Evaluation Handbook

II. C. Purpose of Evaluation


All evaluations start with a purpose, which sets the direction. Without a clear and complete statement of purpose, an evaluation risks being aimless and lacks credibility and usefulness.

The purpose and timing of an evaluation should be determined at the time of designing the project or programme document.

Snapshot of the Project Document:

3 .4.

Evaluation at UNODC is a process that assesses systematically  and objectively the achievements of results and outcomes as regards the project's relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability. These should be done in line with the criteria on evaluation contained within the Programmes and Operations Manual. Please consult with IEU and refer to the Evaluation Policy and Evaluation Handbook for specific information.

Evaluation is part of the project cycle and needs to be planned for at  the design stage. Independent Project Evaluation are required for all projects.

Please describe the following:

1. Type of evaluation: (mid-term and/or final Independent Project Evaluation or Participatory Self-Evaluation) and rationale for this choice.

2. Purpose of evaluation: indicate utilization of evaluation findings.

3. Timing for evaluation: plan for evaluation preparation and implementation.

4. Rescheduling of evaluation: indicate whether, in the case of project extension, initially planned evaluations are rescheduled.

5. Evaluation budget: specify in budget table under budget line 5700, as well within this  paragraph.

6. Evaluation management: clarify whether specific involvement of IEU is needed beyond evaluation rules.

The purpose statement can be further elaborated at the time the evaluation ToR is drafted to inform the evaluation design ( please see Chapter III, Section C on Evaluation ToR).

Evaluations may fill a number of different needs from which derive the purpose. The purpose should answer the following questions:

1. Who commissioned the Evaluation?

The evaluation might have been foreseen in the project document, decided on by UNODC senior management, requested by donors or identified for strategic reasons by IEU.

2. Why is the Evaluation taking part at that particular Point in Time?

An evaluation can be undertaken halfway through a project or at the end of the project. The evaluation might have to be presented at a special event.

The reasons for choosing the specific timing for an evaluation must be documented and stated as evaluation purpose in the project document and in the evaluation ToR.

3. Who will use the Evaluation Findings?

Project Managers need to identify the stakeholders who are expected to make use of the evaluation results. The level and nature of stakeholders' involvement ought to be specified, possibly in the project or programme documents. These ought to be involved throughout the entire evaluation process - it is the Core Learning Partnership ( please see Chapter I, Section E).

The Project Managers also need to identify those stakeholders who will be consulted in the course of the evaluation exercise. This group includes the future users of the evaluation results (as mentioned above) and others, for example stakeholders who are consulted because they are key informants or because they have an interest or stake in the programme or project to be evaluated.

The CLP and other stakeholders, as deemed necessary, are to be involved in the identification of the evaluation purpose. Depending on the number of stakeholders, agreement on the purpose of the evaluation may take time. This consultation period has to be planned for in advance.

4. How will the Evaluation Findings be used?

Usually the purpose of an evaluation is to derive recommendations and lessons learned from measuring the achievements, outcomes and impact (both positive and negative) produced by the programme or project, to be used for improving project and programme planning, design and management.

Lessons learned are the generalizations based on evaluation experiences with projects, programmes, or policies that abstract from the specific circumstances to broader situations. Frequently, lessons highlight strengths or weaknesses in preparation, design, and implementation that affect performance and outcomes.

Evaluation results can also be used to feed into a specific decision-making process, e.g. for continuing, rolling out or terminating the project or programme.

Some evaluations may also be used as inputs for larger evaluations, which would be another valuable purpose for an evaluation. It is often the case that Participatory Self-Evaluations feed into Independent Project Evaluations or In-depth Evaluations.



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Table of Contents
Chapter I: Defining Core Concepts

Chapter II: Planning an Evaluation at the Design Stage

Chapter II Tools:
Chapter III: Managing an Independent Project Evaluation
Chapter IV: Undertaking an In-depth Evaluation
Chapter V: Undertaking a Participatory Self-Evaluation
Chapter VI: Using the Evaluation
Annex I: Evaluation Glossary
Annex II: UNEG Norms
Annex III: UNEG Standards
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Chapter II: Planning an Evaluation at the Design Stage