Evaluation of projects
Evaluation of projects
A project evaluation is a structured analysis to determine the success of a project in meeting its goals and to reflect on the lessons learned. An evaluation should provide information that is credible and useful and that allows to learn for future projects (OECD.2010. Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management).
Purpose and link to IQC
The evaluation of a project helps answering whether the already implemented infrastructure or service actually serve its purpose (it should therefore focus on the service that is provided and not on the mere existence of the infrastructure). The level of implementation as well as its effectiveness should be analysed in order to see whether the efforts to reach the objectives are going into the right direction and whether improvements can/need to be made. This includes looking at how efficient funds were used (value for money). Learning for similar future projects and building trust with donors are important benefits from evaluations, but they can only be realized if the evaluation is critical and honest. The results of an evaluation can be used to give account to the project’s stakeholders.
1. Review project objectives and indicators
Progress and performance is measured to attest a development in a (long term) project. At the outset of the project you should have specified objectives. Moreover you have defined indicators to monitor progress of the project implementation in the implementation plan. Use these documents to specify indicators that allow you to evaluate how much progress you made towards achieving the project objectives and how effective and efficient the project was implemented.
2. Evaluate project outcomes (and impact)
The evaluation should be carried out some time after the project implementation was completed so that you can evaluate the outcomes (and potentially impact) of the project. To evaluate the success of the project you can chose from a range of approaches, including interviews, focus group discussions with the target group and other stakeholders, site visits to verify functionality and service quality and ask people about how their life changed since the implementation of the project. Moreover you should review of relevant project documents to determine how effective and efficient money was spent.
3. Document the evaluation findings
For knowledge management, learning and communication purposes an evaluation report should be produced, describing the progress made towards completing activities and achieving the results articulated in your project proposal.
4. Communicate the findings
The findings and insights together with recommendations for next steps are communicated to relevant stakeholders, including among others the management of the implementing organisation, the target community, local government and the funders of the project.
References & Further Readings
- Zambian Toolbox: “Monitoring and Evaluation of Existing Integrity Instruments”
- http://wikieducator.org/images/5/53/Evaluation_report_template.pdf, no year. Evaluation report template. USA
- FAO and UNICEF-Kenya. 2012. A Trainer’s Manual for Community Managed Water Supplies in Kenya (session B8).