Managing an evaluation involves agreeing on how decisions will be made for each cluster of the evaluation (from framing an evaluation to reporting and supporting use) and ensuring they are implemented well.
As you work through the process of planning and implementing the evaluation, you may need to revisit and revise the choices you have made.
The following tasks are involved in managing an evaluation, an evaluation system or ongoing evaluative activity:
Identify who has an interest in the evaluation in addition to the primary intended users, and whose interests need to be prioritised and why. Ensure their engagement throughout the evaluation.
Specify how decisions will be made about the evaluation—who will provide advice, who will make recommendations, and who will make the actual decisions.
Clarify who will actually undertake the evaluation. This might include people who are involved in what is being evaluated (such as implementers, clients and community members), an internal or external evaluator, or some combination of these.
Identify what resources (time, money, expertise, equipment, etc.) will be needed and available for the evaluation. Consider both internal resources (e.g. staff time) and external resources (e.g. participants' time to attend meetings to provide feedback).
Clarify what will be considered appropriate quality and ethical standards for the evaluation and what will need to be done to ensure these standards are achieved.
Develop any formal documents needed, including a brief and a Terms of Reference.
Develop a formal plan which sets out how an individual evaluation or a range of M&E activities will be undertaken.
Decide processes to review the evaluation process, findings, and conclusions drawn.
Choose ways of building on and developing capacity for managing, undertaking and/or using evaluation, which might involve human capital (knowledge and skills), organisational capital (such as technical and administrative infrastructure) and social capital (supportive networks).