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This is a guide for people who are managing an evaluation.

The guide can be used for managing an evaluation that is conducted by an external evaluator or evaluation team, an internal team, or by a combination of these. It can be used for different types of evaluations and for evaluations of different types of interventions, including projects, programs, policies and clusters of projects. It can also be used for evaluation of research.

The guide aims to support decision-making throughout the process of an evaluation, from planning its purpose and scope, designing it, conducting it, reporting findings and supporting use of its findings. In many organizations, this process will draw on the expertise of several individuals. Additional help may need to be obtained for one or more steps in the process.

The information is organized in 9 steps. In some cases, the order in which the steps are addressed in the evaluation process might be slightly different, or earlier steps might need to be revisited in response to changing circumstances and needs.


Below is a short overview of each of the steps of the Manager's Guide; for further information, you can click on the steps to open the relevant pages. Alternatively, you can navigate through the steps of the Manager's Guide using the menu on the left-hand side of every page. You can also go back to a previous page using the 'breadcrumbs' at the top of each page.

In this section

  • Determine how decisions will be made on: the focus of the evaluation; choosing the evaluator / evaluation team;approving the evaluation design; approving evaluation reports and who can access the final report(s) and data.
  • Take the time to consider carefully what the evaluation needs to do before considering possible designs. Ensure all those who need to be consulted during this process are adequately involved.
  • Develop the formal document that outlines the requirements for the evaluation.
  • Evaluations can be conducted by in-house staff (internal) or a third party (external) or a mix of both. Advertising the Terms of Reference (ToR) / Request for Proposal (RFP) is the first step in engaging external evaluators but other important issues need to be addressed to ensure an effective and transparent selection process and to orient the selected evaluator(s).
  • An evaluation design describes how data will be collected and analysed to answer the Key Evaluation Questions. 
  • Oversee or engage in the development of a work plan that sets out the specific activities to implement the evaluation. This should include identification of the reporting requirements and a dissemination plan.
  • Oversee or engage in specific evaluation activities to collect and analyse data as set out in the evaluation work plan (including revising it as needed) and keeping the evaluation management group(s) informed and involved.
  • The evaluation reports should include relevant and comprehensive information structured in a manner that facilitates its use but also provide transparency in terms of the methods used and the evidence obtained to substantiate the conclusions and recommendations.
  • Make evaluation reports available and engage with primary intended users to make the results accessible. Archive the evaluation report and data (if appropriate). Use effective strategies to support use of the findings.

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