A central goal of program evaluation is to provide recommendations that will inform programming decisions. Yet, recommendations often do not translate into practice; wasting precious resources and thwarting evaluators‘ ultimate goal of social betterment. Despite identifying numerous variables related to evaluation use in general and recommendation uptake in particular, the literature on this topic derives almost exclusively from evaluators‘ practice-based observations. Moving beyond a 'shopping list‘ approach, with this research I sought to identify, empirically, the relative importance of facilitators of recommendation uptake. Moreover, this work draws on reports from those actually responsible for implementing evaluation recommendations, adding an important perspective to the use and recommendation uptake literature.
Two studies were conducted with recommendation implementers; one using a structured Q-sort task, and the other using an open-ended interview method. The research questions were: i) are there different perspectives among implementers about the most important facilitators of recommendation uptake?; and ii) is there a subset of variables that reliably facilitate uptake regardless of the implementers‘ specific point of view? Together the results suggest that there are indeed four unique implementer points of view regarding important facilitators of recommendation uptake. The results also suggest that stakeholder involvement in the evaluation process, stakeholder commitment to evaluation use, and the feasibility of the recommendation are reliable facilitators of uptake. This research has important theoretical and practical implications, and also reveals important avenues for future research on evaluation use.