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Contracting for Independent Evaluation: Approaches to an Inherent Tension

Jacob Klerman


September 3, 2014
There has recently been discussion of whether independent contract evaluation is possible. This article acknowledges the inherent tension in contract evaluation and in response suggests a range of constructive approaches to improving the independence of contract evaluation. In particular, a clear separation between the official evaluation report and a contractor’s own publication of analysis from the underlying evaluation appears to be a promising approach. In this approach, the funder would retain almost unfettered rights to the official contract report (including the right never to publish but not the right to change the contractor’s text while leaving the contractor’s authorship) and the contractor would retain clearly defined rights to publish any findings from the evaluation (subject only to the limitations of human subjects and proprietary data and some minimal notice).