Developing a quality evaluation design involves a thorough understanding of what is being evaluated (the initiative and its context) and making decisions about the following key elements and how each will contribute to valid and useful evaluation results:
Role of stakeholders
Stakeholders play an important role in designing and carrying out a quality evaluation. Stakeholders include individuals and groups that have a vested interest in the initiative or the results of the evaluation. Their involvement at all stages of the evaluation—including focusing the evaluation, shaping the questions to be addressed, identifying credible sources of evidence, reviewing findings and assisting in their interpretation—increases the credibility, potential usefulness and sustainability of evaluation results. Typically, stakeholders can be divided into three major categories, which are not mutually exclusive:
The level of involvement of stakeholders will vary among evaluations. When designing an evaluation, it is important for the commissioning programme unit to identify stakeholders early and draw upon their knowledge as the evaluation design is shaped, starting with their meaningful involvement in developing the ToR. This is particularly critical for joint evaluations, in which case partners involved in the evaluation should be involved in all phases of developing the evaluation design.