Deciding what to evaluate

Consider the following checklist of questions to help decide what information is "need to know" for the monitoring and evaluation plan. This list has been compiled and adapted from the UN EVAW Toolkit, pg 130), the World Health Organisation (WHO) ethical and safety recommendations (WHO, 2001) and the Our Watch Handbook (Measure and evaluate your work).

  • Who are the key audiences for the evaluation and what will they want to know?

  • Are there any risks for evaluation participants or risks for women or field workers involved in the project (see Ethical evaluations)? If so, do the benefits outweigh the risks?

  • What information is needed to assess whether the project is progressing toward its goal(s)?

  • What sources of information are available? Does data already exist?

  • What are some ways and methods we could use to collect that information?

  • How reliable will the information be and will it appear credible to others (accuracy)?

  • Are there sufficient resources to collect and analyse the information (feasilbility)?

  • What reporting requirements or other information is required by the project funder(s)?

Developing key evaluation questions

Key evaluation questions can help guide decisions on what to evaluate, along with your theory of change or program logic. Key evaluation questions (KEQ) are the over arching, high level questions you ask about your program or project. They are informed by your project objectives and desired outcomes.

Some common key evaluation questions that are often included in KEQs are:

  • Did the implementation of the project work well and what could be done differently next time? (process)

  • What did the project/program achieve? (effectiveness)

  • What impact did the project/program have? (impact)

  • What outcomes have occurred as a result of this project or program?

  • Were there any unintended outcomes?