Despite significant funding flowing into higher education for programs aimed at improving participation, access and success, there still exists a limited amount of systematic evaluation taking place within the sector. In some institutions (including universities, research centres and centres of excellence), a greater level of onus has been felt in recent years for the need to ascertain whether funding sources such as the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) have led or are likely to lead to positive equity-related outcomes. An understanding of the causal links that lead or do not lead to these outcomes being met is also being sought for potential replication and evidence of success, along with advice from funders about what they are looking for. This creates a 'perfect storm' in which it seems evaluation is an ideal tool. The landscape this storm is creating - which is leading to a slowly growing body of evidence around how equity programs work - has potential to generate convincing evidence about the efficacy of such programs and lead to significant improvements in how they are run. This paper will document aspects of this emergence, and suggest ways forward which could sustainably hasten this process.