IDRC and BetterEvaluation launch an interactive guide to manage evaluations

October 21, 2016

IDRC’s support of BetterEvaluation, an international collaboration to improve evaluation practice and theory, has resulted in an online guide for an often overlooked group of people who greatly affect the quality and usefulness of evaluations — those who commission them.

While most evaluation resources are written for individuals who undertake evaluations, this guide is intended for program and project managers. As commissioners of evaluations, they define the purpose, scope, budget, and timing of an evaluation; they determine what evidence will be most useful; and they support the use of evaluations within their organizations. Their roles are crucial in ensuring high quality evaluation.

The interactive Commissioner’s Guide is organized around nine steps, and includes overview information and links to examples. It is based on IDRC’s use-oriented approach to evaluation, which depends on who will use the results and how they will be used. The guide includes many examples relevant for evaluations of development research programming, but program managers in other sectors will also find it relevant to their work.  

The guide includes an online tool, the GeneraTOR, which prompts evaluation commissioners to document their decisions about an upcoming evaluation in a format that produces a draft Terms of Reference (ToR). The ToR can be subsequently finalized with stakeholders, used to hire evaluators, and guide the management of the evaluation.

Learn more about the Commissioner’s Guide on Better Evaluation
Read more about the research project that facilitated the development of this guide