Evaluation Standards for Latin America and the Caribbean

The evaluation standards for Latin America and the Caribbean were developed by a task force of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Evaluation (ReLAC), with support by DEval’s Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD) Project FOCEVAL.  The evaluation standards include both the common core of evaluation standards from other evaluation associations and organisations, as well as aspects which are unique to Latin America and the Caribbean. They were developed through a process of broad consultation. 

The evaluation standards for Latin America and the Caribbean have now been published in  Espagnol,  Português  and  English.

This resource and the following information was contributed to BetterEvaluation by Patricia Rogers, Director, BetterEvaluation.

Authors and their affiliation

Rodríguez Bilella, Pablo D.; Sergio Martinic Valencia; Luis Soberón Alvarez; Sarah D. Klier; Ana L. Guzmán Hernández; Esteban Tapella

Year of publication

2016

Type of resource

Overview

Key features

The document sets out proposed standards for evaluation in Latin America.  It aims to contribute to the development of a common evaluation framework that provides guidance for obtaining high- quality evaluations, professional training and practice, facilitating communication between the actors, learning and knowledge production, and promoting an evaluation culture and social responsibility.

Four of the five high level standards are similar to four of the areas in the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE) Program Evaluation Standards (PES). The Latin American standards add a new cluster around adequate cultural understanding, and do not specifically address the issue of evaluation accountability and meta-evaluation.

Latin American Standards

JCSEE Program Evaluation Standards

1. Rigorous evaluation
1.1. Provide context for the evaluation
1.2. Detailed description of the object of evaluation
1.3. Relevant evaluation questions
1.4. Methodology validity and reliability
1.5. Adequate level of participation of the stakeholders involved
1.6. Relevant conclusions
1.7. Useful and feasible recommendations
1.8. Reports and effective public communication
Accuracy Standards: The accuracy standards are intended to increase the dependability and truthfulness of evaluation representations, propositions, and findings, especially those that support interpretations and judgments about quality.
2. Adequate evaluability
2.1. Effective evaluation management
2.2. Practical procedures
2.3. Contextual, social and political feasibility
2.4. Realistic
Feasibility Standards: The feasibility standards are intended to increase evaluation effectiveness and efficiency.
3. Evaluation carried out according to ethical and legal principles
3.1. Respect for rights of human subjects
3.2. Autonomy
3.3. Transparency
3.4. Legality
Propriety Standards: The propriety standards support what is proper, fair, legal, right and just in evaluations.
 
4. Adequate cultural understanding
4.1. Equality and equity
4.2. Cultural rights
4.3. Reciprocity and cultural identities
 
5. Relevance and utility
5.1. Effective participation
5.2. Mutually agreed purposes
5.3. Explicit values
5.4. Relevant, suitable and appropriate information
5.5. Useful results
5.6. Appropriate and timely communication and reports
5.7. Interest in the consequences and effects
Utility Standards: The utility standards are intended to increase the extent to which program stakeholders find evaluation processes and products valuable in meeting their needs.
 
 
Evaluation Accountability Standards: The evaluation accountability standards encourage adequate documentation of evaluations and a metaevaluative perspective focused on improvement and accountability for evaluation processes and products.

The 3 standards relating to adequate cultural understanding are:

4.1 Equality and equity

The evaluation should guarantee a good interpersonal relationship and the inclu­sion of all people involved, appreciating them and leaving aside their rank of au­thority, social, economic and/or cultural standing, thus contributing to tolerance and equity among them.

4.2 Cultural rights

The evaluations should respect the cultural identity and dignity of the communities invol­ved in the evaluation, following the appropriate protocols when addressing sensitive subjects that may cause harm to the communities, groups or cultures of origin. If requested, the evalua­tion protocol should be approved by any ethics committee which has been established for these purposes.

4.3 Reciprocity and cultural identities

In most of the peoples and ethnicities in Latin America, re­ciprocity and equality in social exchanges and relations are values which contribute to cooperation, trust and social co­hesion. The evaluations should preserve trust and recipro­city among participants, not favoring the interest or pers­pective of one group over another. This involves respecting values, ways of thinking and knowledge of the communities.

Some of these issues are addressed in the American Evaluation Association’s Statement on Cultural Competence and the American Evaluation Association’s Guiding Principles.

Who is this resource useful for?

  • Advocates for evaluation;
  • Commissioners/managers of evaluation;
  • Evaluators;
  • Those involved in evaluation capacity strengthening;

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

This could be used as a point of reference for evaluation projects or evaluation capacity strengthening in Latin America. It could also be used to inform research into evaluation quality and what strategies can be used to operationalize these standards.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

I would recommend this for those working in Latin America and also for others interested in culturally appropriate evaluation. It was developed through  a consultative process involving the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Monitoring, Evaluation and Systematization (ReLAC) the Project of Evaluation Capacity Development in Latin Ame-rica (FOCEVAL),  the Costa Rican Ministry of Planning (MIDE¬PLAN) and the German Institute for Development Evaluation (DEval). 

It is set out clearly and provides a useful framework for challenging our assumptions about what good evaluation involves and for supporting conversations between different stakeholders in evaluation about what should be considered relevant standards for evaluation and how they should be met.

Source

Rodríguez Bilella, P. D., ​Martinic Valencia, S., Soberón Alvarez, L., Klier, S. D., Guzmán Hernández, A. L. & Tapella, E. (2016). Evaluation Standards for Latin America and the Caribbean. 1ª ed. Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires. Retrieved from: https://www.deval.org/en/105/evaluation-standards-for-latin-america-and-...
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Director of BetterEvaluation/ Professor of Public Sector Evaluation, Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
Melbourne.

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