It is important to be clear about who will be involved in the various decisions involved in an evaluation, and what their roles will be.
Who might be involved in making decisions?
Consider the possible involvement of:
- The manager of the intervention
- An evaluation steering committee
- A technical advisory group or some individual technical advisors
- A community consultation committee or key informants from the community
What will be their role in decision making?
The role of each individual or group in relation to specific decisions can be specified as follows:
- Consulted - Those whose opinions are sought; they are engaged in two-way communication.
- Recommends - Those who are responsible for putting forward a suitable answer to the decision.
- Approves - Those who are authorised to approve an answer to the decision.
- Informed - Those who are informed after the decision has been made; they are engaged in one-way communication.
How will decisions be made?
Decisions may be made in different ways; one or more of the following processes may be used:
- Majority decision making - Decisions are made on the basis of the support of the majority of the decision makers; in contentious decisions, it is important to be clear about who is able to vote including whether proxy votes are allowed.
- Consensus decision making - Decision making processes that aim to find decisions which everyone can accept; in practical terms, that can mean giving all decision makers the right of veto.
- Hierarchical decision making - Decisions are made on the basis of formal positions of authority.
- Decision making matrix
It can be useful to summarise decision makers and types of decisions in a matrix which can be referred to when developing and implementing evaluation processes. It is important to ensure that -where relevant decision making structures and processes already exist- these are incorporated.
|Technical advisory committee||Evaluation steering group||Program manager||Senior management|
|Focus of evaluation||Consulted||Recommends||Approves||Informed|
|Selection criteria for evaluator/evaluation team||Consulted||Recommends||Approves||Informed|
|Choosing evaluator/evaluation team||Consulted||Approves||(included in steering group)||Informed|
|Evaluation design||Consulted||Approves||(included in steering group)||Informed|
|Evaluation report||Consulted||Approves||(included in steering group)||Informed|
|Release of report and data||Consulted||Consulted||Recommends||Approves|
|An Evaluation Steering Group was used for ongoing evaluation of a large multi-donor initiative:|
Further information & Resources
Decision making structures:
- Advisory Group – further description and examples, including an example terms of reference for an advisory group, and additional resources
- Steering Committee/Steering Group- further description and examples, including an example terms of reference for an evaluation steering committee, and additional resources
Decision making processes:
- Consensus decision making – further description, examples and additional resources
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+ - 2. Scope the evaluation
- 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