Clarify what will be evaluated

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An evaluation can focus on a project, a number of projects, a program, a policy, a strategy, an organization, a network. 

It is helpful to produce a succinct statement about:

(a) what is to be evaluated – which may include information on:

  • The rationale: the issue being addressed, what intervention is being done, who is intended to benefit from it, and what the intended results are
  • The scale of the intervention, budget and resources allocated and stage of implementation
  • The roles of partner organizations and other stakeholders involved in implementation
  • The implications of contextual factors – geographic, social, political, economic and institutional circumstances which create opportunities or challenges
  • Significant changes in the intervention that have occurred over time – because of changes in contextual factors or lessons learned

(b) what is considered to be outside the boundaries of the evaluation – For example, some activities or some longer-term impacts.

Checking this initial description with different stakeholders can be a helpful way of starting to identify where there are disagreements or gaps in what is known about the intervention and/or the boundaries of the evaluation.


The following item is a potential output from this sub-step. Where possible, it might be useful to research other deliverables that have also been shown to be effective.

  • Description of the evaluand