Rapid evaluation to inform urgent decision‑making

A series of eight arrows, the first five labelled “proposal”, “inputs”, “activities”, “outputs” and “targets” are surrounded by an elliptical shape, as are the three larger arrows “short-term outcomes/ direct program attribution and responsibility”, “medium-term outcomes/ behavioural change”, and “long-term outcomes/system change”. A line with an arrow pointing to each ellipsis indicates the two groups are related.


What evidence is available? What action is required? What caveats do I need to put on the findings?

Focus areas

An approach designed to quickly and systematically conduct an evaluation when time or resources are limited.

Program characteristics

The common feature of this approach is the expedited implementation timeframes, which generally range from 10 days to 6 months, for situations where a short‑term or immediate outcome is expected, or a quick decision is required.

These methods have been used in multiple settings including public health, emergency management, international development and agriculture as a way to deliver program evaluation findings quickly to inform decision making, for example in a public health crisis where improvement in infection control is expected to happen within a short timeframe.

Type of evaluation/other terms

Real time evaluations, rapid feedback evaluation, rapid evaluation methods, rapid‑cycle evaluation, rapid appraisal.

Commonwealth requirements

Decision‑makers (that is, government, responsible ministers, accountable authorities, and senior managers) will determine when a rapid evaluation is required to support urgent action, decision‑making and accountability.

For more information, visit Better Evaluation's Rapid Evaluation

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