Standards for Evaluation in Government

This guide, from the South African Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, outlines the standards by which government evaluations should take place. The standards encourage the utilisation of findings and consider standards in relation to five stages of evaluation: (1) overarching considerations prior to the evaluation, (2) planning the evaluation, (3) the evaluation process, (4) the evaluation findings, and (5) the eventual use.  

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Excerpt

"This document is based on the National Evaluation Policy Framework (NEPF), approved in November 2011. This document and the NEPF should be read together. In the NEPF four main purposes of evaluation are described:

  • Improving policy or programme performance (evaluation for continuous improvement). This aims to provide feedback to programme managers.
  • Evaluation for improving accountability e.g. where is public spending going? Is this spending making a difference?
  • Improving decision-making e.g. should the intervention be continued? Should how it is implemented be changed? Should increased budget be allocated?
  • Evaluation for generating knowledge (for learning): increasing knowledge about what works and what does not with regards to a public policy, programme, function or organisation.

The South African government’s approach to putting into operation these four purposes intends to promote the use of evaluation. Likewise the standards contained in this document encourage the utilisation of findings and consider standards in relation to five stages of evaluation: (1) overarching considerations prior to the evaluation, (2) planning the evaluation, (3) the evaluation process, (4) the evaluation findings, and (5) the eventual use."

Contents

  • Introduction       p.2
  •  Overarching considerations    p.3
  • Partnership approach    p.3
  • Free and open evaluation process    p.3
  • Evaluation ethics    p.3
  • Co-ordination and alignment      p.3
  • Capacity development  p.4
  • Quality control  p.4
  •  Planning, Design and Inception  p.5
  • Clear terms of reference for the evaluation    p.5
  • Evaluability    p.5
  • Resources    p.5
  • Stakeholder involvement, governance and management structures    p.5
  • Selection of evaluation service provider    p.5
  • Inception phase    p.6
  •  Implementation    p.7
  • Independence of evaluators vis-à-vis stakeholders    p.7
  • Consultation of stakeholders    p.7
  • Protection of informants    p.7
  • Implementation of evaluation within allotted time and budget    p.7
  •  Reporting    p.8
  • Intermediate reports    p.8
  • Evaluation products    p.8
  • The 1/3/25 report format    p.8
  • Coverage of the report    p.8
  • Incorporation of stakeholders’ comments    p.10
  •  Follow-up, use and learning    p.11
  • Timeliness, relevance and use of the evaluation    p.11
  • Systematic response to and follow-up on recommendations    p.11
  • Dissemination of evaluation results    p.11
  • Reflection on the evaluation process and product    p.11

Source

The Presidency Republic of South Africa, Department Performance Monitoring and Evaluation. (2014).Standards for evaluation in government

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Research Assistant, RMIT University.
Melbourne.

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