DOI: 10.1177/10982140241234841 ISSN: 1098-2140

Mapping Evaluation Use: A Scoping Review of Extant Literature (2005–2022)

Michelle Searle, Amanda Cooper, Paisley Worthington, Jennifer Hughes, Rebecca Gokiert, Cheryl Poth
  • Strategy and Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Education
  • Health (social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Business and International Management

Factors influencing evaluation use has been a primary concern for evaluators. However, little is known about the current conceptualizations of evaluation use including what counts as use, what efforts encourage use, and how to measure use. This article identifies enablers and constraints to evaluation use based on a scoping review of literature published since 2009 ( n = 47). A fulsome examination to map factors influencing evaluation use identified in extant literature informs further study and captures its evolution over time. Five factors were identified that influence evaluation use: (1) resources; (2) stakeholder characteristics; (3) evaluation characteristics; (4) social and political environment; and (5) evaluators characteristics. Also examined is a synthesis of practical and theoretical implications as well as implications for future research. Importantly, our work builds upon two previous and impactful scoping reviews to provide a contemporary assessment of the factors influencing evaluation use and inform consequential evaluator practice.

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