Thursday, July 11, 2013

The timing of Evaluations

Three types of Evaluations 

When it comes to timing of conducting evaluations there are basically three types of Evaluations that any project or programme may undergo. These three evaluations are namely (1) The Mid-term evaluation (2) End of Programme Evaluation and (3) Post-Programme Evaluation. All of them are very important and highly useful but that doesn't necessarily mean you should do all of them. Before we actually learn when to decide when to do what, you must understand that every project or programme must undergo an Evaluation. But before we get into the neatty gritties lets understand the three types of Evaluations in detail.

Post, Mid-term and End of Programme Evaluation

1) Mid-Term Evaluation; This is an evaluation conducted midway through the programme or project implementation. so if your project or programme is 4 years then your mid-term evaluation will be conducted after two years. If your programme is 5 years then your mid term evaluation will be conducted after two and a half years. The main aim of this kind of evaluation is to draw lessons on the project or programmes implementation so that corrective action may be taken for the remaining years. Things that are looked into include the projects or programmes strengths or weaknesses and other constraints that may be affecting the project or programmes implementation.

2) End of Programme Evaluation; This kind of evaluation is conducted right at the end of the projects or programmes completion. This is the kind of evaluation that is conducted most of the times apart from the fact that organizations would like to draw lessons, the main aim of undertaking this kind of evaluation is to assess the achievements against goals and objectives, assessment of how resources are used as well as understanding some other challenges that may have occurred during implementation. This evaluation also aims to measure the performance by measuring the programmes or projects effectiveness or efficiency.

3) Post-Programme Evaluation; This kind of evaluation is conducted after the phase out of the programme in order to assess the long term impacts of the project. Doing this kind of evaluation can help determine the sustainability of the programme or project and help duplicate better efforts in other target groups or areas.

Deciding which one to do

You must realize that conducting an end or programme/ project evaluation is a must do for any programme or project out there. The reasons are obvious....But then when do you decide to conduct a mid-term evaluation and Post-Programme evaluation.? A mid term evaluation can be conducted especially if there are funds allocated to this activity. The whole idea is to further improve the implementation so that the final result at the end of the life span is good. So basically at planning, if you see a need to have it there then have it. But there may be cases when it wasn't budgeted for but you still think it is necessary to have one especially when you observe that the implementation is going as planned, what can you do? Many have learn't to source for funds from elsewhere which ofcourse is really tricky. So in a nut shell when do you do a Mid term evaluation?
  • If you feel that the programme or project is not moving as planned
  • If you feel you can do better as a project or programme
  • If you want more answers on your project or programme
  • If your want to draw lessons and take corrective action
What about a Post-Programme Evaluation? getting to know the long term implication of your developmental intervention can be really beneficial especially when you would like to duplicate such efforts where you see there is definitely sustainability seen after the phase out. If you want that, then Post-Programme Evaluation may be the answer.

Great stuff right?


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