Evaluation standards


Evaluation standards identify how the quality of an evaluation will be judged. They can be used when planning an evaluation as well as for meta-evaluation (evaluating the evaluation).

Many organizations have guidelines which address issues of quality and ethics together.  For example, the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) Norms for Evaluation state that evaluation in UNDP should be:

  • Independent — Management must not impose restrictions on the scope, content, comments and recommendations of evaluation reports. Evaluators must be free of conflict of interest.
  • Intentional — The rationale for an evaluation and the decisions to be based on it should be clear from the outset.
  • Transparent — Meaningful consultation with stakeholders is essential for the credibility and utility of the evaluation.
  • Ethical — Evaluation should not reflect personal or sectoral interests. Evaluators must have professional integrity, respect the rights of institutions and individuals to provide information in confidence, and be sensitive to the beliefs and customs of local social and cultural environments.
  • Impartial — Removing bias and maximizing objectivity are critical for the credibility of the evaluation and its contribution to knowledge.
  • Of high quality — All evaluations should meet minimum quality standards defined by the Evaluation Office 
  • Timely — Evaluations must be designed and completed in a timely fashion so as to ensure the usefulness of the findings and recommendations
  • Used — Evaluation is a management discipline that seeks to provide information to be used for evidence-based decision making. To enhance the usefulness of the findings and recommendations, key stakeholders should be engaged in various ways in the conduct of the evaluation.




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