Interim (or progress) reports present the interim, preliminary, or initial evaluation findings. They are scheduled according to the specific needs of your evaluation users, often halfway through the execution of a project. The interim report is necessary to let a project’s stakeholders know how an intervention is going. It provides information that will help the funders and other decision-makers determine whether to continue with the current direction, where to make adjustments if necessary, revise goals, add more resources or in the worst case scenario, to shut it down.
An interim report is similar to a final report, in that it includes a summary, a brief description of the progress, the evaluation thus far, and an overview of the financial situation. Any delays or deviations to the plan are included and explained, as well as any comparison between actual compared to expected results.
Haiti Progress Report from Oxfam GB
The following example is an excerpt from Davies (2012), pp. 2-7.
- Foreword 4
- Introduction 5
- 1. Provision of safe water and sanitation 9
- 2. Economic development and job creation 18
- 3. Rebuilding communities 24
- 4. The need for protection 28
- 5. A long-term partnership approach 31
- 6. Finance 35
- 7. The future 37
Do you have any advice for CHOOSING this option?
Advice for USING this option (tips and traps)
To avoid critical issues being interpreted incorrectly, begin interim reports by stating the following :
- Which data collection activities are being reported on and which are not;
- When the final evaluation results will be available;
- Any cautions for readers in interpreting the findings.
Advice taken from Torres et al., 2005
- OXFAM Haiti Progress Report: Jan-Dec 2011 (2012): This is an example from Oxfam GB of a complete progress report.
- Designing and conducting health systems research projects – Volume 2: Data Analysis and Report Writing, IDRC publication with a module dedicated to writing a research report including information on layout and design
- Visual language for designers - the book presents visual design principles based on the science of how people perceive, process and understand graphics
- Evaluation strategies for communicating and reporting - the book provides guidance on creative coverage of communicating and reporting
- Quick Tips for Planning Evaluation: This guide from the University of Wisconsin provides a tips for planning evaluation reports.
- Davies, L. (2012). Haiti Progress Report January-December 2011. Oxford, UK: Oxfam GB. from http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/haiti-progress-report-january-december-2011-200732
- Oxfam GB Evaluation Guidelines (accessed 2012-05-08): http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/~/media/Files/policy_and_practice/me...
- Stetson, Valerie. (2008). Communicating and reporting on an evaluation: Guidelines and Tools. Catholic Relief Services and American Red Cross, Baltimore and Washington, USA. Download: http://www.crsprogramquality.org/storage/pubs/me/MEmodule_communicating.pdf
- Torres, Rosalie T., Hallie Preskill and Mary E. Piontek. (2005). Evaluation Strategies for Communicating and Reporting: Enhancing Learning in Organizations (Second Edition). University of Mexico.
- USAID. (2010). Constructing an evaluation report. https://www.betterevaluation.org/sites/default/files/TIPS-ConstructinganEvaluationReport.pdf