What is evaluation?

Evaluation is a systematic collection and analysis of data in order to assess the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, and organizations to improve their effectiveness.

Evaluations assess whether we are doing the right things, not only if we are doing things right (as planned)

The Evaluation Department’s activities build on OECD/DACs quality standards for evaluation as well as the following principles:

  • The external professionals undertaking the evaluations are independent of the control of those who are involved in planning or implementing the interventions that are being evaluated. Unhindered access to information should be granted to the evaluation team
  • The evaluations shall meet certain quality standards (explicitly address the issue of attribution, triangulation of data; logical coherence between data, findings, conclusions and recommendations; transparency concerning sources, and strengths and weaknesses of methods used, etc.)
  • All evaluations shall be made publically available
  • Evaluations shall have systems for follow-up

Evaluations differ from systematic monitoring or reviews. A review is an integrated part of a monitoring system, and is a tool for assessing whether the program/activity develops as planned.

Published 27.10.2011
Last updated 16.02.2015