Develop planning documents for the evaluation

An evaluation plan (for a particular evaluation) usually specifies: what will be evaluated; the purpose and criteria for the evaluation; the key evaluation questions; and how data will be collected, analyzed, synthesized and reported. It may include a program theory/logic model.

An evaluation framework (sometimes called a Monitoring and Evaluation framework, or more recently a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning framework) provides an overall framework for evaluations across different programs or different evaluations of a single program (e.g. process evaluation; impact evaluation). This can include guidance on data sources and management processes, as well as an overall program theory/logic model.

However sometimes the term ‘evaluation framework’ is used to refer to a plan for a single evaluation or to an organisational policy.


  • Aide memoire:A short document that summarizes key findings and recommendations.
  • Evaluation framework: provides an overall framework  across different evaluations, such as individual projects within a program, or across an organisation
  • Evaluation plan: set out the proposed details of an evaluation including what, how and when an evaluation will take place.
  • Evaluation work plan:involves the development of clear timeframes, deliverables and milestones.​
  • Inception report: set out the evaluation’s conceptual framework, key questions and methodology, and timeframe.


Develop planning documents for the evaluation. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2017, from


It is important to document decisions about the management of evaluative activities, including any processes for monitoring compliance with ethical and quality standards during the evaluation.

These documents will also ensure that different stakeholders, whether funders, partner organisations, communities or expert advisors are clear about what is being done, how and when, and their responsibilities and accountabilities for the evaluation.

Different organisations have different forms of documents and different labels for the document that describes what is to be done – the purpose, Key Evaluation Questions and timeline.

Sometimes this document is referred to as Terms of Reference (ToR), Scope of Work (SOW), Statement of Work (SOW), Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ), Invitation To Tender (ITT) or the evaluation brief.

This document can be used for any type of evaluation (internal, external, self-evaluation) but they are particularly useful as part of the process of engaging an external evaluator.

Other types of documents might be developed to formalise the relationships between different organisations working together on the evaluation.  These could include a Memorandum of Understanding or a Contractual Agreement.


Document what is needed in an evaluation:

  • Expression of Interest (EoI):An EoI is a way for an organisation to publish its intention to appoint an evaluation team to conduct an evaluation of a specific project or program.
  • Request for Proposal (RFP):  RFPs (also known as Request for Application or Request for Quotation) are formal request for evaluators to prepare a response to a planned evaluation and are generally used to select the final evaluator for the evaluation.
  • Scope of Work (SoW):a plan for conducting an evaluation which outlines the work that is to be performed by the evaluation team.
  • Terms of Reference (ToR): sets out the purpose(s) of the evaluation and its key evaluation questions, as well as a timeline (and possibly the available budget and existing data resources); for external evaluations this can include contractual arrangements.  In some cases this includes an evaluation plan setting out the methodology.

Document how different organisations will work together:


Document Management Processes and Agreements. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2017, from