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Review of Oda Eval Principles

Review of Oda Eval Principles

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1998
2
FOREWORD
In 1998, Members of the Working Party on Aid Evaluation completed a review of their
experience with the application of the DAC \u201cPrinciples for Evaluation of Development Assistance\u201d,

which were adopted in 1991 by the DAC High Level Meeting. The objective of the review was to examine the implementation and use of the Principles, in order to assess their impact, usefulness and relevance and to make recommendations.

This review was organised in two phases. The first phase consisted of a questionnaire to Members responsible for central evaluation units, which aimed to examine the state of implementation and use of the Principles to appraise the degree of \u201ccompliance or non-compliance and to assess their impact, usefulness and relevance. The second phase involved a in-depth review of experience based on direct interviews with evaluators and the users of evaluations, which aimed to obtain a better understanding of the use of evaluations produced by the central evaluation offices.

This report brings together the findings of both the first and the second phases of the review.
The first Chapter of the report contains the main conclusions and recommendations.

The review demonstrated that evaluation in development co-operation is evolving and changing focus. Most Members have re-organised their central evaluation offices to provide them with a new role, and a new and strong focus on aid effectiveness. Moreover, central evaluation offices have been moving away from traditional project evaluation to programme, sector, thematic and country assistance evaluations. Several Members reported a growing interest in decentralised evaluations and indicated that evaluation in developing countries is beginning to take root.

Most Members reported to have reached a good degree of compliance with the essential DAC \u201cPrinciples for Evaluation of Development Assistance\u201d, and indicated that they have found them useful and relevant in guiding their work and, in some cases, in re-organising their evaluation offices. Based on these results, Members concluded that the Principles are still valid and sound.

Nevertheless, it was recognised that the Principles needed to be complemented and reinforced with guidance (e.g. good or best practices) in key areas. These include ways to: effectively handle the trade-off between independence and involvement required to gain partnership; improve feedback and communication practices; promote an evaluation culture; implement country programme and joint evaluations; promote partnerships in evaluations; design and implement performance measurement systems; and evaluate humanitarian aid.

This review would not have been possible without the active interest of Members of the Working Party on Aid Evaluation and the participating development agencies who have contributed with their time and resources to the review of the DAC \u201cPrinciples for Evaluation of Development Assistance\u201d. Special thanks go to Mr. W. H. North who ably assisted the Secretariat in co-ordinating and analysing responses, and summarising the results.

This work is published on the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD.
Mr. Niels DABELSTEIN
Chair of the Working Party on Aid Evaluation
3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FOREWORD...............................................................................................................................2
Chapter 1. REVIEW OF THE DAC PRINCIPLES FOR EVALUATION OF
DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS........5

Introduction............................................................................................................................... 5 The changing context for evaluation......................................................................................... 6 Comparison of the views of evaluators and the users of evaluation......................................... 7 Compliance with the Principles................................................................................................. 8 Concluding observations......................................................................................................... 11 Usefulness of the Principles.................................................................................................... 12 Recommendations................................................................................................................... 12 Applying the findings of Phases I and II................................................................................. 12 Specifying best practices......................................................................................................... 12 Evaluation and new assistance instruments............................................................................. 14

Chapter 2. PHASE I: SYNTHESIS REPORT......................................................................17
Executive summary................................................................................................................. 17
Introduction............................................................................................................................. 19
Profile of Members\u2019 evaluations, assessment overviews and recommendations.................... 20
Chapter 3. PHASE II: SYNTHESIS REPORT....................................................................35

Introduction............................................................................................................................. 35 Knowledge of evaluation work of central evaluation offices.................................................. 36 Impact of evaluations............................................................................................................... 37 Awareness and understanding of the DAC Principles for Evaluation.................................... 38 Assessment of experience with decentralised evaluations...................................................... 38 The views of the recipient countries........................................................................................ 38 Summary overview.................................................................................................................. 38

Appendix 1. PHASE I: RESULTS FROM THE QUESTIONNAIRE...............................40

Introduction............................................................................................................................. 40 Purpose of evaluation.............................................................................................................. 40 Impartiality and Independence................................................................................................ 42 Credibility................................................................................................................................ 46 Usefulness................................................................................................................................ 50 Participation of donors and recipients..................................................................................... 53 Donor co-operation.................................................................................................................. 54 Evaluation programming......................................................................................................... 56 Design and implementation of evaluations............................................................................. 57 Reporting, dissemination and feedback................................................................................... 59

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