C4D: Decide who will conduct the research or evaluation (or other studies for monitoring)

What is it?

Research, monitoring and evaluation tasks (such as developing an M&E Framework, undertaking small studies and evaluations) can be done internally by existing staff (within one organisation or as a partnership or joint activity involving a number of implementing partners), externally by a consultant, or a hybrid of these two options (where there is a combination of internal staff and stakeholders and external researchers and evaluators). It could also be done by peers, or by community groups. Required types of expertise, need for fresh outsider perspectives, cost, and time are key issues in deciding who will conduct some or all of the evaluation tasks. 

General information

The steps of the Manager's Guide to Evaluation for planning and managing evaluation give a comparison of the strengths and trade-offs of internal and external evaluation methods. This guide helps decision-makers to be explicit about the reasons for decisions. The steps also provide guidance on qualities to consider when recruiting external evaluators or researchers. The Rainbow Framework also provides an overview of key methods and approaches for deciding who will conduct an evaluation. These pages are recommended background reading before considering methods to apply to C4D.

Applying the C4D principles 


One important decision that needs to be made is who will conduct the R,M&E. This might mean involving internal staff, partners, community groups and other stakeholders in the R,M&E process. External consultant may still have a role in participatory R,M&E:


Sometimes there are very few local evaluators with the skills and knowledge to be able to undertake C4D evaluation and studies. In these cases partnerships between international/regional consultants, local consultants and local community groups and organisations can be considered. In these situations you can state explicitly that mentoring and capacity development of the local partner are expected. 


What are the assumptions about who should conduct the R,M&E? What alternatives are there, and how might they be more or less inclusive of diverse voices? What kinds of qualities are important for a facilitator/ evaluator? How will might different facilitators influence power dynamic.

Recommended methods and adaptations for C4D

General options

Mentoring role descriptions



  • The Ruka Juu Impact Evaluation was undertaken as a partnership between C4D NGO Femina HIP's Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) department, international consultants and two local partners.

In this section

  • Participation is a fundamental element of C4D, and should, where possible and appropriate, be incorporated into RM&E as a means of developing effective, innovative and sustainable C4D.

Expand to view all resources related to 'C4D: Decide who will conduct the research or evaluation (or other studies for monitoring)'

'C4D: Decide who will conduct the research or evaluation (or other studies for monitoring)' is referenced in: