Guide for Commissioning Evaluations

This research project will develop a guide to commissioning evaluations to improve the quality of decisions made to design and manage development research evaluations. Evaluation is a critical element of development research, as it assesses whether, how, and why a particular initiative or strategy succeeded or failed. This knowledge enhances the development evidence base. Understanding the role of commissioners There are numerous guides and resources for evaluators on approaches, methods, and good practice. However, evaluation processes are not just influenced by evaluators. Those who commission evaluations also hold influence. Typically, commissioners define: -what is to be evaluated; -who will be involved in the evaluation; -what results are considered important; and -what evidence is relevant. Commissioners therefore play a critical role in ensuring that an evaluation is relevant, useful, equitable, and of high quality. Improving evaluation design and management The commissioners' guide will serve IDRC program staff and grantees. The project team will develop a prototype of the guide and gather ongoing user input. The team will draw together existing material, undertake targeted research, and develop case study material for the guide. By the end of the project, a finalized interactive guide will be available online in English, French, and Spanish.

Project ID


Project status


End Date

Monday, June 26, 2017


18 months

IDRC Officer

Tricia Wind

Total funding

CA$ 200,900

Project Leader

Patricia Rogers


Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

Institution Country


Institution Website