Qualities and Characteristics of Evaluation

  1. E        Ethically Conducted
  2. V        Values Diverse Opinions
  3. A        Accurate and Technically Adequte Information
  4. L        Leads to Continous Learning and Improvement
  5. U        Uses Participatory Methods
  6. A        Affordable/Appropriate in Terms of Budget
  7. T        Technical Persons Carry it Out/Timely Carried Out
  8. I         Indicators properly selected and Studied
  9. O        Opens opportunity for better understanding developmental change
  10. N        Never Used for Fixing Blame and Finding Faults

Ethically Conducted:

Every evaluation practice should be conducted ethically and the evaluators must recognise the participants’ entitlement to privacy. Evaluators should ensure that data is kept securely and that no publication will directly or indirectly lead to a breach of agreed confidentiality or anonymity. Evaluators shall respect people’s right to provide information in confidence and make participants aware of the scope and limits of confidentiality.

Conflicts of interest shall be avoided as far as possible so that the credibility of the evaluation process and product shall not be undermined. Evaluations must give a comprehensive and balanced presentation of strengths and weaknesses of the policy, program, project or organizational unit being evaluated, taking due account of the views of a diverse cross-section of stakeholders.

Values Diverse Opinions:

The evaluator should include the opinions and ideas of all the stakeholders in his/her evaluation report.

Accurate and Technically Adequate Information on the Merit of Program (Being Assessed) is Provided:

Evaluator can also use the evaluation report to share his suggestions or even suggest alternatives.He/She should be able to refelct diffferences between alternatives and to distinguish the relative degree of impact across the alternatives.

Leads to Continously Learning and Continuous Improvement:

The evaluation must be such that all the stakeholders should be able to interperet the evaluation criteria and its findings. The evaluation report should be easily understadable and provide enough information so that informed decisions can be made on its basis. The evaluation practice should extract lessons learned during the project and communicate them to the concerned authorities to improve upon them. When communicated rightly, any mistakes previously done will not be repeated in the future and will pave way for efficiency, learning and improvement.

Uses Participatory Methods:

Participatory evaluation ensures that the evaluation focuses on locally relevant questions that meet the needs of project planners and beneficiaries. Participatory approaches also allow the stakeholders to determine the most important evaluation questions that will affect and improve the ongoing/ended project works.

A participatory approach is empowering because it claims the right for local people to control and own the process of making evaluation decisions and implementing them.3 Participating in an evaluation from start to finish can give stakeholders a sense of ownership over the results. Recognizing local talents and expertise builds confidence and pride in the community, and among participants. Conducting a participatory evaluation promotes participant learning and is an opportunity to introduce and strengthen evaluation skills. Active participation by stakeholders can result in new knowledge and a better understanding of their environment. This, in turn, enables groups to identify action steps and advocate for policy changes. It can provide participants with tools to transform their environments.

Participatory evaluation builds teams and participant commitment through collaborative inquiry. Inviting a broad range of stakeholders to participate and lead different parts of the process can develop and celebrate local leadership skills. It can lead to stronger, more organized groups, strengthening the community’s resources and networks. Finally, a participatory evaluation is not just interested in findings; it is focused on creating a learning process. It creates a knowledge base among local people and organizations, which can be applied to other programs and projects. The techniques and skills acquired can lead to self-sustained action.

Affordable/Appropriate in terms of Budget:

The evaluation conducted or to be conducted should be efficient in the use of resources. Evaluation should be intelligently designed and executed.

Trained Professionals Carry it Out

Timely Carried Out:

Nearly every evaluation is time bound. Either it has to be carried out in a specific time or at a certain time. Some project require its evaluation to be conducted soon after the project is finished and some require after some time. Hence, the best time for evaluation must be identified in the context of the project and then the practice should be carried out. Moreover, almost all the times there is been a specific time in which the evaluation practice should be completed. Like a week, a month or whatever limit has been set, must be followed.

Indicators Properly Selected And Studied:

The evaluator should properly select the indicators so that his findings are inline with the outcomes of the project. Moreover, the evaluator must evaluate all the indicators and its results in the context of the project, the project area and the project beneficiaries.

Opens Opportunity for Better Understanding Developmental Change/Process

Never Used for Fixing Blame & Finding Faults:

As stated in the start, evaluation must be conducted ethically, with no intention of harming someone or supporting someone unethically.