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Readiness for evaluation should not be assumed, and the best way to prevent evaluations from becoming a routine checkbox exercise is to conduct a timely EA. The Synthesis Review of Evaluability Assessments of the Four Regional Integrated Initiatives is among the first evaluability assessments (EAs) carried out using the EA Guidelines operationalizing ‘evaluability’ standard of the CGIAR Evaluation Framework.

Aligned to the EA Terms of Reference (ToRs), this synthesis review of the 4 regional integrated initiatives is the result of a carefully thought-out and long process to facilitate reflection, assess quality, gain clarity, and synthesize learnings. Four Regional Integrated Initiatives (RIIs) underwent the EA during the latter half of 2023 and early 2024: Fragility to Resilience in Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA)Asian Mega-Deltas (AMD)Transforming Agrifood Systems In South Asia (TAFFSA)West and Central African Food Systems Transformations (WCA). RIIs, managed under the RAFS research action area, aim to lay a foundation for on-the-ground research, coordination, and synergies across CGIAR to amplify impact at scale. Therefore, as a key vehicle for capacity development and policy change, four RIIs underwent this fully-fledged assessment.

This EA synthesis report answers critical questions which will contribute to CGIAR’s long-term accountability and success and align with the new evaluability standard of CGIAR. Furthermore, this review includes important broad implications for the other RIIs, RAFS, and CGIAR as a whole.

The Synthesis Review explores the commonalities in the evaluability results across the four RII EAs. Under the inquiry, the RII-specific reviews identified the extent to which the RIIs were evaluable along the six domains and 40 questions. The nineteen EA recommendations were organized by into two groups:

(1) practical short-term recommendations for planning for evaluation, and strategic long-term recommendations for addressing greater evaluability in future RII-like programming as well as CGIAR as a whole- see Management Response;

(2) by 6 domains of evaluability framework to focus EA Guidelines – see table below

The application of the EA framework to RIIs and Management Response highlighted fundamental role of evaluations to CGIAR stakeholders in informing the design of interventions, providing substantive evidence to support management and governance decisions, and ensuring accountability to funders.

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