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Faculty of Communication and Public Relation

Project Management, Masters, Year: II

Types of project evaluations

Professor: Stela DEZSY

Student: Bianca-Alexandra PRESADA


Evaluation - Types of project evaluations

Most people and project managers think at the beginnings that planning and
implementing a project are simple processes and are just a matter of listing and implementing
some task and actions together with a team, assigning them resources and creating a schedule. Of
course there is even more than these: a plan for costs, communication, risks or quality. But how
can a project manager know if everything is going according to the plan?
The project manager must have a clear view of project status, especially in a financial
perspective. During the implementation phase we find two important processes in the successful
development of the project: monitoring and evaluation.
Evaluation is the analysis of a project to determine the quality and evolution in
accordance with the objectives and quality criteria established in the project planning. This may
be periodic assessment of the efficiency, effectiveness, impact, sustainability and relevance in the
context of project objectives. It is usually undertaken as an independent examination with the
prospect of drafting conclusions that can help in making future decisions.

The role of evaluation is to offer the proper context for open discussion on project
performance, by identifying the strengths and weaknesses, obstacles to progress, by
offering recommendations to continue or to modify and it can predict how the project
work will develop. The purpose of evaluation is also to assure and improve the quality of
the project and project outcomes, to ensure the involvement of the whole partnership, the
target groups and other actors involved in the project. The evaluation helps quantifying
the results of the project and in the end it can reduce the work of the final report using the
collected data.

As monitoring, evaluation is an important process in the implementation and successful

completion of a project. I could say that these two processes, although have different
aspects, are closely related to one another, both are management tools being taken
decisions based on the information provided by their means, but even if both operate on
the basis of similar steps, they produce, but also show different types of information.

As it is well known, continuous monitoring is done by the project team, while evaluation
is a periodic review, systematic, it is based on information from monitoring, but also from
other sources, it is done so by team members as well as by external evaluators.

Both evaluations as well as monitoring are two very important project tools, their
existence is essential in order to successfully complete each project, helping to achieve
the objectives and deliver established results.

Depending on what it is evaluated, who performed the evaluation, when and how it is
evaluated, there are distinguished several types of evaluation. If some experts present 35
types of evaluations should not be a concern too large in this aspect. It is important to
know from the beginning what information is needed to make good decisions and why it
needs to be collected and understood this information.

Depending on the moment knowing the objectives, there are two types of evaluations:
goal-based evaluation and non-objective evaluation.

Goal-based evaluation aims to establish to what extent the program or project objectives
were met.

Non-objective evaluation involves gathering data about the effects and effectiveness of
the program indirectly, without the evaluator to focus on objectives. The basis of this type
of evaluation lays the idea that the evaluator works better if he does not know the
program's objectives. Also, the evaluator should avoid contact with program staff, which
could influence his perspective on the program and its effects.

If there is taken into consideration the time the assessment will take place, we can talk
about: initial, intermediate / intermediate and post evaluation. In order to be able to
understand the role and necessity of each, we will describe each of them.

10 The initial assessment is performed prior to submission of the project for its evaluation by
the evaluation committee. It is often performed by the project team and aims a
preliminary verification of the fulfillment of minimum conditions to be approved by the
funding structure. Own assessment of project performance is called self-assessment; it is
based on a self-assessment scales through which are able to control important aspects of
the project. In this initial phase the evaluation can be made for knowing the level the
project is started in order to obtain initial results collected with a rare frequency, only at
the beginning of the project.
11 Interim evaluation takes place between project implementation, rating basically the major
stages of the project will be located within the project implementation schedule, so they
meet contractual reporting data established. Evaluation during project implementation is

done internally by the project team specializing in the development of such activities, but
under the supervision of the project manager or longer achieved and external funder
representatives. As in the initial evaluation, interim evaluation concludes with an
evaluation report that is made by those responsible for the activities. Usually these reports
are prepared annually and biannually, depending on the project.
12 The next type is the post project evaluation. This type of evaluation is carried out after the
implementation of the project, but within the contracting period. post project evaluation
shows basically the same features as the interim evaluation, but is more focused on
maintaining the impact and sustainability of the project results. This type of evaluation is
done both internally and externally, with the leading role contractual compliance by the
recipient and verifying sustainability and project lastingness
On another hand, evaluation can be characterized as being either formative or
summative, depending by the purpose of evaluation. Broadly, formative evaluation looks at
what leads to an intervention working (the process), whereas summative evaluation looks at the
short-term to long-term outcomes of an intervention on the target group.
Formative evaluation takes place in the lead up to the project, as well as during the
project in order to improve the project design as it is being implemented (continual
improvement). Formative evaluation often lends itself to qualitative methods of inquiry.
Summative evaluation takes place during and following the project implementation, and
is associated with more objective, quantitative methods. The distinction between formative and
summative evaluation can become blurred. Generally it is important to know both how an
intervention works, as well as if it worked. It is therefore important to capture and assess both
qualitative and quantitative data.
If we refer to the entities that evaluate the project, we can identify another two types of
project evaluation: internal and external evaluation.
For internal evaluation, those in charge of this process are within the project as part of the
implementation team so internal evaluator knows both the context in which the evaluation as
well as evolution of the whole process while in the external evaluation, the evaluator not part of
the organization. The external evaluation has a limited accessibility to contextual information.
Internal evaluation is an expensive process and internal evaluator is subjective, compared with

the external evaluator who is neutral, which gives a higher credibility degrees. From a financial
perspective external evaluation is more expensive than the internal one.
Other types of evaluation can be determined according to the criteria used for the
assessment, either well determined or intuitive. From this point of view can be named two types
of evaluation: formal and informal evaluation. Requires formal assessment criteria clearly
defined and associated with the assessment by standardized tests and has a certain level of
expertise of the person herself. Also shall be objective, and in a financial perspective is
expensive. on the other side informal assessment are based on intuitive criteria, is likened to
evaluation tests designed by the evaluator, particularly with the use of alternative methods of
assessment, is less expensive and unlike formal assessment, it is subjective
There are also known more types of evaluation depending on the dependence by
traditional or alternative methods. We can identify in our daily use more evaluation models from
the alternative ones, such as: such as evaluation through mandate, participatory evaluation,
collaborative evaluation etc. These alternative models have emerged as a natural response to the
need to identify and analyze the things, events and circumstances that sometimes cannot be
explained by traditional models. Alternative evaluation models come complementary to
traditional evaluation due to the specific characteristics that they hold. So depending on the
participation of the beneficiaries, there are two types of evaluation: participatory and nonparticipatory evaluation,
Participatory evaluation is an alternative model of evaluation. It is an approach that aims
to build capacity and provides to the stakeholders in the project, and beneficiaries the
opportunity to reflect on the project and the obstacles encountered. It facilitates learning and
provides tools beneficiaries and partners to understand and change the environment. In the nonparticipatory evaluation beneficiaries do not participate in evaluation.
The effect of each project can be measured on short-medium term, but also on long term,
that is the reason why can be defined another two types of evaluation according to the effect in
time of the project: impact evaluation and outcome evaluation.
Impact evaluations look beyond the immediate results of policies, instruction, or services
to identify longer-term as well as unintended program effects. It may also examine what happens
when several programs operate in unison.

Outcome evaluations study the immediate or direct effects of the program on participants.
The scope of an outcome evaluation can extend beyond knowledge or attitudes, however, to
examine the immediate behavioral effects of programs.
Over time were identified and considered undesirable types of evaluations. According to
William N. Dunn, pseudo evaluation includes only those assessments that claim to study the
process and results, but in reality do not do this. He described two types of pseudo evaluation:
political control evaluations initiated by clients who want to maintain their sphere of influence
and evaluations inspired from public relations, using data to create a positive image of the
Edward A. Suchman identified six types of evaluative pseudo evaluation or abuse:

Eyewash which consists in providing attention exclusively favorable aspects of the

Total wash which indicates total lack of objectivity in the assessment;
Submarines, an assessment conducted in order to remove a program;
Picture illustrating adopting a position apparently scientific and objective, but devoid of

any substance;
Delaying action on the pretext that suggests delay of waiting an evaluation, which is

really not necessary;

Substitution that represents covering failure of a project activities, by deflecting the
attention to other aspects.
When selecting an evaluation type is important to know that the overall goal in selecting

the evaluation methods is to get the most useful information in the most cost effective and
realistic fashion. When selecting the evaluation methods the following questions can be
considered: what information is needed, where the information is and who has it and also what is
the best way to get the information. After having a clear answer to these, there are other several
questions to be answered to ensure if the methods get all of the needed information or if the
audience finds these methods non-intrusive and culturally appropriate. It is essential for the
evaluation to know what resources are needed, how much money, time and people. After having
all these it is mandatory to know how the information can be analyzed.
I described earlier among the main types of project evaluation and to conclude, I mention
the main things that every project manager should know when selecting the methods to evaluate
a project: it is recommended to use more types of evaluation and especially to use evaluation

mechanisms that predict the development of the project, but more than these to record all data
and data analysis and use it in project implementation.

1. Muan, Gabriel, Evaluarea programelor sociale, Bucureti, 1999, Editura Expert
2. Moldovanu et all., Ghid pentru tineri i profesioniti care lucreaz cu tinerii, 2006,
Chiinu. UNICEF
3. National Science Foundation, User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation , 2002
4. Owen John M., Rogers J. Patricia, Program Evaluation: Forms and Approaches, 1999,
Sage Publications (CA)
5. Project Management Cycle Glossary
6. Szekely, Radu, Strategies, Role and Impact of Project Evaluation, 2012, Brussels