Managing an evaluation involves agreeing on how decisions will be made for each cluster of the evaluation (from framing an evaluation to reporting and supporting use) and ensuring they are implemented well.
As you work through the process of planning and implementing the evaluation, you may need to revisit and revise the choices you have made.
The following tasks are involved in managing an evaluation, an evaluation system or ongoing evaluative activity:
Begin by clarifying who has an interest in the evaluation in addition to the primary intended users. An analysis of the interests of different stakeholders helps in thinking about how you will keep stakeholders engaged during the evaluation.
Specify how decisions will be made about the evaluation. Who will provide advice, who will make recommendations, and who will make the actual decisions?
Who will actually undertake the evaluation? Will it be a group internal to the organization that is implementing a program, an external evaluator, or some combination of the two? Will the community and/or intended beneficiaries be involved in conducting the evaluation?
Identify what resources (time, money, expertise) will be needed and available for the evaluation. Consider both internal resources (e.g. staff time) and external resources (e.g. participants’ time to attend meetings to provide feedback).
What will be considered appropriate quality and ethical standards for the evaluation and what will need to be done to ensure these standards are achieved? These decisions will be influenced by the purpose and timing of the evaluation, the level of resourcing available and the characteristics of the intervention being evaluated.
It is usually necessary to develop formal documents about an evaluation, including a brief, a plan, and a Terms of Reference. Additional documents will be needed if an evaluation is externally contracted, such as an Expression Of Interest, a Request For Proposal, a Request For Tender, and a contract.
An evaluation plan sets out how an individual evaluation will be undertaken. An evaluation framework guides a series of evaluations.
Review the evaluation process, findings and conclusions drawn, when appropriate it is valuable to engage stakeholders in this task.
How can your organization or group build on, or develop, human capital (knowledge and skills), organizational capital (technical infrastructure and processes) and social capital (supportive networks) for effectively managing, undertaking and using evaluations?