Applying Evaluation Criteria Thoughtfully

image of Applying Evaluation Criteria Thoughtfully

Relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability are widely used evaluation criteria, particularly in international development co-operation. They help to determine the merit or worth of various interventions, such as strategies, policies, programmes or projects. This guidance aims to help evaluators and others to better understand those criteria, and improve their use. It starts by describing what they are, and how they are meant to be used. Then the definitions and concepts underpinning each criterion are explained. Finally, examples provide the reader with concrete ideas for using them.

The criteria were originally laid out in the early 2000s by the Network on Development Evaluation (EvalNet) of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Although they have been widely used in evaluation, and beyond, this document is the first to comprehensively explore the concepts in detail, explain their intended use and offer practical guidance. It captures current thinking and best practice in evaluation, drawing on the inputs of internationally renowned evaluation experts from EvalNet and beyond.

English Also available in: French

Using the evaluation criteria in practice

This chapter considers the practical aspects of how the criteria should be used in evaluation design and implementation. It reviews the two main principles that should guide the application of the criteria. The chapter begins by exploring different approaches that can support thoughtful application of the criteria. It then addresses how the criteria can be applied within different institutional settings with different strategic priorities, ways of working and cultures. It outlines how the criteria can prompt evaluators to consider differential experiences and impacts by applying a gender lens. Finally, it examines how the criteria can help evaluators and evaluation managers to work in ways that support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the wider 2030 Agenda. The chapter includes a range of practical examples illustrating how the criteria have been applied to various evaluations.

English Also available in: French

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error