The Role of Evaluation in Spending Review

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The role of spending review is to identify savings options that enable governments either to find fiscal space for priority new spending or to cut aggregate spending. Spending review has been extensively used by governments around the world in the wake of the global financial crisis in 2008, and many governments are now seeking to institutionalize spending review as a permanent part of the budget preparation process. The effectiveness of spending review is critically dependent upon the quality of its information base—that is, of the expenditure analysis and performance indicators that can assist in the search for savings options. Evaluation is an essential part of this information base. However, ensuring that the potential of evaluation to inform spending review is realized will require considerable reflection on the design, selection, and conduct of evaluations.

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