Choosing an evaluator: Matching project needs with evaluator skills and competencies (Principal Investigator's Guide, Chapter 3)

Written by Mary Marcussen, this chapter from the online resource, Principal Investigator's Guide (produced by Informal Science), is about locating an evaluator well matched to your project needs. It discusses some of the choices that need to be made while searching for an evaluator, an orientation to the expertise and skills that an evaluator should possess, and some issues to keep in mind when adding an evaluator to a project team.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Patricia Rogers.

Authors and their affiliation

Mary Marcussen

Year of publication


Type of resource

  • ​Guide

Key features

What I like about this advice is the emphasis on thinking carefully about what type of evaluation is required and therefore what type of evaluator - including whether this is internal/external, local or distant; content expert or generic evaluation expert; singe evaluator or evaluation team.

While the advice is geared towards evaluations of museums and other venues with visitors, much of it can be readily applied to other sectors.

Who is this resource useful for?

  • Commissioners/managers of evaluation;
​​How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I plan to use this to think about how to apply  and adapt it when providing advice to other organisations who are seeking to engage an evaluator. 

Why would you recommend it to other people?

To prompt their thinking about how they should go about finding and choosing an evaluator or evaluation team, giving them some specific choices and examples to help this process.


Marcussen, M. (n.d.) 'Chapter 3: Choosing an evaluator: Matching project needs with evaluator skills and competencies' in Principal Investigator's Guide. Retrieved from:

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