Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I select and manage an evaluator?

You need a procurement process that will give you the best chance of finding the right evaluator:

  • Plan ahead for your evaluation – good evaluators get booked early
  • Give the evaluation a realistic timeframe to prepare a response and to undertake the work
  • State your requirements clearly
  • Give a sense of the resources that you have available
  • For a large evaluation, consider using a two stage process where evaluators begin with a short Expression Of Interest, and then only a few short-listed ones are asked to develop a full proposal

Consider your evaluation brief and the skills and knowledge that you require of an evaluator to complement the knowledge and expertise that you might contribute. For example, if your evaluation design is for a participatory evaluation, you will need an evaluator with facilitation skills and participatory design skills.You might need an evaluator with particular evaluation expertise (such as particular statistical options) or with experience in particular sectors (such as water and sanitation).

In managing the evaluation, consider the evaluator as your partner. Share information, review drafts, and facilitate access to relevant internal staff. Remember that, while the evaluator might develop and implement the evaluation plan, as project manager you retain responsibility for the evaluation overall, and need to manage the evaluation and the processes for supporting its use.

Click here to view resources on managing an external evaluation.

How do I choose the right evaluation option?

Evaluation is not about choosing the right evaluation option, but about choosing the right combination of evaluation options for each of seven components of evaluation:

  • Manage
  • Define
  • Frame
  • Describe
  • Understand causes
  • Synthesize
  • Report and support use

Use “Choose an option” to explore each of the options for these different components.

How do I use a particular evaluation option properly?

If you have decided on a particular option for a particular evaluation component or task, you can find advice on how to design, implement and manage this option in the Rainbow Framework.

How do I check the quality of an evaluation?

Ideally the quality standards for a particular evaluation have been identified and agreed at the beginning.  For example, an evaluation might need to consult particular stakeholders adequately, or be done by someone who is independent, or produce usable results, in order to be considered good quality.
To develop these for a particular evaluation, you can draw on external standards of evaluation quality such as:

  • DAC Quality Standards for Development Evaluation – outlining standards for evaluation processes and products in development evaluation. The Standards outline the key dimensions for each phase of a typical evaluation process: defining purpose, planning, designing, implementing, reporting, and learning from and using evaluation results.  
  • Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation – coalition of major professional associations in America concerned with the quality of evaluation. The Committee has developed program evaluation standards for: Utility, Feasibility; Propriety; Accuracy; and Evaluation Accountability.  

Click here for a more detailed discussion of quality including related options and resources.