A hybrid evaluation involves both internal and external staff working together.
Internal evaluators bring the benefit of being more familiar with a program or project and its history and will also remain with a project and will be invested in the results, increasing the likelihood of learning from the evaluation findings actually being used. External evaluators generally bring specific expertise from which a program might benefit and are often perceived to be more independent. They can also bring knowledge of best practice from other organisations. Hybrid evaluations try to bring together the advantages of both types of evaluators.
Some of the ways of organising a hybrid evaluation are:
External service providers can contribute to hybrid evaluations in different ways:
- The external evaluators and internal evaluators work alongside each other in the evaluation team, which might be led by an internal or external person.
- The external evaluator supports internal staff to conduct an evaluation through facilitation and/or coaching, and just-in-time technical advice
- External and internal evaluators each take responsibility for one or more components where they have particular expertise (e.g. specialist data collection or analysis, or reporting).
- The external evaluator undertakes a quality review of the evaluation at key milestones (e.g. evaluation design, data collection instruments, evaluation report).
Advice for choosing this method
This method is most likely to be relevant when:
The credibility of the findings will be enhanced by having a mix of internal and external people (in some cases, internal staff will find it more credible because of the involvement of internal evaluators, and external funders will find it more credible because of the involvement of external evaluators; sometimes the reverse is true).
Specific technical or cultural competence is needed that requires a mix of evaluators - for example, where a community is unlikely to provide good information to an “outsider”, but additional technical skills are needed
Fitzpatrick, J.L. Sanders, J.R. Worthen, B.R. (2011) Program Evaluation – Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines (New Jersey: USA).
'Hybrid - internal and external staff' is referenced in:
- Rainbow Framework :