This paper intends to propose a personal and professional witness on how Hirschman’s approach can contribute to enlighten the practice of evaluation. The author, after recalling how she got in touch with Hirschman and his thought, describes the way in which Hirschman’s concepts (the thesis of the slack, the linkages effects, the exit and voice scheme, the ethical concern, the political rhetoric, etc.) have gradually influenced her research activities and her evaluation practice. In this way, the author can thus focus on recurrent problems, and ways to address them, as regards the planning of development measures, the role of intellectuals in change process, the relationship between politics and evaluation, the use of methodologies and evaluation techniques.
Keywords: Evaluation of Public Policies, Development Economics, Public Funds, Thesis of the Slack, Linkages Effects, Exit and Voice Scheme, Ethics, Political Rhetoric