and products need follow-up.
  • The integration of evaluation and communication, ensures we focus on communication objectives that are realistic, and to some extent measurable (in terms of reach and short-term outcomes).

Presentation by Dr. Vira R. Ramelan. 2015. Strengthening the utilization-focused evaluation approach using a communication Strategy: Case studies from Asia. Evaluation Conclave, Nepal.