Evaluative criteria

This guide, written by Greet Peersman for UNICEF, looks at the use of evaluative criteria in impact evaluation.

While evaluations use a combination of facts and values in order to judge the worth of an intervention, evaluative criteria specify the values that will be used.


"All impact evaluations conducted in the UNICEF context should consider the OECD-DAC criteria and identify which of these are relevant to the particular evaluation. The OECD-DAC criteria reflect the core principles for evaluating development assistance9 and have been adopted by most development agencies as standards of good practice in evaluation. Criteria of equity, gender equality and human rights are also a requirement for UNICEF impact (and other types of) evaluations.

Depending on the type of intervention (e.g., a case of humanitarian assistance, as referred to above) and/or the type of evaluation (e.g., a process evaluation), additional criteria may apply or particular criteria should be focused on. For example, the OECD-DAC criterion of impact is irrelevant to a process evaluation, as this type of evaluation looks at how an intervention is being implemented (e.g., how services are delivered, whether clients are satisfied with the services provided, what the management practices are) rather than whether or not it has produced the intended results."


  • Evaluative criteria: a brief description
  • When is it appropriate to use evaluative criteria?
  • How to use evaluative criteria
  • Ethical issues and practical limitations
  • Which other methods work well with this one?
  • Presentation of results and analysis
  • Examples of good practices
  • Examples of challenges


Peersman, G. (2014). Evaluative Criteria. UNICEF. Retrieved from: http://devinfolive.info/impact_evaluation/img/downloads/Evaluative_Criteria_ENG.pdf

'Evaluative criteria' is referenced in: