52 weeks of BetterEvaluation: Week 30: Manage an evaluation or evaluation system

kbruce's picture 26th July 2013 by kbruce

This week's 52 Weeks of BetterEvaluation post brings our series on the BetterEvaluation Rainbow Framework to an end, and presents the final AEA hosted webinar recording. Over the series we've introduced the seven clusters of evaluation tasks and many of the options available. You can find a list of all eight posts in the series below.

One thread that runs throughout an evaluation is the management function.  Whether you are commissioning an evaluation or actually implementing one yourself, there are key management functions that you’ll need to keep in mind and the BetterEvaluation website offers a great repository of tools and tips to ease you through the process.

In my experience, if you are commissioning an evaluation, you need to stay engaged with the process after the terms of reference (ToR) is finalized and the consultants have been hired. To get the most out of the evaluation in terms of learning, you’ll need to ensure you check in with the consultants to make sure that they are engaging the stakeholders and that there are clear decision making and reporting processes.  Your work as a commissioner of evaluation does not end when the consultant has been hired.

If you are conducting an evaluation yourself (always an intense exercise!) making sure you have adequate resources (both financial and technical) is important.  Equally important is giving yourself sufficient time to produce thoughtful and comprehensive answers to your questions.  Ensuring that you and your team have the necessary ethics training and the evaluation undergoes the appropriate review (institutional review board or technical review) is also important.

Where possible, build capacity of the evaluators in the field, and also of stakeholders to be able to use the information from the evaluation. This is a hallmark of good evaluation practice because it enables better use of evaluation findings and improved ability to carry out quality evaluations.  I work mostly in Africa and Asia and building capacity is a major for concern for us; de-mystifying evaluation and ensuring the results can be used is critical.

The BetterEvaluation site has nine key evaluation tasks that are helpful to review as you consider managing any evaluation.  Within each of these tasks there are useful tools and resources that can provide you with a starting place for your issue.

A few highlights:

  • Some of the most heavily downloaded resources on the site are on the document management processes and agreements Task, especially around drafting a good ToR.
  • The BetterEvaluation Planning Tool (PDF) gives you an overall guide of things to consider as you are planning your evaluation. This tool covers all of the management tasks, plus other key tasks that you will need to consider.
  • Watch the 20-minute coffee break webinar: Managing Evaluation, where I walk you through highlights from the BetterEvaluation site, plus some experience of managing evaluation from my own work on an evaluation in Namibia –(see below for the video).

For more details, check out BetterEvaluation’s site on the Manage Evaluation function.


This blog post is part of a series of eight posts covering the BetterEvaluation Framework and presenting the recordings of eight corresponding webinars hosted by the American Evaluation Association. The full series of posts is below.

1. Using the Rainbow Framework, Irene Guijt 5. Understanding causes, Jane Davidson
2. Defining what needs to be evaluated, Simon Hearn 6. Weighing the data for an overall evaluative judgment, Patricia Rogers
3. Framing the evaluation, Patricia Rogers 7. How can evaluation make a difference?, Simon Hearn
4. Choosing methods to describe activities, results and context, Irene Guijt 8. Manage an evaluation or evaluation system, Kerry Bruce

52 Weeks of BetterEvaluation. Click here to view past features

 

 

A special thanks to this page's contributors
Author
Director of Results and Measurement, Pact.
Madagascar.

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