Competency frameworks

Evaluator competencies

Competencies are the skills, knowledge, attributes and behaviours needed to fulfil particular roles.

Competency frameworks can be used to strengthen individual and organisational capacity in terms of Knowledge, Skills and Competencies, as shown in the following diagram from the UNAIDS (2010) Standards for a Competency-based Approach to Monitoring and Evaluation Curricula & Trainings. 

Knowledge, skills, and competencies (KSC) Capacity Building Framework. A flowchart box 1 'KSC' leads to box 2 'Individual KSC assessment, e.g. UMAT', which leads to two options under the frame 'KSC gap analysis'. At the individual level this leads to a professional development plan, then an individual training plan. At the organisational level, this leads to a capacity building strategic plan, which leads to curriculum development and training materials development.

Source: UNAIDS (2010, p.11)

Competencies can also be used to recruit staff, create or select evaluation teams, develop an internal evaluation function, signal what is needed for effective M&E, and develop accredited education programs delivered by external providers such as universities.

Competencies can be stated in terms of a list or linked to a rating scale (such as entry/novice, proficient/skilled, mastery/expert).

Some competency frameworks relate to M&E, many to evaluation only and some to monitoring.

Competency frameworks can developed by government departments (for example, the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, South Africa) by VOPEs - Voluntary Organisations for Professional Evaluation (for example, the International Development Evaluation Association IDEAS), or by a network of organisations such as The Global Evaluation and Monitoring Network for Health (GEMNet-Health).

Some competency frameworks relate to evaluators or monitoring officers only, and others address a number of different roles, including program managers.


Evaluation Competency Framework for Government (South Africa)

The South African Government's 2014 Evaluation Competency Framework for Government set out competencies for three different roles involved in the evaluation of government programmes and policies:

  • The programme manager

  • The internal M&E advisor

  • The internal or external evaluator or evaluation team member

Key Competencies for the Monitoring Function (Global Partnership for BetterMonitoring)

The Global Partnership for Better Monitoring 2021 Key Competencies for the Monitoring Function set out competencies for four different roles:

  • Data collection, visualisation and management (often done by a monitoring officer, project officer, information officer or enumerator)

  • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) management (often done by an M&E manager)

  • Program management (often done by an activity manager or program manager)

  • Organisational management (often done by a CEO or member of the senior management team)

Competencies for development evaluation evaluators, managers, and commissioners (IDEAS)

The IDEAS 2012 Competencies for development evaluation evaluators, managers, and commissioners were developed for three different roles:

  • Development Evaluation Evaluators -  an individual who (1) self-identifies his or her primary or secondary profession as evaluation and (2) works or seeks to work as an evaluator of development interventions

  • Managers of international development evaluations -  those who have general oversight of an evaluation of a development intervention, typically with the title of Project Officer or Project Manager

  • Commissioners of international development evaluations -  the main clients for the development evaluation – these include members of the board of organisations, parliamentarians, executive directors, or those in similar roles.

Competencies by VOPEs

Competency frameworks developed by VOPEs have focused on competencies for evaluators, including those developed by SAMEA (South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association), ANZEA (Aotearoa New Zealand Evaluation Association), AEA (American Evaluation Association).




UNAIDS (2010). Standards for a Competency-based Approach to Monitoring and Evaluation Curricula & Trainings. Retrieved from: 

Global Evaluation Initiative (2022). MESA Guidance Note: Diagnostic Tool for a Monitoring and Evaluation Systems Analysis. Retrieved from

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