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Evaluating Achievements

by Phil Bartle, PhD

Workshop Handout

Evaluation differs from monitoring, but they are closely related

The Meaning of Evaluation:

Evaluation is a process of judging value on what a project or programme has achieved particularly in relation to activities planned and overall objectives. It involves value judgement and hence it is different from monitoring (which is observation and reporting of observations).

Purpose of Evaluation:

Evaluation is important to identify the constraints or bottlenecks that hinder the project in achieving its objectives. Solutions to the constraints can then be identified and implemented.

Evaluation also enables the project planners and implementers to assess the benefits and costs that accrue to the intended direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project. If the project implemented is, for example, the protection of a spring, evaluation highlights the benefits to the people who fetch and use water and the cost to the people whose land is wasted and whose crops are destroyed during the process of water collection.

Evaluation is essential for drawing lessons from the project implementation experience and using the lessons in the planning of other projects in that community and elsewhere.

Finally, evaluation should provide a clear picture of the extent to which the intended objectives of the activities and the project have been realized.

The Process of Evaluation:

Evaluation can and should be done: (a) before, (b) during, and (c) after implementation.

Before project implementation, evaluation is needed in order to:

  • Assess the possible consequences of the planned project(s) to the people in the community over a period of time;
  • Make a final decision on what project alternative should be implemented; and
  • Assist in making decisions on how the project will be implemented.

During project implementation: Evaluation should be a continuous process and should take place in all project implementation activities. This enables the project planners and implementors to progressively review the project strategies according to the changing circumstances in order to attain the desired activity and project objectives.

After project implementation: This is to retrace the project planning and implementation process, and results after project implementation. This further helps in:

  • Identifying constraints or bottlenecks inherent in the implementation phase;
  • Assessing the actual benefits and the number of people who benefited;
  • Providing ideas on the strength of the project, for replication; and
  • Providing a clear picture of the extent to which the intended objectives of the project have been realized.

Reporting to the Community:

Reporting to the Community

© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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Last update: 2011.09.30

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