OECD-DAC principles for evaluation of development assistance

The OECD/DAC Network on Development Evaluation has updated the evaluation criteria definitions and principles for use after 25 years.

The goal of the criteria is to support better evaluation that in turn leads to better policies to advance both the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (including the Sustainable Development Goals) and the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Kaye Stevens.

Authors and their affiliation

OECD/DAC Network on Development Evaluation

Key features

The OECD-DAC evaluation criteria are widely referenced in evaluations of international development and humanitarian projects, programmes and policies. The revised guide includes improved definitions of the original criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability and adds the new criterion of coherence – to better capture linkages, systems thinking, partnership dynamics, and complexity.

To support use the criteria definitions are accompanied by an introduction on the purpose of the criteria, guiding principles for their use and guidance to further explain the dimensions of each criterion.

The OECD DAC website makes the criteria available in English, French, Chinese, Spanish and German languages. Accompanying documents are also available: Applying Evaluation Criteria Thoughtfully and Applying a Human Rights and Gender Equality Lens to the OECD Evaluation Criteria.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

The OECD-DAC criteria are often used by both commissioners and evaluators when developing evaluation briefs and plans.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

Use of the criteria supports careful consideration of the interconnected dimensions of evaluations including policy priorities such as gender, equity and the environment and associated synergies and trade-offs.


OECD/DAC Network on Development Evaluation. (2019). Principles for evaluation of development assistance. Retrieved from: https://www.oecd.org/dac/evaluation/revised-evaluation-criteria-dec-2019.pdf

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