Rist, Ray C.

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Monitoring and evaluation, Governance, Public sector reforms, Results-based management
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Ray C. Rist is in his second term as president of International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). He is also a co-founder and co-director of the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET). Retired from the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank, he continues to advise organizations and governments throughout the world on how to design and build results-based monitoring and evaluation systems. His career includes senior appointments in the U.S. government, academic institutions, and the World Bank. He is the author or editor of 31 books and more than 150 articles. He presently serves on the boards of nine professional journals.

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Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
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    Assessing Country Readiness for Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation Systems
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2004-06) Kusek, Jody Zall ; Rist, Ray C.
    Countries across the globe are facing pressures to reform their public sectors. An effective, efficient public sector is vital to sustainable development, economic growth, and citizens' well-being. Similarly, assessing government performance is crucial in determining a country's progress toward its development goals, whether defined by the Millennium Development Goals, a Policy Reduction Strategy Paper, a Country Assistance Strategy, or another policy statement. It is also important in analyzing a government's accountability to its citizens, by providing evidence on promised government performance. Focusing on performance can also be an effective public sector management tool, informing resource allocation decisions and monitoring of whether public initiatives are achieving expected results. As a result governments at all levels are under pressure to move beyond tracking inputs-and toward measuring results.
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    The Capacity to Evaluate : Why Countries Need It
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-06) Morra-Imas, Linda ; Rist, Ray C.
    Evaluation skills are central to effective development work. Evaluation captures real results, leads to feedback and learning, and identifies areas where more capacity is needed. It is also an essential tool for making mid-course corrections in ongoing programs, developing appropriate indicators, tracking an individual's or organization's capacity to deliver on its mandate, and guiding the design of future programming. Donors now expect countries to be full partners in the development process, which means that they need to have the capacity to evaluate their own progress and to use the findings to continuously improve their performance. The evidence suggests that these changes can potentially have a transformative effect on governance and make poverty reduction efforts dramatically more effective. The World Bank, in partnership with Carleton University in Ottawa, is currently providing evaluation capacity development through its International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET), which has already trained more than 850 practitioners from 100 countries.
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    Influencing Change : Building Evaluation Capacity to Strengthen Governance
    (World Bank, 2011-03-28) Rist, Ray C. ; Boily, Marie-Helene ; Martin, Frederic
    Evaluation Capacity Building (ECB) is an often-discussed topic in developing countries and their partner international institutions. This book takes on an elusive yet frequently mentioned concept in development evaluation ECB. Differences and divergences were apparent in the spring of 2009, when the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS) held its biannual global assembly in Johannesburg, South Africa, around the theme of 'getting to results: evaluation capacity building and development.' What became apparent was that a number of challenges had already been identified, but that trying to capture lessons learned on effective strategies was difficult, because of the failure to agree upon a unique and coherent definition of ECB, its various objectives and wide scope, and the diversity of institutional contexts in which it takes place. This book brings together the key papers from that global assembly, as well as new papers that reflect on what was learned and shared at the conference.
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    The Road to Results : Designing and Conducting Effective Development Evaluations
    (World Bank, 2009-12-01) Morra Imas, Linda G. ; Rist, Ray C.
    The analytical, conceptual, and political framework of development is changing dramatically. The new development agenda calls for broader understandings of sectors, countries, development strategies, and policies. It emphasizes learning and continuous feedback at all phases of the development cycle. As the development agenda grows in scope and complexity, development evaluation follows suit. Development evaluator are moving away from traditional implementation and output-focused evaluation models toward results-based evaluation models, as the development community calls for results and embraces the millennium development goals. As the development community shifts its focus away from projects in order to comprehensively address country challenges, development evaluators are seeking methods with which to assess results at the country, sector, theme, policy, and even global levels. As the development community recognizes the importance of not only a comprehensive but also a coordinated approach to developing country challenges and emphasizes partnerships, development evaluators are increasingly engaged in joint evaluations. These joint evaluations, while advantageous in many respects, add to the complexity of development evaluation (OECD 2006). Additionally, development evaluators increasingly face the measurement challenge of determining the performance of an individual development organization in this broader context and of identifying its contribution. This text is intended as a tool for use in building development evaluation capacity. It aims to help development evaluators think about and explore the new evaluation architecture and especially to design and conduct evaluations that focus on results in meeting the challenges of development.
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    Poverty, Inequality, and Evaluation: Changing Perspectives
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016) Rist, Ray C. ; Martin, Frederic P. ; Fernandez, Ana María ; Rist, Ray C. ; Martin, Frederic P. ; Fernandez, Ana María
    The basic premise of this book is that the conversation on the future of development needs to shift from a focus on poverty to that of inequality. The poverty emphasis is in an intellectual and political cul de sac. It does not address the fundamental question of why people are poor nor what can be done structurally and institutionally to reduce and eliminate it. The various chapters illustrate in the context of various countries and sectors around the world, the significant contributions that evaluators can make in terms of improvement of the analytical framework, analysis of the performance and results of specific programs and projects, as well as assessing and designing better public management systems in terms of poverty and inequality reduction. Beyond the specific contributions presented, three characteristics characterize those evaluations to be relevant for poverty and inequality analysis: a global-local approach: Global to move beyond disciplinary boundaries and consider cross-cutting issues, local to account for the diversity of countries, sectors, institutions and cultures considered; a problem-solving orientation: The issue evaluated is the core focus and determines the choice of evaluation methods to analyze this issue from a variety of angles; an evolutionary approach: Chapters presented are from iconoclasts who do not have any pre-established theory or school of thought to defend. This is the result of openness of mind and ability to adapt the analytical framework, the evaluation methods, and the interpretation of results in a constant interaction with the stakeholders. Such characteristics make evaluation a domain that can help understand better complex issues like poverty, inequality, vulnerability, and their interactions as well as propose a relevant and useful theory of change for public policies and projects to improve the plight of a large part of the world population in industrialized and developing countries alike.
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    Ten Steps to a Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System : A Handbook for Development Practitioners
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2004) Zall Kusek, Jody ; Rist, Ray C.
    An effective state is essential to achieving socio-economic and sustainable development. With the advent of globalization, there are growing pressures on governments and organizations around the world to be more responsive to the demands of internal and external stakeholders for good governance, accountability and transparency, greater development effectiveness, and delivery of tangible results. Governments, parliaments, citizens, the private sector, Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), civil society, international organizations, and donors are among the stakeholders interested in better performance. As demands for greater accountability and real results have increased, there is an attendant need for enhanced results-based monitoring and evaluation of policies, programs, and projects. This handbook provides a comprehensive ten-step model that will help guide development practitioners through the process of designing and building a results-based monitoring and evaluation system. These steps begin with a 'readiness assessment' and take the practitioner through the design, management, and importantly, the sustainability of such systems. The handbook describes each step in detail, the tasks needed to complete each one, and the tools available to help along the way.
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    Development Evaluation in Times of Turbulence : Dealing with Crises that Endanger Our Future
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013-04-19) Rist, Ray C. ; Boily, Marie-Helene ; Martin, Frederic R. ; Rist, Ray C. ; Boily, Marie-Helene ; Martin, Frederic R.
    The presence of turbulence in multiple areas of our society--food, fuel, and finances-being but three critical areas presently being impacted means that long-held assumptions are no longer true, that the past is not prologue, and that the future is not clear. And enter into this unstable present the discipline of evaluation-a discipline formed and shaped in the past fifty years of stability, little turbulence, and strong assumptions that everything will go according to plan. If things do not go well, it is because of either a poor theory of change on how to bring about positive outcomes, or weak efforts at implementation. It is not because of the stormy present upsetting our quiet past. As it is, conventional evaluation behavior and beliefs are ill suited for these times. The transformational nature of the 'Arab Spring' is just one arena in which it is clear that a business as usual approach to evaluation is entirely inappropriate. The papers in this volume are from the 2011 Global Assembly of the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS). Nearly 350 development evaluators from eighty-five countries came together in Amman, Jordan to discuss and analyze the consequences of turbulence on evaluation. The intent of these papers is to systematically assess what changes have come during this time of turbulence and how these changes are impacting the craft of development evaluation. To be clear: this book is not about how to assess the impacts of crises on development and on people's lives. It is about the meaning of a changed world and changed assumptions on the concepts and methods used in evaluation.