Decide who will conduct the evaluation
Evaluations can be conducted by a range of different actors including: external contractors; internal staff; those involved in delivering services; by peers; by the community; and by a combined group.
Therefore it is important to make decisions about who is best to conduct the evaluation.
Consider the relative importance of different types of expertise. Relevant expertise may include skills and knowledge in evaluation, in the specific domain (eg education) or program (e.g. delivering health services), or the local culture and context.
Consider the balance of distance and involvement that will be most suitable and that will support use of the evaluation findings. An external, unaligned evaluator may be viewed as more (or less) credible by different stakeholders. Involving staff and communities may be important for supporting cultural change, knowledge building and supporting the utilization of the evaluation findings.
Different management tasks arise depending on who is involved in which evaluative activities. For example, when using an external evaluator you will need to develop a process for selecting and managing them. If internal staff and/or intended beneficiaries are involved there may be a need to ensure processes are well documented and that relevant training in specific evaluation options is conducted to ensure that quality and ethical standards are maintained.
Decisions about who will conduct an evaluation, or components of an evaluation, will also be informed by timelines, resources, and the purpose of the evaluation.
- Is independence always a good thing?
This blog post from Howard White ( May 1, 2014) argues that the benefits of an independent evaluation team can sometimes be overstated. He presents three arguments to support this contention: Institutional independence does not necessarily safeguard against biases toward positive evaluation; independence comes at a cost; and what agency evaluation departments do is only a small part of the evaluation story.
'Decide who will conduct the evaluation' is referenced in:
- Communication for Development (C4D) :
- Manager's guide to evaluation :