Orient the evaluator / evaluation team
The evaluator(s) need a clear understanding of what needs to be evaluated.
They need to obtain as much background information on the project / program as possible, its implementers, the intended beneficiaries, and its specific context.
One of the responsibilities of the evaluation manager is ensure the evaluator(s) have access to all relevant project / program documentation and available data sources (e.g., project monitoring indicators). If the documentation and data sources are well-organized, the evaluator(s) can start their work more quickly rather than having to spend time identifying and compiling materials. If these materials are not easily accessible, the evaluation manager can work with the project / program manager to streamline the documentation process and engage relevant staff in bringing the documentation together.
The ToR / RFP, typically, provides the reporting requirements (see Step 3) for the evaluation but it is useful to discuss these in more detail during the orientation of the evaluator(s) to ensure they are fully understood.
The following item is a potential output from this sub-step. Where possible, it might be useful to research other deliverables that have also been shown to be effective.
- Project / program documentation: core documentation briefing book, bibliography and/or documentation center including hard and/or electronic copies