| A basic guide to evaluation for development workers |
Preliminary questions: are you being asked to do something sensible? Is the task do-able, is the work evaluable? What are the different agendas? Is evaluation being used to fudge other actions which should be taken more directly? Is the organisation or group in question in crisis?
Review the TOR with the manager of the exercise—discuss and revise as necessary.
Ensure you are aware of evaluation 'sponsors' and key stakeholders. As far as possible appraise yourself of their agendas and key purposes in the exercise.
Refine evaluation design and methods as needed. Meet/contract other team members.
Ensure people are clear and happy about contractual arrangements - ensure other members have sufficient experience to produce the work that will be required.
Ensure gender balance in team and gender expertise. Ensure logistics will enable accessing women's views and information as much as men, at minimum.
Ensure those promoting evaluation are preparing background documentation, request further information as appropriate.Investigate possible pre visit to projects/ organisation to set up any necessary preparation work by team, or data collection. This may involve a training element.
Select sample sites as appropriate.Ensure you will have sufficient time for team building in initial days of exercise, and sufficient time for evaluation team to meet during field work and concluding phases.
Ensure logistical back-up is available, and find out who is your link person. Find out if translators are needed, and available, and of a reasonable standard.
Hold initial meetings at project site.
Collect data: project records, existing data, interviews, surveys, observation.
Write first draft of evaluation report.
Give preliminary feed back to project holders/evaluation manager/sponsors
Review report on basis of comments (correct facts).
Produce final report, or any other products envisaged.
iii. Follow up
Debrief evaluation promoters, content of findings and evaluation of process.
Ensure compliance with any accounting procedures, and ensure payment has been authorised.