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Managing the Politics of Evaluation

This course considers some of the challenges that evaluators and evaluation managers face when striving to have an impartial evaluation of a programme. Although there are certainly political factors stemming from ideological and policy debates that can affect the success of an intervention, this  course will particularly focus on how the political interests of the various partners involved can influence the evaluation process. It will then go on to look at what measures can be taken to address these potential threats and protect the professional integrity of the evaluator and the contract manager.
1st January, 2018 to 31st December, 2018
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Upon completion of the course the students will:
  • Understand why evaluation is essentially a “political” activity;
  • Understand how different combinations of the “tricky triangle” (of evaluator, commissioner and the
  • evaluand) can affect evaluator’s independence (and dependence);
  • Develop the skills needed to recognise the different types of “political” pressure that can come to the fore before, during and at the end of the evaluation study;
  • Understand the benefits and limits of some of the key strategies that have been used to deal with such challenges;
  • Be able to apply practical strategies to safeguard themselves from the political pressures and to ensure that professional integrity and independence remains intact.

Target audience

Anyone who commissions, manages or carries out project or programme M&E: evaluation advisors and
consultants, internal and external evaluators, evaluation units of NGOs and UN agencies, project managers, policy makers and programme implementers.


Dr. Marlène Laubli Loud, an Evaluation Expert with more than 30-year experience in governmental, international
organisations and UN bodies. Her clients include Swiss Federal and Cantonal health authorities, the European Commission, the UN Joint Inspection Unit, the WHO, the UK Department of Employment and the UK Health Promotion Agency.
Marlène has been in both camps during her career - working as an evaluation consultant and as a commissioner, and experienced at first-hand how evaluation can be political.