Evaluation Handbook

Chapter II: Planning an Evaluation at the Design Stage


This Chapter is addressed to Project Managers who design projects and programmes.

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.



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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