DOROTHY [user:field_middlename] LUCKS



More about me

Dr. Dorothy Lucks is the Executive Director of SDF Global Pty Ltd. For the last 25 years, Dr. Lucks has independently evaluated development policies and programmes and projects of international organizations such as FAO, IFAD, UNHCR, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank in over 30 countries.


Dr. Lucks is Co-Chair of the EVALSDGs Network which is a network of policy makers, institutions and practitioners who advocate for the evaluability of the performance indicators of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and support processes to integrate evaluation into national and global review systems. Dr. Lucks has also acted as an Evaluation Team leader for MOPAN III (Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network) that comprises a performance assessment process for a consortium of 18 donors. She is strongly focussed on innovation and sees the SDGs as an opportunity and global driving force for transformation.

My contributions

    • Dear Silva

      That is beautifully put , and points to the integral value, and values of an evaluator. I often view our role as both facilitator and translator to understand the language of context, Culture and experience and translate it into the language of technical theories, institutions, resources and decision-making, with the hope of strengthening connection, understanding and positive flow between them to facilitate the patterns and solutions that emerge. 

      Thank you for taking the time to make such a great explanation.

      Kind regards 

      Dorothy Lucks

    • Dear Mauro

      You raise a good point. There is usually feedback prior to finalization of the evaluation report. Often this is mainly from the internal stakeholders of the initiative (policy, program, process, project) that is being evaluated and from the commissioner of the evaluation. This is extremely useful and helps to ensure that the reports are good quality and the recommendations are crafted to be implementable. Unfortunately, the stakeholders for the evaluation content are often not the decision-makers for resource allocation or future strategic actions. Consequently while there is a formal feedback process, the decision-makers often do not engage with the evaluation until after the evaluation is complete. For instance, we are currently evaluating a rural health service. There are important findings and the stakeholders are highly engaged in the process. But the decisions on whether the service will be continued is central and decisions are likely to be made for political reasons rather than on the evaluation findings. It requires evaluation to gain a higher profile within the main planning ministries to exert influence on the other ministries to take decisions on evidence rather than on politics. We are still a long way from this situation but the shift to evaluation policy briefs is a good move that give ministerial policy officers the tools to properly inform decision-makers.

      Kind regards

      Dorothy Lucks

    •  Dear Isha and all

      Well said. I agree. With all the new tools that we have in our hands there is opportunity for evaluation to be more vibrant, less bureaucratic and ultimately more useful!

      Kind regards


  • I recently raised a discussion with the EvalForward Community on the growing disconnect between youth and the agricultural sector, and how we can learn from evaluations to make strides forward in the area. The EvalForward discussion was stimulated through four key questions: Are evaluations relating to young people in agriculture making a difference or not? Do we actually see a shift in the way young people are included in agriculture? Are there lessons learned in relation to young people that we should be incorporating in all initiatives? What are the pitfalls and challenges?

    Participants across many countries and contexts shared their

    • Dear all who have engaged with this discussion,

      It is good to see the level of passion for the inclusion of young people in agriculture and I have been following each point with interest. But if I may probe a little deeper, I think Lal is getting closest to the point that I  have been making.

      The lessons learned in evaluations regarding young people in agriculture are valid, important and at least in my experience continually reinvented with each evaluation including the very good synthesis carried out by IFAD of over ten years of projects. Yet, where do these lessons go? 

      Do we actually see a shift in the way young people are included in agriculture? I agree that we cannot classify all youth as the same and there are, in every country, young people who are naturally drawn to working on the land and are passionate and skilled.  These are valuable and inherent in any agriculture community.

      Yet, rural communities tend to be shrinking as the other young people leave for other opportunities. Many will not find those opportunity and end up unemployed in cities.  If we are serious about the SDGs, particularly 2, 8 and 11, can all these learnings, from all these evaluations not be scaled up to make a re-investment of youth in agriculture.  The above mentioned synthesis of IFAD makes this point.  It says it is now time to scale up efforts based on ten years of learning.

      So my real question is .... are evaluations making a difference or not? If not, how does that happen to greater effect?


      Kind regards 

      Dorothy Lucks




    • Dear EvalForward members,

      Thank you all for posting many and insightful contributions to this discussion. 

      As pointed out, sustainable engagement of young people in agriculture faces several challenges. Many of these are similar across different country contexts, especially those related to enduring negative perceptions of the sector and the non-conducive political and enabling environment for youth employment and entrepreneurship in agriculture. The cases of successful engagement and business ventures highlighted shed light on the possible opportunities to counter the trend of rising average age of farmers and agripreneurs.  

      I would like to encourage all to step up consideration of youth engagement in your evaluations and in recommendations, in order to contribute to moving forward on youth-appropriate strategies in support of SDG2 – End Hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.

      Please keep sharing lessons and evaluative knowledge you may have through this platform!

      Best regards,


  • Gender and evaluation of food security