Evaluation is an assessment of an ongoing (usually midterm) or completed intervention (e.g. strategic plan or development programme) in terms of its design, implementation and results.
As such, an evaluation is closely linked to the initial planning of the intervention. Use of the Logical Framework Approach as a planning tool has often been a useful common denominator.
Midterm evaluation enables adjustments to be made in the design and implementation strategy of an ongoing intervention.
Meanwhile, end of term evaluation establishes the extent to which desired results and outcomes were met and provides useful lessons for the future.
A good evaluation is criteria based. Often the following criteria are utilized:
- Relevance of the intervention to the problems being addressed and their physical and policy environment.
- Design of the intervention including its coherence, logic and completeness of the planning process.
- Efficiency of conversion of inputs and activities into results.
- Effectiveness of results in terms of their benefits to targets groups and the wider society.
- Sustainability in terms of the likelihood of the intervention benefits being maintained.