Manage evaluation


Providing guidance for managers and commissioners.

While there are many guidelines and tools to support those conducting evaluations, there are far fewer resources specifically focused on commissioners and managers of evaluation. 

Yet we know that evaluation capacity depends on the quality of the demand for evaluation as well as the quality of the supply of evaluation.

To meet this need, BetterEvaluation has partnered with the International Development Research Centre to create the Managers' Guide to Evaluation and the GeneraTOR.

About the Manager's Guide to Evaluation

This is an interactive guide for people who are managing an evaluation.

The Manager's 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, programmes, policies and clusters of projects. It can also be used for evaluation of research.

The Manager's 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 organisations, 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 organised 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.

The Manager's Guide provides a clear and systematic guide for managers, with links to further detail and examples as required. In addition, it incorporates a GeneraTOR which prompts for particular information to produce a draft Terms of Reference document which can be shared, reviewed and finalised with other stakeholders.

About the GeneraTOR

The appropriateness and comprehensiveness of the Terms of Reference (TOR) or Request for Proposal (RFP) are critically important to the quality of evaluation, whether an evaluation is conducted externally or internally. The Manager's Guide incorporates a unique tool to assist with this — the GeneraTOR.

The GeneraTOR 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.

To use the GeneraTOR you will need to be signed in as a BetterEvaluation member, which is also free. You can join BetterEvaluation here if you aren't already a member.

Where to next?

Follow one of the pathways below.

The Manager's Guide has specific guidance about how to commission and manage an evaluation and links to further resources.

The GeneraTOR is an interactive tool to allow users to create and download a Terms of Reference (TOR) document.

The Rainbow Framework task for 'Manage an evaluation' lists a number of tasks involved in managing an evaluation, and suggests a number of methods and processes for doing these. A number of these tasks are also useful for those managing the evaluation system or function within an organisation, beyond a single evaluation.