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close this book A basic guide to evaluation for development workers
View the document Acknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents 1 Introduction
Open this folder and view contents 2 Putting evaluation in context
Open this folder and view contents 3 Traditional and alternative models of evaluation
Open this folder and view contents 4 The purpose and use of evaluation
Open this folder and view contents 5 Putting evaluation into practice
Open this folder and view contents 6 Some practical considerations when planning an evaluation
Open this folder and view contents 7 Using evaluation: feedback and follow-up
View the document Appendix 1 Checklist of questions
View the document Appendix 2 Developing an evaluation plan
View the document Appendix 3 Tasks for the team leader
View the document Appendix 4 Suggestions for content of an evaluation report
View the document Appendix 5 Advantages and disadvantages of external and internal evaluators
View the document References and further reading
View the document Oxfam Books

Appendix 5 Advantages and disadvantages of external and internal evaluators

Internal evaluator

Advantages

Knows the organisation, its programme, ethos, and ways of working.

Understands and can interpret personal behaviour and attitudes.

Because known to staff, less likely to cause anxiety or disruption.

Better able to follow up on recommendations.

Usually less expensive.

Doesn't require lengthy recruitment procedures.

Helps to develop internal evaluation capacity, at country or national level.

Better able to communicate evaluation findings throughout organisation.

Disadvantages

Finds it harder to be objective.

May avoid negative conclusions, which reflect badly on individuals or the organisation.

Tends to accept assumptions of organisation uncritically.

May be constrained by demands of existing job (if seconded to an evaluation) and not able to give sufficient time to evaluation.

May be part of authority structure, involved in internal politics or conflicts.

May not be fully trained or experienced in evaluation.

May not have necessary technical expertise.

 

External evaluator

Advantages

Not personally involved, so more objective. Free from organisational bias, can contribute fresh perspective. May have broader experience in field. May be trained and experienced in carrying out evaluations. Can act as arbitrator or neutral mediator in cases where evaluation reveals conflicts of interest. May contribute technical knowledge or advice.

Disadvantages

May not fully understand the organisation policies, procedures, personalities and ethos.

May not appreciate local political and cultural environment.

May not appreciate constraints on implementing recommendations.

May be seen as critical adversary, arousing anxiety and defensiveness.

May be expensive.

Takes time to recruit, brief, and orientate.

Less likely to be able to follow-up on implementation of recommendations.