Develop initial description

It is helpful to develop an initial description of the project, program or policy as part of beginning an evaluation. Checking this with different stakeholders can be a helpful way of beginning to identify where there are disagreements or gaps in what is known about it.

An overview of what’s being evaluated can include information on:

  • The rationale: the issue being addressed, what is being done, who is intended to benefit
  • The scale of the intervention, budget and resources allocated and stage of implementation
  • The roles of partner organizations and other stakeholders involved in implementation
  • The implications of contextual factors - geographic, social, political, economic and institutional circumstances can create opportunities or challenges
  • Significant changes that have occurred over time - because of changes in contextual factors or lessons learnt



  • Appreciative Inquiry: a group process which allows an organisation to understand the best elements of itself in order to create a better future. 




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