Preparing for an Evaluation - Guidelines and Tools for Pre-Evaluation Planning

This guide, authored by Della E.McMillan and Alice Willard for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the American Red Cross, provides a step-by-step process and a range of tools designed to help with pre-evaluation planning.


"Our intention in writing Preparing for an Evaluation is to provide readers with information that helps them get the most out of their program evaluation. This module focuses on what needs to be done before an evaluation to ensure that cost, confusion, and frustration are minimized for both field staff whose program is being evaluated and the external evaluator. It offers step-by-step guidance on the who, what, when, where, and how of preparing for an evaluation, with specific tools to organize information and for logistics that have proved useful in a number of settings." (McMillan & Willard, 2008)


  • Preparing for an Evaluation
  • Pre-Evaluation Steps 2
  • Step 1: Identify, Empower, and Mentor the Evaluation Manager 3
  • Step 2: Clarify Donor and Organizational Guidance and Expectations 4
  • Step 3: Draft the Evaluation SOW and Work Plan 7
  • Step 4: Identify the Evaluation Team and Finalize the Scope of Work 11
  • Step 5: Organize the Project Documentation 14
  • Step 6: Organize Project Information 15
  • Step 7: Plan the Evaluation Logistics 22
  • Scheduling Demands And Options 23 
  • Scheduling Person Days: Intensive versus Extensive Pre-Evaluation 24
  • Why Can’t Pre-Evaluation Planning Be Part of the Evaluation? 25
  • Tools & resources annexes
  • Annex I References and Further Reading 30
  • Annex II GANTT Chart for Pre-Evaluation Planning 33
  • Annex III Bibliography Style Sheet 34
  • Annex IV Project Management and Administration 36
  • Annex V Institutional Impact 37
  • Annex VI Sample Table: Project-Sponsored Training 39
  • Annex VII Sample Table: Indicator Calculation Update 40
  • Annex VIII Sample Model Community/Activity Matrices 41
  • Annex IX Sample Pre-evaluation Logistics Checklist 42
  • Annex X Checklist of Evaluation Materials and Information for Evaluations 44
  • Annex XI Sample Evaluation Stakeholder Analysis 51
  • Annex XII Sample Evaluation Checklist for Pre-Planning 52


McMillan, D. E., & Willard, A. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the American Red Cross, (2008). Preparing for an evaluation - guidelines and tools for pre-evaluation planning. Retrieved from website:

'Preparing for an Evaluation - Guidelines and Tools for Pre-Evaluation Planning' is referenced in: