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Nine Steps in planning and managing evaluation





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This is an interactive guide to manage an evaluation. The guide can be used for managing an evaluation that is conducted by an external evaluator or evaluation team, an internal team, or by a combination of these. It can be used for different types of evaluations and for evaluations of different types of interventions, including projects, programs, and policies. It can also be used for evaluation of research.

The guide aims to support decision making throughout the process of an evaluation, from planning its purpose and scope, designing it, conducting it, reporting findings and supporting use of its findings.

The information is organized in 9 steps. In some cases, the order in which the steps are addressed in the evaluation process might be slightly different, or earlier steps might need to be revisited in response to changing circumstances and needs.

Step 1

Decide how decisions about the evaluation will be made

Decide how decisions will be made on: the focus of the evaluation; choosing the evaluator / evaluation team; approving the evaluation design; approving evaluation reports and who can access the final report(s) and data.

Step 2

Scope the evaluation

Take the time to consider carefully what the evaluation needs to do before considering possible designs. Ensure all those who need to be consulted during this process are adequately involved.

Step 3

Develop the Terms of Reference (ToR)

Develop the formal document (such as Terms of References, Request for Proposal) that outlines the requirements for the evaluation.

Step 4

Engage the evaluation team

Evaluations can be conducted by in-house staff (internal) or a third party (external) or a mix of both. Advertising the Terms of Reference (ToR) / Request for Proposal (RFP) is the first step in engaging external evaluators but other important issues need to be addressed to ensure an effective and transparent selection process and to orient the selected evaluator(s).

Step 5

Manage development of the evaluation methodology

An evaluation design describes how data will be collected and analysed to answer the Key Evaluation Questions.

Step 6

Manage development of the evaluation work plan including logistics

Oversee or engage in the development of a work plan that sets out the specific activities to implement the evaluation. This should include identification of the reporting requirements and a dissemination plan.

Step 7

Manage implementation of the evaluation

Oversee or engage in specific evaluation activities to collect and analyse data as set out in the evaluation work plan (including revising it as needed) and keeping the evaluation management group(s) informed and involved.

Step 8

Guide production of quality report(s)

The evaluation reports should include relevant and comprehensive information structured in a manner that facilitates its use but also provide transparency in terms of the methods used and the evidence obtained to substantiate the conclusions and recommendations.

Step 9

Disseminate reports and support use of evaluation

Make evaluation reports available and engage with primary intended users to make the results accessible.  Archive the evaluation report and data (if appropriate).  Use effective strategies to support use of the findings.