4. How to assure the quality of an evaluation

When commissioning an evaluation to external evaluators, you need to make sure the evaluation is in line with the Terms of Reference and of good quality. For an overview of how to manage an evaluation with an eye on quality and usability, look at Module 12 (Managing for Quality and Use) of the IPDET manual. On pp. 637-640, the manual describes the six key elements of a good evaluation: impartiality, usefulness, technical adequacy, stakeholder involvement, feedback and dissemination, and value for money. The text also describes the option of using “meta-evaluators” for quality assurance.

Especially for assuring the quality of an evaluation, the evaluation manager should make use of checklists. A useful and comprehensive checklist to assess the quality of an evaluation is Daniel Stufflebeam’s Program Evaluation Metaevaluation Checklist. The checklist concentrates on the utility, the feasibility, the propriety and the accuracy of an evaluation and assigns a score from 0/1 (poor) to 6 (excellent) to each of a total of 30 criteria. In addition, the Deliberative Democratic Evaluation Checklist highlights a different angle of evaluation quality. The assumption is that incorporating democratic processes within the evaluation helps to secure better conclusions. This list is useful when an evaluation is conducted in an environment of conflicting views.

Key manual/guide Module 12 (Managing for Quality and Use) of the IPDET manual International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) PDF toolbox English
Checklists and
Program Evaluation Metaevaluation Checklist Daniel Stufflebeam PDF Checklist English
  Deliberative Democratic Evaluation Checklist Ernest R. House & Kenneth R. Howe PDF checklist English


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