This is an interactive guide for people who are managing 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, policies and clusters of projects. 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. In many organizations, this process will draw on the expertise of several individuals. Additional help may need to be obtained for one or more steps in the process.
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.
You can navigate through the steps-based information using the 'steps menu' on the right-hand side of every page. You can click on links for further information which are provided within specific pages or you can go back to a previous page using the 'breadcrumbs' at the top of each page.
Below is quick overview of each of the steps with links to sub-steps, where relevant:
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.
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.
- Clarify what will be evaluated
- Describe the theory of change
- Identify who are the primary intended users of the evaluation and what will they use it for
- Develop agreed key evaluation questions
- Decide the timing of the evaluation
- Decide whether the evaluation will be done by an external team, an internal team or a hybrid of both
- Determine the evaluator qualities
- Identify what resources are available for the evaluation and what will be needed
Develop the formal document that outlines the requirements for the evaluation.
FEEL FREE TO USE A UNIQUE, FREE SOFTWARE to write your ToR:
You can use a template in a wordprocessing software to write the ToR for your evaluation or you can use the GeneraTOR below which will guide you through writing the different sections of a ToR / RFP. It will generate a word document with your saved information which can then be further refined and/or reviewed by others.
Here is a snapshot of the software:
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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).
An evaluation design describes how data will be collected and analysed to answer the Key Evaluation Questions.
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.
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.
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.
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.