Evaluation Handbook

IV. F. Evaluation Report


1. Drafting the Evaluation Report

On the basis of the evidence gathered during the desk review, field missions and interviews, the evaluators prepare a draft evaluation report taking into consideration the discussion with stakeholders held during the debriefing session(s).

When drafting the evaluation report, the mandatory Guidelines for Evaluation Reports and the Template Report must be consulted and used.   Please see the UNODC template and guidelines for evaluation reports under Chapter IV Tools. 

The Template Report is used by writing the new text on top of the text laid out in the word file to adopt the correct format and style. Please remember to download the word file of the Template Report and save locally before using it.

A well-structured, clear and concise report is crucial to the effectiveness and utility of the evaluation. The use of non-defensive language and a constructive writing style stimulate the acceptance of evaluation reports. Experience has shown that even the most controversial evaluation findings can find acceptance when they are backed with evidence and presented in a sensitive and fair-minded way.

The degree of receptivity will also be increased if the report is delivered in time for UNODC decision-making and if the consultative processes during the evaluation have already awakened interest and created a broad agreement with the findings of the report.

To facilitate quick reading, the report ought to also include at the beginning an executive summary. The main body of the report provides a more detailed presentation and analysis of findings.

Language requirements

Evaluation reports written in a language other than English should be accompanied by an English translation of the executive summary prepared by a competent translator and cleared by the Independent Evaluation Unit.

When drafting the report the evaluators should pay attention to the following:

- Findings should be based on evidence, not on opinion;
- Negative findings should be presented constructively and putting blame on specific individuals must be avoided. At the same time critical issues should not be hidden away in footnotes or annexes;
- Findings, conclusions and recommendations should flow logically from one to the next to ensure credibility;
- The report should be focused on the main purpose of the evaluation;
- The report should reply to the evaluation questions contained in the ToR;
- The background and context of the project or programme being evaluated should be explained well enough for the reader to understand the relevance of the findings;
- The overall evaluation methodology should be explained, including any limitations encountered in following the methodology in practice;
- The information cannot be traced back to the informants, e.g. no quotes;
- Information should be consistent in the report, e.g. recommendations in the body of the text should mirror those listed in the executive summary;
- The information put forward in the report should be presented in the most accessible way possible, for example by using graphics, tables and illustrations, especially to convey quantitative information;
- Difficult technical terminology and jargon ought to be avoided.

Evaluation Report Table of Contents

Effective summary
I. Introduction
- Background and context
- Evaluation methodology
II. Evaluation findings
- Design
- Relevance
- Efficiency
- Partnerships and cooperation
- Effectiveness
- Impact
- Sustainability
- Innovation (optional)
III. Conclusions
IV. Recommendations
V. Lessons learned
- Annexes
I. Terms of Reference of the evaluation
II. List of persons contacted during the evaluation (anonymised)
III. Evaluation tools (questionnaires, interview guides, etc.
IV. Desk review list

2. Formulating Evaluation Recommendations

Recommendations should be formulated in a way that will facilitate the development of an Evaluation Follow-up Plan (EFP). For further information on the EFP, please see Chapter 6, Section C.

Recommendations made should be:

- Understandable and clear for the user;
- Useful and relevant: recommendations must be realistic and reflect potential constraints to follow up on them ;
- Actionable and recommendable: recommendations should identify what should be done, by whom and by when. Each recommendation should clearly identify its target group and stipulate the recommended action and rationale;
- Timely.

3. Finalizing the Report

When finalizing the evaluation report, factual errors should be corrected. Comments made by the Project Manager, the CLP and the other stakeholders on the findings, conclusions and recommendations should be taken into consideration and either be accepted or rejected.

Consulting key stakeholders during key stages of the evaluation helps them to engage with the content of the evaluation.

Interested parties may try to influence the content of the evaluation report. While the evaluation team should always be open to receiving the input of stakeholders, it is important that the team holds to its findings and conclusions where no clear evidence can be found for changing them.

Difficult discussions of findings can be expected, but intimidation or other unethical behavior by third parties aimed at influencing the independent evaluators should be reported to IEU.

Independent Project Evaluations

The draft evaluation report is presented by the evaluation team to the Project Manager, who is responsible for checking the draft report for factual errors, assessing the validity of the evaluation findings, general editing and initial quality control, in line with UNODC evaluation guidelines and formats.

The report is also circulated to relevant units and sections at UNODC Headquarters and in the Field Offices for comments.

Indeed, while the report itself is drafted by the evaluation team, the Project Manager is responsible for ensuring the report is:

- In compliance with UNODC guidelines;
- Reviewed for factual errors;
- Shared in workshop with CLP to disseminate and discuss findings;
- Meets language requirements;
- Formatted correctly and edited for grammar and spelling;
- Includes a Management Response. For further information on Management Responses, please see Section G.

The Project Manager self-assesses the quality of the finalized report to be sent to IEU using the Quality Criteria Checklist for Evaluation Reports.

IEU makes an assessment of the finalized report and it is then published on the UNODC website.

Assessing the Quality of the Independent Project Evaluation Reports

At the end of Independent Project Evaluations, a quality assessment of evaluation reports (see Chapter IV Tools) must be completed.

The quality assessment of evaluation reports ensures quality oversight of project level evaluations. It establishes a set of standards and a rating system for evaluation reports to provide a comprehensive assessment of:

(i)   the overall presentation and completeness of the report; 
(ii) the structure of the report;
(iii) the executive summary;
(iv) the evaluation purpose and scope;
(v) the evaluation methodology;
(vi) the findings;
(vii) the conclusions;
(viii) the recommendations and lessons learned.

In-depth Evaluations

The draft evaluation report prepared by the evaluation team with comments from IEU, is shared with the relevant units and sections at Headquarters and in the Field Offices for their comments, input and corrections of factual information (within 2-3 weeks).

Relevant comments, input and corrections provided are incorporated by the evaluation team to produce the final report (two weeks). IEU, as a matter of quality control, ensures that all relevant input, comments and corrections are considered and clears the final version.

4. Joint Evaluation Reports

Different organizations follow different practices over who has the final say on what is included in the report. For a Joint Evaluation, partners should agree that:

- they have the opportunity to correct factual errors in the report;
- where it is impossible to resolve differences on the findings and conclusions, dissenting views should be included in the report;
- the conclusions and recommendations should be the responsibility of the evaluators.

However, sometimes measures, such as allowing for separate evaluation products, may be beneficial for the partners who have certain accountability or reporting requirements.



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Table of Contents
Chapter I: Defining Core Concepts
Chapter II: Planning an Evaluation at the Design Stage
Chapter III: Managing an Independent Project Evaluation

Chapter IV: Undertaking an In-depth Evaluation

Chapter IV Tools:
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 IV: Undertaking an In-depth Evaluation