This contribution focuses on the role of the initiation phase for the eventual utilisation of policy evaluations. The initiation phase in policy evaluation processes has received only sparse scholarly attention so far. In this contribution, we argue that this is lamentable because an evaluation’s future value might already be partly determined in this very first phase of the process. Starting from the question whether internally initiated evaluations are utilised better by evaluated organisations, we deductively define a sense of ownership, task motivation and the presence of a process champion in the initiation phase as levers that increase the possibility of a better utilisation of policy evaluations. Exploratory empirical research in Flemish local government organisations confirms our propositions. Based on these insights, we propose practical recommendations to improve internal utilisation of externally initiated policy evaluations, and we conclude that the focus on initiation and the presence of levers for better utilisation can provide valuable contributions to both theoretical and empirical efforts to understand policy evaluation utilisation.