Chapter II: Planning an Evaluation at the Design Stage
Evaluation planning starts as early as the project or programme is designed. Project Managers could consult with evaluation stakeholders, including Member States, to ensure a common understanding of the evaluation purpose and scope, to properly budget for the evaluation activities, and to clearly assign roles and responsibilities.
Although evaluation is planned for at the design stage, this does not prejudice the possibility of amendments during the lifetime of the project or programme. Possible amendments only need to be properly recorded and justified in subsequent project or programme revisions and reflected in the Evaluation ToR.
A. Project/Programme Document
Project Managers must build evaluation into the programme or project design. Most importantly, all newly designed programmes or projects (or phases) should integrate evaluation quality criteria.
B. Evaluation Plans
When designing projects or programmes, Project Managers are responsible for consulting already existing Evaluation Plans (Country or Regional Evaluation Plans) to ensure coordination with evaluations that may take place at the same time or in the same geographical or thematic areas.
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.
D. Scope of Evaluation
The evaluation scope narrows the focus of the evaluation by setting the boundaries for what the evaluation will and will not cover in meeting the evaluation purpose. The scope specifies those aspects of the project or programme and its context that are within the boundaries of the evaluation: what the evaluation aims to find out and what the evaluation will focus on. These aspects should, to the extent possible, be discussed with all major stakeholders.
The scope of the evaluation can be identified in the project or programme document. However, the scope is optional and is not required in the project document.
E. Evaluation Budget
Project Managers must include the evaluation budget under budget line 5700 and in the programme or project documents.
It is understood that evaluation costs vary depending on the complexity and the scope of the project; therefore it is the Project Manager's responsibility to properly budget for the evaluation.
F. Roles and Responsibilities
At the design stage of a programme or project, it is important to clarify the involvement of IEU, the role of the Project Manager, of the evaluation focal point, if any, and of the evaluation team, and the level of engagement expected from key stakeholders including the CLP. Also it should be clarified which Headquarters unit/section or Field Office will be closely involved in the process.