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Home >> Useful Checklists >> Approaches to Evaluation - why and how to evaluate?

Evaluation is the assessment at one point in time of the impact of a piece of work and the extent to which stated objectives have been achieved.

The emphasis should always be on evaluation as a learning process.

The purpose of evaluation is to

  • clarify objectives and assess relevance
  • assess how effective the work is, and what progress it is making towards achieving its objectives
  • assess what its impact is
  • assess how efficient the work is in terms of using resources
  • look at long term implications, asking, for instance, if the work is sustainable.

Evaluations cannot take place unless there are clear measurable indicators; key indicators; information about indicators.

Toolkits refers to three types of evaluation: participatory approaches; non-participatory approaches; where the evaluation is conducted by external evaluators; and joint evaluation where it is conducted by a team including people from outside and inside the programme.

A participatory approach can be used to some extent in most types of evaluation. Indeed, all methods and approaches should be designed to make sure the perspectives of different groups including women and children are taken into account. Yet it must be recognised that if an evaluation is to be truly participatory, and if the views and conclusions of staff, partners and people affected by the work are to be given equal weight to the views of the donor agency, then there needs to be a clear commitment to the principle of participation at all levels of programme management.

Source: SCF Toolkits: a practical guide to assessment, monitoring, review and evaluation.