A Comparative Study of Evaluation Policies and Practices in Development Agencies

This paper, written by Marta Foresti with Christina Archer, Tammie O’Neil and Richard Longhurst for Agence Française de Développement, analyses the evaluation policies and practices of nine different development agencies in order to improve knowledge about evaluation systems throughout the world.


"An overview of the evaluation units in the institutions under study looks at: accountability; information and knowledge; partnerships; capitalisation of experience; and feedback. The report compares policies and practices across institutions, loo king at different choices and their consequences, as well as strengths and weaknesses. The analysis also identifies the main internal and/or external factors involved for each institution. The report reviews management arrangements and structural position of evaluation units; their main features, processes and tools; and practices involved in commissioning, managing and supporting evaluation processes. It does not aim to identify good practice or to set standards for the AFD to follow." (Foresti, 2007)


  • Introduction and Background to Study 11
  • Summary Profile of Evaluation Units 14
  • Main Findings 16
    • Evaluation policy, strategy and mandate 16
    • Independence, integration and isolation of evaluation 18
    • Types of evaluation and other activities 20
    • Evaluation methodologies 22
    • Roles, responsibilities and capacity of staff of EUs 24
    • Communication, dissemination and use 26
  • Emerging Trends, Differences and Main Challenges 29
    • Overview of main findings 29
    • Concluding remarks 31
  • Annexes
    • Activities of EUs 35
    • List of People Consulted 39
    • Methodological Guidance for “Full” Case Studies 41
    • Terms of Reference 44


Foresti, M. Agence Française de Développement, (2007). A comparative study of evaluation policies and practices in development agencies. Retrieved from website: http://www.odi.org.uk/sites/odi.org.uk/files/odi-assets/publications-opi...

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